Change of senior leadership at ZDF Studios

Markus Schaefer becomes President and CEO

Mainz, 12/4/2022

On 1 July 2022, Markus Schaefer will assume the role of President and CEO of ZDF Studios GmbH. He succeeds Fred Burcksen, who is leaving the company at his own request after more than 26 years. Together with co-director Karoline Meichsner-Sertl, Schaefer will be instrumental in guiding ZDF Studios GmbH into the future.

Markus Schaefer, who holds a doctorate in physics, has a wealth of knowledge in corporate development, portfolio management and strategic growth. Schaefer’s extensive industry background includes various management positions at All3Media Deutschland GmbH in Munich from 2004 before being appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2010 and Chief Executive Officer in 2014. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Allianz Deutscher Produzenten – Film- und Fernsehen e. V. (Alliance of German Producers – Film and Television).

ZDF Director-General Norbert Himmler: “In Markus Schaefer, we have an experienced media manager 
taking over the management of the ZDF Studios Group. With his knowledge of the industry and strategic skills, he will drive forward the digital development of the group. I would like to thank Fred Burcksen for his great services to ZDF Studios and his extraordinary commitment to the company. He is handing over a very well positioned group of companies to his successor.”

“As an internationally active and established media powerhouse, ZDF Studios has an excellent reputation and a great deal of creative momentum,” explains Schaefer. “In this context, continuity, collaboration and sustainable innovation are of central importance. I’m very much looking forward, with the entire team, to opening another chapter in the almost 30-year history of ZDF Studios.”

Fred Burcksen, President and CEO of ZDF Studios GmbH, on the upcoming change: “I’ve been fortunate to be able to help develop and shape the ZDF Studios Group over a very long period and from the start it’s been a role that was as fascinating as it was challenging. Today I’m pleased to be leaving behind a successful organisation and handing the baton on to a proven industry expert.”  


About ZDF Studios
ZDF Studios was originally founded in 1993 as ‘ZDF Enterprises’, a private subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe. The company was renamed ‘ZDF Studios’ on 1 April 2022. Based in Mainz, the business is responsible for distributing programmes worldwide, implementing international co-productions, acquiring licences and merchandising key brands under its own name, for ZDF and for third parties. Successfully established as an independent market player in Germany and globally, it operates as part of a strong network of 30 direct and indirect subsidiaries and affiliates. ZDF Studios has the largest German-language programme stock in the world, plus a constantly growing catalogue of international productions consisting of series and mini-series, television films, documentaries and children’s programmes. By continually evolving, the ZDF Studios group has been able to open up numerous business areas in the television and media sector. As a result, ZDF Studios now provides a comprehensive full-service offer and covers every stage in the creation and exploitation chain of successful TV productions in all genres, from developing content to producing, licensing, marketing, merchandising, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Studios
Christine Denilauler (VP Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Studios GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Email: