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TV man Raab: Separation behind the scenes


Matthias Balk / dpa

Stefan Raab and the television production company Brainpool will go their separate ways in the future. The German division of the French production company Banijay, of which Brainpool has been a wholly-owned subsidiary since 2020, confirmed a report by the industry medium »DWDL« in response to SPIEGEL's request. Accordingly, Raab and Brainpool have agreed not to continue the partnership, which expires at the end of the year.

In 1998, the production company Brainpool, which specialized in late-night shows at the time, saw the opportunity to close the gap left by Harald Schmidt's departure with Stefan Raab. Former Viva presenter Stefan Raab and the Cologne-based company jointly founded Raab TV, the company produced the Raab-produced show »TV Total«, which is broadcast on ProSieben. Since 31 December 2008, Raab TV has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Brainpool.

In the 25 years of working together, Raab has developed successful TV formats such as "Schlag den Star" or "Blamieren oder Kassieren", as well as events such as "Turmspringen" and "Wok WM". These formats will now be produced under the Brainpool label in the future. All ongoing productions from the collaboration, including the shows hosted by Sebastian Pufpaff and Elton, will continue to run as usual. In September, »TV Total« was awarded the German Television Award in the category »Best Comedy/Late Night«.

"We want to prove Raab's legacy worthy"

Stefan Raab retired from television as a presenter in 2015, but continued to work behind the scenes as a programme developer. When Brainpool was bought out of the ownership of the US group Viacom in 2007, Raab held a 25 percent stake in the company. In 2009, the French production company Banijay acquired a 50 percent stake, while Raab's stake fell to one-eighth. In 2018, he wanted to sell his remaining Brainpool shares to Banijay, which he was initially prohibited from doing by the courts. It was only in 2020 that Brainpool was 100 percent owned by the French.

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TV producer Wolter (2007): "We will remain friends"

Photo: IMAGO

The separation after a quarter of a century is now taking place under the leadership of Marcus Wolter as Managing Director of Banijay Germany. While trying to sell Viva small pieces of music, Stefan Raab noticed Marcus Wolter, who was the recording manager at the music station at the time. Since then, Wolter has been regarded as Raab's discoverer, and he was also involved in the conception of »TV Total«. He has been leading Brainpool since 2019.

DWDL now quotes Marcus Wolter as follows: "Thanks to Stefan for the great journey together, he has contributed significantly to the expansion of Brainpool and built up a great entertainment catalog." He is looking forward to "leading Brainpool into the next chapter with his colleagues at Raab TV. We will prove ourselves worthy of Raab's legacy and remain friends."