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Axel Springer dismisses Bild’s editor after a misdemeanor

Axel Springer, the new owner of Politico in Germany, has fired an editor in Europe’s largest newspaper Bild after accusing him of continuing to mix “his secret and intellectual” experiences with false positives to a publisher.

The dismissal on Monday of Julian Reichelt, a 41-year-old editor of German forgery, comes a day after the New York Times announced new investigative allegations against him.

In this investigation, Reichelt was charged with abuse of power by sexually assaulting young employees. He tells her that he raised his friends and brought them down after their stories were over.

Reichelt was suspended in March for 12 days, after German media outlets announced that law firm Freshfields was investigating various cases. At the time, the executive committee ended up saying Reichelt was wrong “but insisted he was” not punished for the crimes “.

Reichelt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, Axel Springer said the dismissal came as a result of a “new recognition of Julian Reichelt’s character” which was investigated by the company. In a statement, the publisher said that Reichelt, even after completing the early 2021 review, “did not distinguish itself from the experts” and gave false evidence of this to the executive committee.

Reichelt had already apologized for “mistakes in dealing with my friends” and said he would “work to create and set an example for Bild’s new culture”.

The New York Times on Sunday quoted evidence from young women who had an affair with the editor and were promoted by him. “This is always the case in Bild,” one of them told the investigators. “Those who sleep with the boss get a better job.”

The press said on Monday that it was unclear what the witnesses said until it was disclosed to the media as witnesses asked Freshfields not to share it with employers. Axel Springer added that he wanted to prosecute the plaintiffs.

Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner said Bild’s development under Reichelt was “good”, adding that the publisher was keen to continue the “cultural reform process in Bild” according to the editor. “Now it has become impossible,” he said. Reichelt will be replaced by Johannes Boie, current editor of Welt am Sonntag, a Sunday newspaper.

Axel Springer earlier this year agreed to buy Politico, a US political platform, for about $ 1bn, Germany’s largest broadcaster that appears to be making media around the world. Springer looked to expand into the US, buying the Morning Brew mail business last year and Business Insider in 2015. The company formed a partnership in 2014 with Politico, forming Politico Europe.

KKR, the US secret fund operator, in 2019 took Axel Springer on its own in a value-for-sale deal at € 6.7bn.


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