The new staffing of the SRG ombudsman's office was actually planned differently

Kurt Schöbi and Esther Girsberger will take over the ombudsman's office of SRG Deutschschweiz as a team from April 2020. As has now become known, the appointment was preceded by a botched election procedure.


At the end of March 2020, SRG Ombudsman Roger Blum will step down from office and leave the field to his successors. As became known in December 2019that Kurt Schöbi and Esther Girsberger will perform the task as a team in the future, SRG concealed a fact in the announcement that has now been confirmed by the Switzerland at the weekend was made public: The two new ombudsmen are the result of a botched election process.

The Public Council actually selects the ombudsman from the applications received after a public call for applications. This is what happened last year when the successor to Blum was to be chosen. The lawyer and UBI Vice President Catherine Müller and a teacher from Aargau were elected. The candidates applied individually and independently of each other, as the call for applications did not take into account that the two ombudsmen must function as a team.

When the two elected officials met for the first time after the election, according to Switzerland at the weekendthat they were "not compatible. The teacher, who was interested in the media, subsequently withdrew. According to Audience Council President Susanne Hasler, it had been underestimated how important it was that the chemistry between the people had to be right and that they represented similar values in order to function as co-leaders. This was apparently not the case with Müller and the teacher.


Candidates were actively solicited

According to Hasler, it was not possible to find a new suitable candidate from the approximately forty applications ("including students of media studies who would still have found a 50 percent position attractive"). Instead of launching a new, open call for applications, the audience council drew up a list of 16 names. Five of them were then invited to "rotation talks" - a kind of speed dating - with Catherine Müller, who had already been elected. The search was on for the ideal couple. Two of the chosen ones did not want to undergo the procedure and withdrew.

SRG's announcement on the new ombudsman team Girsberger/Schöbi did not state that the election had nothing to do with the public tender, nor that the ombudsman Müller, who was actually elected in the first round of voting, was booted out in the second round.

In April, Blum's successors will take up their positions, each with a 40 percent workload. Susanne Hasler did not disclose how much they will earn. Switzerland at the weekend not disclosed. However, it is a "specialist position".


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