That's how much the ARD directors currently earn

© WDR / Herby Sachs

For several years now, the public broadcasters have been obliged to make the salaries and emoluments of their top earners public. The directors of the individual broadcasters do the best – however, the KEF finance commission had classified the salaries as too high at the beginning of the year.


What the directors, directors and program department heads of the public service broadcaster earn has not been a secret for several years – they are obliged to disclose their salaries. This affects both collectively and non-tariff employees. Now the ARD published its figures for 2019: According to this list, the WDR director and current ARD chairman Tom Buhrow is at the top of the top earners in the public service with an annual salary of 395,000 euros – three years earlier it was 4,000 euros more . But even these salaries are still too high for the KEF Finance Commission.

In further gradation, the BR director Ulrich Wilhelm is named with 388,000 euros, the now retired NDR director Lutz Marmor with 365,000 euros and the SWR director Kai Gniffke with 343,000 euros. With a huge plus, the HR director Manfred Krupp comes to 286,000 euros, 11,000 euros more than in 2016. In addition, the annual income of MDR director Karola Wille is around 275,000 and that of Radio Bremen director Yvette Gerner 270,000 euros. At the end of the high-ranking food chain are RBB director Patricia Schlesinger with 261,000 euros per year and SR director Thomas Kleist with 245,000 euros.

According to ARD, the remuneration system for employees is based on the collective agreements concluded with trade unions. Which remuneration group the employees are assigned to depends on the activity performed and how demanding, complex and responsible the respective tasks are. In addition, the respective work experience has an impact on the classification. It was only in February of this year that the KEF finance commission had rated the level of remuneration for public service broadcasting as too high: the salaries would be higher than for the public service and slightly above the average for the commercial media industry. However, KEF sees no justification for this salary advantage, which is why it wants to reduce the personnel costs of ARD from 2021 to 2024 by 60.3 million euros. However, since the Finance Commission has determined that the public broadcasters have uncovered funding needs of 1,525.4 million euros for the next four years, it therefore recommends an increase in the monthly broadcast fee from 17.50 euros by 86 cents to 18 cents from January 2021. 36 euros.

Image source:

  • Tom_Buhrow: © WDR / Herby Sachs


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