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Chief Editor Of Right-Wing German Tabloid Bild Fired As Sexual Misconduct Allegations Come To Light

Axel Springer, Germany’s publishing behemoth, said on Monday that Julian Reichelt, the chief editor of Bild, the country’s best-selling daily, had been fired. The decision occurred a day after the New York Times (NYT) published an exposé detailing allegations of workplace misbehavior under Reichelt’s supervision. Reichelt, 41, was appointed as Bild’s editor-in-chief in 2018. Johannes Boie, who serves as the editor-in-chief of Springer’s conservative weekly broadsheet Welt am Sonntag, will take his position.

The NYT exposé and Reichelt’s subsequent dismissal came as Axel Springer has pushed to grow globally in recent years, with its most high-profile acquisition last month of US-based publication Politico. Axel Springer noted in a statement that Reichelt “did not clearly separate his private and work lives and did not tell the board the truth about it,” citing evidence obtained “as a result of press investigations in recent days.”

However, the publisher also declared legal action against “third parties” for disclosing secret business information and private correspondence in an attempt to damage the organization and remove Reichelt. Axel Springer did not explain which fresh claims caused them to terminate Reichelt, as the New York Times exposé was based on the company’s own inquiry into how Reichelt promoted female interns with whom he had relationships and subsequently demoted or fired them.

The information obtained by the NYT “paint a picture of a workplace culture that mixed sex, journalism and company cash” at Bild under Reichelt’s leadership, according to the paper. Reichelt had stood down while Axel Springer conducted an internal inquiry into his activities, but he was reinstalled once the investigation determined that his acts did not merit dismissal.

The 41-year-old recently filed a lawsuit against the German magazine Der Spiegel for an investigative article on what it called “the Reichelt system,” in which he reportedly recruited female trainers as well as interns and sometimes swiftly promoted them, however, was also quick in firing them. As per the New York Times, Axel Springer attempted to keep information about the investigation’s results out of the hands of the German press.

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