Christian Lindner calls for salary caps for broadcast bosses

Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Christian Lindner (FDP) at a press conference: The chancellor should not earn less than the WDR director, says Lindner.

Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Christian Lindner (FDP) at a press conference: The chancellor should not earn less than the WDR director, says Lindner.Image: IMAGO/Jens Schicke

Navid Moshgbar

Artistic directors of public broadcasters are among the high earners in Germany. There has been criticism of this for a long time, and not just after the scandal surrounding the former head of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), Patricia Schlesinger.

In Schlesinger’s case, criticism was voiced, among other things, because the board of directors of the station’s director increase in their salary had approved. She should get 16 percent more money and a base salary of 303,000 euros a year.

Gross salaries for ÖRR bosses at Chancellor level

For comparison: The best earner among the radio bosses is Tom Buhrow, director of the WDR. He earns around 413,000 euros a year. Calculated over a month, that’s about 34,000 euros. The directors of the smaller broadcasters Saarländischer Rundfunk and Radio Bremen earn according to the statistics portal extra between 20,000 and 24,000 euros gross salary per month.

In a tweet, Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner criticizes the level of wages for directors and calls for a salary cap. He writes: “No director should earn more than the Chancellor.”

Böhmermann takes up Lindner’s criticism

Chancellor Olaf Scholz earns around 30,000 euros gross per month. He gets less than WDR director Buhrow. Lindner’s criticism triggered a reaction from Jan Böhmermann. ZDF moderator Böhmermann writes on Twitter: “Heads of health insurance companies, heads of savings banks and Mathias Döpfner must not earn more than the Chancellor.”

Böhmermann alludes to the fact that not only artistic directors are among the top earners in Germany. He also mentions Mathias Döpfner, the chairman of the board of Axel-Springer-Verlag. Döpfner should have an annual salary of around 6.6 million euros earn. His earnings would be more than twice as high as the salaries of all ARD directors combined.

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