Deutsche Welle Director General Peter Limbourg has announced a structural reform aimed at making the broadcaster more internationally competitive. The reform will involve staff changes.
On November 1, 2013, Deutsche Welle will combine its two programming departments in Bonn and Berlin under a single director, a post Gerda Meuer was appointed to fill. Meuer (54) is currently in charge of the DW Akademie, Germany's leading international media development organization. Current Director of Regionalized Content Christian Gramsch (53) will take over as director of DW Akademie. Director of Global Content Christoph Lanz (53) will be leaving DW on Oktober 31, 2013. In a meeting on Wednesday (30.10.2013), Deutsche Welle's Administrative Board unanimously approved the structural reforms and personnel appointments in agreement with the chairman of the Broadcasting Board.
Director General Limbourg said that with a view to media convergence and increasing challenges in international media markets, DW must streamline its programming. Structural obstacles have to be set aside "in order to provide the best content for our users worldwide," he added. "Our goal is to further optimize our journalistic content, to give journalists more creative freedom and flexibility and to bring our two broadcasting centers closer together." Limbourg also noted that restructuring is part of DW's implementation of a relevant board decision.
Apart from having extensive experience in international journalism, Limbourg said that Gerda Meuer has showcased her management skills by successfully developing the DW Akademie. Her new challenge will involve coordinating the integration of DW's two programming departments, while reorganizing journalistic work to span the two broadcasting centers as well as a variety of media formats.
The director general said that Christian Gramsch will draw on his experience as a director of multimedia content in his new position at DW Akademie. Gramsch will increase the institution's focus on the demands of working with varied types of media, Limbourg said. In the last few years, Gramsch has successfully integrated editorial departments for radio and online content and has promoted the production of television magazines at DW in Bonn. He also has years of experience training young journalists, the director general noted.
Peter Limbourg also thanked outgoing Director of Global Content Christoph Lanz "for his many years of excellent work," adding that as the head of Deutsche Welle's television division, Lanz has been instrumental in developing and expanding Germany's international TV broadcasting since 1992. "Particularly pivotal moments in his work were the introduction of Arabic television programming in 2002, along with the structural reforms of 2012 and the expansion of Spanish-language television programming. These reforms significantly contributed to DW's successful positioning in international media markets and to perceptions of Germany worldwide," said Limbourg.
In order to facilitate the merger of DW's two programming departments, Limbourg has established a Change Team, which, along with Deutsche Welle staff members, will help oversee the changes taking place in the coming months.