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Portrait

Profile of WDR mediagroup

Zentrale der WDR mediagroup in Köln.
WDR mediagroup (WDRmg) is the commercial subsidiary of the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR) in Cologne. As an innovative service provider for media content, it offers 360-degree marketing and sales of high-quality WDR programmes and supplies of other partners via all distribution channels and platforms. In addition to its core business, which is the marketing of advertising time, its versatile service portfolio covers the entire digital value-added chain: WDRmg digitalizes and archives media contents and is responsible for marketing and sales using its own infrastructure. The wide range of services is rounded off by programme trading, licensing transactions, online solutions, accessible media services, a DVD label of its own, a music publisher, listener retention programmes and an extensive marketing organization.
Profile of WDR mediagroup (PDF)
Management

Michael Loeb

Michael Loeb, Geschäftsführer Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer
Michael Loeb studied law at the universities of Mannheim and Munich. In 1994, he passed the second legal state examination and joined the legal department of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR, West German Broadcasting Company) in Cologne as a fully qualified lawyer for five years. He transferred to WDR mediagroup (WDRmg), the commercial affiliate of WDR, in 1999. Within the management board of WDRmg, he was responsible for program and operational issues as Chief Operating Officer from 2001 until 2008. During that time, he additionally assumed the position of General Manager for WDRmg licensing GmbH as well as the TV production company Colonia Media. In July 2008, he became Chief Executive Officer of WDRmg.
Curriculum Vitae of Michael Loeb (PDF)

Frank Nielebock

Frank Nielebock, Geschäftsleitung Finanzen und Beteiligungen Managing Director / Chief Financial Officer
After studying business administration at the University of Passau, Frank Nielebock started his career in 1997 when he joined the management of the media company C.A.M.P. TV in Munich. In 2002, the business graduate was appointed Managing Director of the Monaco Film Group, as which he was responsible for finance, production and personnel. At the same time he served as an authorised representative and Director of Corporate Affairs for its parent company, Odeon Film AG. At the end of 2008, he joined WDR mediagroup in Cologne. As a member of management, he was responsible for finance and investments before becoming Managing Director in March 2017.

Anke Fischer-Appelt

Anke Fischer-Appelt, Geschäftsleitung Unternehmensentwicklung und Recht Chief Operating Officer
Following her law studies at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Anke Fischer-Appelt went to London, where she graduated from the University College with a "Master of Laws". Back in Germany, she completed her internship at the District Court of Essen. In January 2001, she joined the legal department of Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne as a fully qualified lawyer. She joined the WDR mediagroup management in November 2002, first as a fully qualified lawyer, then, from 2005 onwards, as Director of the Office of Legal Affairs and Licences. In addition, she has been an authorised signatory of Colonia Media production company since January 2007. In July 2008, she became an authorised signatory for the WDR mediagroup management, as part of which she is responsible for operational matters today.

Barbara Wiewer

Barbara Wiewer, Geschäftsleitung Marketing und Vertrieb Chief Marketing Officer
Barbara Wiewer studied business administration at the Fachhochschule Rheinland-Pfalz (University of Applied Sciences) and began her career in the media industry in the field of media planning at the HMS Carat agency in Wiesbaden. Subsequently, she was responsible for marketing the advertising slots of RTL II TV channel, among others things as a group leader of TV marketing with IP Deutschland in Kronberg. The Italian native moved to public broadcasting in January 2000, when she joined ARD-Werbung SALES & SERVICES in Frankfurt as Radio Marketing Group Leader. From there, her career path led her to Cologne to WDR mediagroup in 2004, where she worked as marketing director before taking over the management of marketing and sales in April 2009.

Andrea Zuska

Chief Content Officer / Project Management
Since March 2013, Andrea Zuska has been lending her support to the management of WDR mediagroup. After obtaining her graduate degree in economics, Andrea Zuska joined the Cologne-based media service provider and has held various functions since 1998. Among other things, she has worked as a manager in license controlling and was, for seven years, Business Manager of the former licensing subsidiary WDR mediagroup licensing GmbH. Following an involvement in the programme management/compliance department, she assumed the leadership of central project management in July 2011 – an area for which she is responsible within the management today.  Together with CEO Michael Loeb, she is also responsible for the commercial exploitation of programmes.
Rechte: WDRmg
From left to right: Michael Loeb, Anke Fischer-Appelt, Frank Nielebock, Barbara Wiewer and Andrea Zuska.

Participations

ARD-Werbung SALES & SERVICES GmbH

ARD-Werbung SALES & SERVICES GmbH (AS&S) is the national airtime sales organisation of the ARD advertising companies headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. It has sales offices in Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Erfurt and Munich and markets advertising time in the early evening schedule of Das Erste (AS&S) as well as on 32 public and 29 private radio channels (AS&S Radio GmbH) nationwide. Founded in 1994, AS&S has been a public limited company since 1999.
ARD-Werbung

Bavaria Film GmbH

Bavaria Film GmbH is one of the largest media companies in Europe that is very rich in tradition as well. The Geiselgasteig district in the south of Munich is where the headquarters of Bavaria Film have been located for more than 90 years and is the centre of an international network of subsidiaries and partners.
Grown out of the tradition of a studio founded in 1919, Bavaria Film, with its more than 20 subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the major media sites in the German-speaking world, has developed into a global production and service group that embraces all segments of the audio-visual industry.
Bavaria Film

