“As part of recent press investigations, new evidence of Julian Reichelt’s misconduct has come to the attention of the company,” the group wrote in a statement. The Axel Springer press group announced Monday, October 18 that it had dismissed the editor of the German tabloid Bild from his post, accused of “bad behavior” in connection with an intimate relationship forged within the editorial staff of the most widely read newspaper in the country .

The 41-year-old journalist at the head of the title’s editors was the subject of an internal investigation in the spring, in particular being suspected of having promoted women with whom he had relations, before dismissing them. He had been reinstated in his functions at the end of March, this time in tandem with a journalist. He had “admitted the mixture of professional and private relations, but denied (any harassment) under oath”, then indicated the group.

However, Axel Springer’s management said on Monday that they “learned that Julian Reichelt still does not clearly separate private and professional matters and that he has said false things about it in front of the board of directors”. Germany’s most widely read newspaper does not detail the precise facts alleged against its powerful editor, a controversial figure in the journalistic world.

It is an investigation of the New York Times published on Sunday which seems to have precipitated the decision of the Springer group. According to the latter, Julian Reichelt notably promoted to a position of responsibility a young journalist with whom he had an affair. “If they find out that I have an affair with an intern, I will lose my job,” Julian Reichelt told her in November 2016, according to comments she reported to the internal commission of inquiry cited by the daily. American.

In another investigation posted Monday evening, Spiegel magazine renews allegations of abuse of power already made against the journalist a few months ago. Based on interviews with “half a dozen women” and their entourage as well as hundreds of text messages and e-mails consulted, the magazine claims that the editor “often approached the young women on his editorial team. according to the same pattern: he congratulated them on their work, entrusted them with responsible tasks or placed them in positions for which they were not suited “.

Some of the research reported by the Spiegel was to be published by a collective of investigative journalists, but their editor Dirk Ippen, a German press mogul, withdrew this publication, causing outrage on Monday among the authors of the l ‘article. “We must be very careful not to give the impression that we want to economically harm a competitor,” said the publisher, claiming not to have been subjected to any pressure.

Julian Reichelt will be replaced at the head of Bild by Johannes Boie, until then editor-in-chief of the conservative weekly Welt am Sonntag, another title of the Springer group. With around 2 million copies, Bild, created in 1952, has focused on news, sports and celebrity news to become Germany’s leading daily.

Axel Springer announced in August the acquisition of the American news site Politico, the largest acquisition in its history, in connection with its digital development strategy. As part of this anchoring in the United States, “the new owner of Politico could not afford significant damage to his reputation,” said the daily Handelsblatt to explain the ouster of Julian Reichelt.

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