ZDF Studios President & CEO Fred Burcksen Departing After 26 Years, Replaced By Markus Schaefer

ZDF Studios CEO and President Fred Burcksen is leaving after 26 years with the company and will be replaced by Markus Schaefer in July.

Schaefer, a former CEO of All3Media Deutschland and Deputy Chairman of the Alliance of German Producers – Film and Television, will shape the studio’s future strategy alongside Co-director Karoline Meichsner-Sertl.

“In Markus Schaefer, we have an experienced media manager taking over the management of the ZDF Studios Group,” said Norbert Himmler, Director-General of owner ZDF, the German public service broadcaster. “With his knowledge of the industry and strategic skills, he will drive forward the digital development of the group.”

Burcksen joined the company as Senior Sales Manager in 1995, rising to Vice President Sales, Merchandizing and Co-productions within three years, before becoming EVP and COO in January 2013 and President/CEO in January 2018.

The company has undergone huge change during his tenure, creating multiple shows not only for the German pubcaster but for a variety of networks and streamers via international co-productions.

Himmler thanked Burcksen for an “extraordinary commitment” to ZDF Studios, having been with the company for more than 26 years.

Burcksen said: “I’ve been fortunate to be able to help develop and shape the ZDF Studios Group over a very long period and from the start it’s been a role that was as fascinating as it was challenging. Today I’m pleased to be leaving behind a successful organisation and handing the baton on to a proven industry expert.”

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