Merkel spokesman to step down and head broadcaster
Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief spokesman for the past five years, Ulrich Wilhelm, is to step down and become head of a major German public broadcaster early next year, DPA reported.
The board of the state-owned Bavarian broadcasting corporation voted Thursday to appoint Wilhelm, 48, as director general from February 1, 2011.
Wilhelm, an urbane and accessible figure who is popular with Berlin media people, heads the federal press office, a unit of the chancellery. He has been both Germany's government spokesman and one of chancellor's closest political advisers since late 2005.
Wilhelm succeeds Thomas Gruber, 67, who is retiring after heading the Munich-based radio and television corporation for nine years. The corporation is indirectly controlled by the Bavarian government.
The move means a return to Munich for Wilhelm, a journalist with a law degree, who was previously spokesman for the Bavarian government. dpa jbp ms Author: Jean-Baptiste Piggin