The scandal stories at ARD never end. After rbb, MDR and NDR, the Bavarian Broadcasting Company is targeted, where the high severance pay for a functionary causes resentment. The BR Broadcasting Council is said to have approved the severance pay. However, its member Helmut Markwort contradicts this.
The stumbling block is the severance pay for ex-culture director Reinhard Scolik. The 63-year-old left BR at the end of 2021. His contract had been prematurely extended until 2024 by the then BR director Ulrich Wilhelm. However, this did not suit Katja Wildermuth, who took over Wilhelm’s directorship in February 2021, reported “Bild”. Scolik is said to have received a severance payment of up to 700,000 euros for his early departure. Now, because of this high severance payment, the accusation of wasting contribution money is in the air.
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The amount of the severance payment was heavily criticized by BR broadcasting councilor Helmut Markwort. “It cannot be that the Bayrischer Rundfunk pays a high 6-digit severance pay and withholds precise information from the broadcasting council despite serious allegations,” wrote the FOCUS publisher and FDP member of the Bavarian state parliament on his Facebook account. The “Bild” newspaper had reported that Wildermuth, on the other hand, had claimed that both the administrative board and the broadcasting board of the BR had “approved the flow of money after examination”.
Markwort vehemently disagreed. “This is a misrepresentation of the facts,” said the broadcasting council member to FOCUS online. “Several broadcasting councils have asked BR for information about the severance payment. The only answer was that the directorship and the head of the board of directors, Ilse Aigner, had agreed not to disclose the subject.
Markus Huber, spokesman for Bayerischer Rundfunk, told FOCUS online on Friday evening that Wildermuth’s statements had not been correctly reproduced by the “Bild” newspaper. According to Huber, the BR made the following statement to the newspaper: “The agreement was approved by the responsible body, the BR administrative board, after examination. The topic was also dealt with in our second supervisory body, the Broadcasting Council, in the non-public part of a Broadcasting Council meeting. Incidentally, Scolik left BR by mutual agreement, and silence had also been agreed
Apart from the unusually high severance payment from Scolik, there are also allegations of waste against the BR technology director Birgit Spanner-Ulmer. Specifically, it is about the use of their company car for private events. This is said to have been granted to her in the employment contract as an exception, since she had to travel throughout the transmission area.
Markwort is also upset that the broadcasting councils were unable to voice their concerns about Scolik’s contract extension. “There were a number of voices against the early extension. But we could only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that.”
The liberal also criticized the broadcasting council itself. “The broadcasting councils of the CSU are loyal to the BR. This body is therefore less of a control body and more of a support body,” says the 85-year-old. In addition, the BR tends to “lull” the Broadcasting Council with irrelevant templates that distract from “real problems”. The influence of the directorship on the control committee is decidedly too great.
But the FDP politician is hoping that this will change soon. “The new media state treaty stipulates that the broadcasting councils should now have more influence.” He wants to push for this at the next broadcasting council meeting on October 20th.