Bild editor-in-chief fired for ‘wrong’ affair and behavior

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 9:17 am

Press group Axel Springer announced on Monday that it had fired the editor-in-chief of German newspaper Bild, Julian Reichelt, on charges of “misconduct” in connection with an intimate relationship formed within the newspaper’s editorial staff. The most widely read in the country.

“As part of recent press investigations, new evidence of Julian Richelt’s misconduct has been brought to the company’s attention,” the group wrote in a statement.

The 41-year-old journalist who heads the title’s editors-in-chief underwent an internal investigation in March on suspicion of promoting women with whom he had relations, before they were fired.

He was reinstated less than 15 days later, this time along with a journalist. He had “admitted a mixture of professional and private relations, but denied (i.e. harassment) under oath”, then referred to the congregation.

But Axel Springer’s management said on Monday it “has learned that Julian Reichelt still does not clearly separate private and professional matters and that he has said false things about them to the board.”

The most widely read German newspapers do not detail the alleged exact facts against their powerful editor, a controversial figure in the world of journalism.

It’s an investigation published by the New York Times on Sunday that appears to hasten the Springer group’s decision. According to the latter, Mr. Reichelt notably promoted a young journalist with whom he was related to the position of responsibility.

“If they find out I had an affair with an intern, I would lose my job,” Julian Richelt told her in November 2016, according to comments she made to the internal investigative committee cited by the New York Times.

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– Reputation protection –

In another investigation published on Monday evening, Spiegel renewed allegations of abuse of power already made against the journalist a few months ago.

Based on interviews with “half a dozen women” and their entourage as well as hundreds of text messages and emails referenced, the magazine claims that the editor of Germany’s most powerful tabloid often addressed the young women on his editorial team and followed the same pattern. He congratulated them on their work, assigned them to responsible tasks, or appointed them to positions that do not suit them.

Some of the research cited by Spiegel was to be published by a group of investigative journalists, but their editor Dirk Ebben, a German press magnate, waived the publication, causing outrage on Monday among the article’s authors.

“We must be very careful not to give the impression that we want to inflict economic damage on a competitor,” the publisher said, claiming that we were not under any pressure.

Johannes Boe will replace Julian Reichelt at the helm of Bild, who until then was editor-in-chief of the conservative weekly Welt am Sonntag, another headline of the Springer Group.

With around two million copies, Bild, created in 1952, focused on news, sports and celebrity news to become Germany’s leading daily.

Axel Springer announced in August the acquisition of US news site Politico, the largest acquisition in its history, in connection with its digital development strategy.

As part of this docking in the United States, “Politico’s new owner was not able to take much damage to his reputation,” the Handelsblatt daily reported to explain Julian Reichelt’s eviction.

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