Degeto Film GmbH

Degeto Film GmbH is the ARD’s joint film purchasing organisation. Founded in 1928 as Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ton und Film, from 1954 onwards Degeto was initially responsible for the procurement of films for Hessischer Rundfunk channel. Since 1959, the regional public broadcasting agencies of the ARD and its advertising subsidiaries have been shareholders in the firm. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Degeto's corporate purpose is the procurement and acquisition of licences of television programmes of all kinds, whether in the form of co-financing, co-productions or commissioned productions, particularly for films and series for the channels of its shareholders. These embrace Das Erste including its early evening schedule, the children's channel KiKA, 3sat, ARTE, Phoenix, the digital schedule of Einsfestival and ARD's regional channels.
In addition to the selection and procurement of movies and series, Degeto is also responsible for their use on the channels, and handles commissioned productions and co-productions, especially for the prime-time programming slots on Fridays. In addition, Degeto assumes the technical and editorial preparation of the programmes – including dubbing and subtitling –  right through to transmission capability. Other responsibilities include the management of channel resources and making them available for all of ARD's programmes.
Degeto Film

Der Audio Verlag GmbH

Headquartered in Berlin, Der Audio Verlag (DAV) is one of the leading audiobook publishers in German-speaking countries. It was founded on the initiative of Aufbau Verlag and Südwestrundfunk in 1999. Besides outstanding productions of its own, DAV also issues lavish radio play productions of renowned broadcasting companies. The product range includes classic radio productions such as the "Paul Temple" series to million-sellers such as "Pope Joan" by Donna W. Cross, literature, thrillers, non-fiction subjects and manuals, children's classics by Otfried Preußler and Michael Ende right through to the most sizeable audiobook production on the market: Tolstoy's "War and Peace". Numerous of its productions have won literary awards.
Der Audio Verlag

Autentic Distribution GmbH

Rechte: Autentic Distribution
Based in the centre of Cologne, Autentic Distribution GmbH is a 50: 50 joint venture of the Munich documentary labels Autentic (part of the Jan Mojto's Beta Group) and WDR mediagroup for the international distribution of documentaries; it was founded in January 2014. The portfolio includes a broad spectrum of non-fictional productions from national and international producers and media companies.
Autentic Distribution

German Broadcasting Centre Brussels S.P.R.L.

The German Broadcasting Centre Brussels S.P.R.L. is a limited company under Belgian law; the corporate purpose is to own and administrate the property in Brussels that is used for the operation of the WDR studio.

Compliance

Compliance

Transparency and market conformity play an important role for WDR mediagroup, which is why the company has established a Compliance Department that formulates guidelines for compliance with legal provisions (e.g. with regard to the laws pertaining to antitrust, competition, labour or data protection). Also, thanks to its Compliance Team, WDR mediagroup is on a safe footing when it comes to preventing corruption (invitations, entertainment, incentives, etc.). The responsibilities of the Compliance Department also include evaluating business processes and structures with regard to adequacy, suitability and efficiency.

WDR mediagroup has taken comprehensive measures to combat corruption. These include, inter alia, the appointment of an external ombudsman: lawyer Axel Groeger liaises with all whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous for reasons of self-protection. Since lawyers are bound by professional discretion, their identity is protected and names need not be disclosed. Whistleblowers may be company employees, business partners or third parties. The ombudsman in particular deals with observations on possible irregularities, conflicts of interest and suspicious circumstances, persons or companies.


Contact:
Rechtsanwalt Axel Groeger
Kanzlei Redeker Sellner Dahs
Willy-Brandt-Allee 11
53113 Bonn
Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)228-7262 5151
Fax: +49 (0)228-7262 599


History

History of WDR mediagroup

1958 saw the foundation of WDR mediagroup GmbH, then still called Westdeutsches Werbefernsehen (WWF) GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln. Its initial core business was the marketing of advertising slots on TV along with the producing and trade of programme formats for the early evening schedule of Das Erste TV channel. The marketing of advertising airtime on the radio followed in 1987. The company has since developed many other fields of business and has grown into a multimedia service. In 2004, it was renamed WDR mediagroup GmbH.

Rechte: WDRmg
The different logos of WWF and WDR mediagroup over the decades.

Logo-Animation - WDR mediagroup

Reality and Comedy: New orginal WDR-formats on the market

Copyright: WDR Content buyers from all over the world can now purchase the rights to produce international adaptations or remakes of the brand new reality formats "My Garden on a Plate" (pictured) and "Made with Love" as well as the fictional comedy series "Suck it up!".

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"Little Sandman" added to sales catalogue

Copyright: Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) The German cult programme as well as four additional children's formats that deal with dreaming and going to sleep are now available for international TV broadcasting, DVD publication and video on demand exploitation.

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"Shaun the Sheep": New licensed products for pet accessories

Copyrights: Trixie Heimtierbedarf Trixie, the European market leader for pet supplies, will expand its popular range of "Shaun the Sheep" accessoires. Pet-owners can look forward to new plush squeak toys and cosy dog comforters.

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“WildWoods”: broadcasting rights available now

Copyright: Sixteen South The new live action series by Irish production studio Sixteen South will be filmed in summer 2017. It features puppets in beautiful outdoor locations and aims to encourage children to appreciate nature.

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Kavaleer and WDRmg team up for "Dougie Noir"

Copyright: Kavaleer, WDRmg 2016 Kavaleer Productions and WDR mediagroup will collaborate on a new 52 x 11 action-comedy series for 6-11 year olds, "Dougie Noir". The (estimated) €4.5m series is scheduled to begin pre-production Summer 2017.

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On the way to new heights in international commercial orbit

Copyright: NICI Q Pootle 5 travels at full throttle, and not just aboard his spaceship! Renowned toy manufacturers NICI and Bullyland will launch a range of new merchandising products at retail stores across Europe and beyond.

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