Susanne Müller to head ZDF Enterprises' New York office

ZDF Enterprises - August 2006
Susanne Müller to head ZDF Enterprises' New York office Horst Müller leaves company after successful 16-year tenure.

Effective August 2006, Susanne Müller will head the New York office of ZDF Enterprises . Her primary mission will be to develop the firm's strategic partnerships with U.S. companies. She will also be responsible for the acquisition, distribution and coproduction of fiction and non-fiction programs, and will observe U.S. programming and current developments in digital technology.

"I am very pleased we were able to win Susanne Müller as head of our New York office. Her extensive experience in the international arena, her excellent contacts within ZDF and the global TV industry, and her particular expertise and interest in digital media make her the ideal person to represent us in America," says Alexander Coridass, President and CEO of ZDF Enterprises.

Susanne Müller began her career at ZDF in 1980. After an internship on the editorial staff, she worked in children's and youth programming for over 20 years. As a program executive, she developed formats still being aired today such as "Logo!", the only daily news broadcast for children in Germany. As the head of ZDF's children's department, she played a decisive role in developing and launching "KI.KA" the children's channel of ARD and ZDF. From 1997 to 2003 she was the Vice Chief Program Executive for the channel. As head of ZDF's Children's and Youth division, she made a name for herself in international children's programming. Many internationally award-winning children's programs were produced under her leadership. She also headed the Children's and Youth Experts Group of the EBU (European Broadcast Union) for six years. Within the framework of the Group, numerous international coproductions were produced.

Susanne Müller has been in charge of ZDF's New Media department since 2003. She has been instrumental in the broadcaster's transition to the digital world by managing its online content and videotext service.

Susanne Müller succeeds Horst Müller, who headed the program office in New York for 16 years and is now leaving at his own request. Horst Müller has been with ZDF since 1971. After studying German and English Literature and Communications at the University of Hamburg and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he began his career as production manager and later as an executive in the Program Planning Department. Müller was deputy head of TV Movies and Feature Films before setting up ZDF's New York bureau in 1990. The office has been part of ZDF Enterprises since 1993.

Under his direction, several strategic alliances between ZDF Enterprises and U.S. networks and production companies were initiated. Among these were the History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the New York Times, Saban Entertainment and Hearst Entertainment. Through such partnerships, many historical and cultural ZDF documentaries found their way onto American TV screens.

Horst Müller was also actively involved in many German-American fictional coproductions and acquisitions such as the TV movie cycles based on novels by Danielle Steele and Mary Higgins Clark. At his initiative, the ZDF was also able to acquire the HBO cult series "The Sopranos" and several hit British crime series such as "Cracker," "Messiah," "Trial and Retribution," and "Commander,".

Said Alexander Coridass: "With his expertise and commitment, Horst Müller succeeded in positioning the ZDF Group as an important international partner for the U.S. TV industry and has been instrumental in opening up the American TV market for German television programs."