Sascha Schwingel has been named the new CEO of German TV production giant UFA, replacing Nico Hofmann, who will become chairman of the Berlin company, which is behind, among other things, series like Generational war, Germany ’83 And Ku’damm 56. UFA is part of global manufacturing giant Fremantle.
Hofmann, who has been CEO of UFA since 2017, joined the company in 1998 and founded the UFA serial fiction group teamWorx (now UFA Fiction). He is largely credited with helping to make UFA the leading German television producer, with shows of all genres broadcast on almost all German channels and streaming services.
The group consists of four production units: UFA Fiction, which produces high-end dramas such as: Germany ’83, Charité and the current Disney+ series Sam – A Saxon; Soap department UFA Serial Drama, whose long-running series include Good times Bad Times And Among us; UFA Show & Factual, which produces glossy floor shows, including the local versions of to have talent And idol in Germany; and UFA Documentary, whose recent non-fiction productions include the Amazon Doc series All or nothing: The national team in Qatar, about the German soccer team’s recent dismal performance at the World Cup. Across all platforms, UFA’s programs reach an average of more than 30 million viewers each week.
“After 26 years at Bertelsmann and eight years at the helm of UFA, I have decided to join [Fremantle Group CEO] Jennifer Mullin and [Fremantle Group COO and CEO Continental Europe] “Andrea Scrosati will hand over leadership of UFA,” Hofmann said in a statement. “In Sascha, a long-time friend and colleague, we have found an experienced and highly talented successor.” Hofmann described UFA as his “pride and joy, a great production company with a great team” and added that he had “great hopes for the future – a future in which I would be happy to take on the role of CEO.”
Schwingel is a veteran of the German media scene and most recently worked as deputy chief content officer at private broadcaster RTL Deutschland. Like Fremantle, RTL belongs to the German media giant Bertelsmann. Schwingel was previously CEO of the broadcaster Vox, which is part of the RTL Group. He began his career under Hofmann at teamWorx and managed event series such as The storm surge And Dresden. He later moved to ARD Degeto, the production department of the public broadcaster ARD, where he worked as a producer for programs, among other things Babylon Berlin And Gladbeck.
“I would like to personally thank Nico for his hard work and commitment to UFA over the last 26 years,” Mullin said in a statement. “With him at the helm, UFA has maintained its position as a leading German media company and an important part of the Fremantle Group. We are delighted that he will become Chairman and remain with the Fremantle family. At the same time, I am very pleased to welcome Sascha back to the company and look forward to shaping and driving forward the future of UFA together with him.”
Scrosati added: “Sascha is an innovative, creative and smart leader and a great choice to lead UFA into the future.” As a true portfolio company producing hit after hit across all genres, UFA plays a big role for the global success of Fremantle.”
Schwingel described taking over the board position at UFA as “a great privilege” and added that returning to the company where he began his career was “like a homecoming.” He thanked Hofmann “for all the great foundations he has laid” and said he was looking forward to “building on this success with the team.”