The FDP chairman Christian Lindner calls for a voluntary salary cap for top staff in public broadcasting. "At the top of the public service, the income is sometimes enormous," said the 43-year-old Federal Finance Minister of the "Bild am Sonntag". "I'm against any envy debate, but no director should earn more than the Chancellor. A self-commitment is necessary here in order to be economical with the money of the fee payers.”
For comparison: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD) earns 362,277.72 euros (Chancellor's basic salary plus MP's diet). WDR director Tom Buhrow (63) receives an annual salary of 413,000 euros, as does ZDF director Norbert Himmler (51) with 372,000 euros.
If you only take the Chancellor's salary of almost 300,000 euros as a benchmark, according to ARD information, the future ARD boss and current SWR director Kai Gniffke (61) with 361,000 euros NDR director Joachim Knuth (63) with 346,000 euros and BR boss Katja Wildermuth (57) with 340,000 euros above.
Lindner also believes that a reform of the number of senior and leading employees in the stations is necessary: "Overall, the executive floors and administrations should become leaner in order to pay the editors who make the content appropriately instead."
The discussion about the director's salaries was fueled by the RBB affair. Its director Patricia Schlesinger, who has since been dismissed, was criticized for, among other things, allegations of felt and an increase in her basic salary by 16 percent to 303,000 euros in 2021.