RTL and former Hungary chief in legal dispute

Dirk Gerkens

Dirk Gerkens

Former RTL Hungary chief executive and current chief of rival broadcaster TV2 Dirk Gerkens is suing his former employer over his dismissal last year, according to local reports.

According to newspaper Népszabadság, cited by other media outlets, Gerkens is suing RTL for lost salary and other losses to the tune of €310 million.

RTL is meanwhile reportedly responding by threatening to sue Gerkens for close to €1 million over breach of contract.

Gerkens was closely involved in RTL’s dispute with the Hungarian government over the latter’s introduction of a controversial advertising tax, widely seen as being specifically targeted at RTL, and his departure was welcomed by the government.

RTL, as reported by Hungarian media, denies that Gerkens’ departure had anything to do with the Hungarian government’s objections.

Gerkens left his post in March last year and was replaced on an interim basis by RTL Group’s regional chief, Andreas Rudas. RTL said at the time that it planned to hire a Hungarian executive for the post to “strengthen RTL Group’s ties with the Hungarian society”.

In July last year, RTL named sales chief Gabriella Vidus as its new country’s CEO.