For a long time, Patricia Schlesinger had resisted drawing consequences from the multitude of accusations made against her: the alleged nepotism in Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), whose director Schlesinger is, the private dinner invitations that she got from the money the fee payer provided, plus obscure construction projects.
Then it also came out that Schlesinger drove a completely overpriced company car – and this eventually brought her down, at least in part: On Thursday evening, the ARD “Tagesschau” announced that Schlesinger was resigning as ARD chairman. But she wants to remain head of the RBB for the time being.
Politicians from several parties described the partial resignation as logical – but insufficient. "Ms. Schlesinger's resignation as ARD chairwoman is only logical given the media, political and internal pressure - but it should have happened much earlier," said media policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Thomas Hacker, WELT AM SONNTAG.
"There are still countless unanswered compliance questions, and new allegations are made public every day," says Hacker. “Further educational work must show to what extent she is still acceptable as RBB boss.”
The SPD media politician Helge Lindh also said that Schlesinger's resignation from the ARD leadership was "a correct, adequate decision". He called on those responsible at RBB to "fully clarify" the processes - and suggests setting up modern compliance systems for recipients of public funds, including whistleblowing hotlines. "This would avoid some actual or potential scandal," said Lindh.
The Greens member of the Bundestag Tabea Rößner, on the other hand, protects the RBB boss, since no gross misconduct in the office has been established beyond a doubt. It deserves "respect that Schlesinger has resigned as chairman of the ARD, although the allegations have not yet been clarified," said Rößner.
Now the main thing is to avert further damage to public broadcasting - because the current discussion about the allegations alone has damaged it. With Schlesinger's withdrawal from the ARD leadership, "the focus can hopefully be placed again on the further reform of public broadcasting".