Susanne Wille is the first woman to head SRG

Susanne Wille is the first woman to head SRG. On Saturday, the native of Aargau was appointed as the new Director General at the SRG's ordinary delegates' meeting. She will take over from Gilles Marchand, who announced his retirement this year, on November 1, 2024.

(Image: SRG/Severin Nowacki)

The Board of Directors had voted unanimously in favor of Wille and the extraordinary delegates' meeting had confirmed the decision. Wille is a tried and tested leader and knows SRG from the ground up. In the journalist, SRG has found an "outstanding personality" who will lead SRG into the future, said Chairman of the Board of Directors Jean-Michel Cina.

The 50-year-old is known to many television viewers as the presenter of the news program "10 vor 10". Wille has been in front of the camera in various SRF programs for over 20 years and has been head of the culture department at Swiss Radio and Television for four years.

As SRF Head of Culture, she is responsible for SRF2 Kultur radio, fictional in-house productions and SRF Dok programs, among other things, and is a member of the Executive Board. For her work, the 50-year-old was named "Political Journalist of the Year" three times in a row from 2016 to 2018.

"Standing still is not an option"

Wille and the SRG management are facing major challenges. The construction sites for public broadcasting in Switzerland include the distribution of concessions, declining revenues and the upcoming vote to reduce radio and TV fees in 2026.

"Standing still is not an option," said Wille on Saturday after her appointment. The challenges for the future are there, but she also sees many opportunities. However, the company will change.

The independence of SRG is important to Wille. In times of fake news and disinformation, a clear compass is needed, said the long-standing political journalist. "Without careful journalism, there can be no strong democracy," said Wille.

Private media providers are just as important as a strong public media service. Wille wants to engage in dialog with them. It is about working together, not against each other. Wille also acknowledged the "Idée Suisse". As a German-speaking Swiss, she would take care of the different linguistic and cultural areas in the country, she emphasized.

Lots of positive feedback

The appointment of Susanne Wille as the new SRG Director General has been well received in the Swiss media landscape and in politics. The Audience Council of SRG German-speaking Switzerland praised Wille's management skills. She has all the prerequisites to lead SRG successfully into the future.

As an expert on SRG, she is ready to start immediately, said Green National Councillor Michael Töngi (LU) at the request of the Keystone-SDA news agency. GLP National Councillor Katja Christ (BS) is delighted that a strong woman is now at the helm of SRG: "Where there's a will, there's a way!".

The SRG has chosen a person who could be successful in future referendum campaigns on SRG proposals, said Center President and National Councillor Gerhard Pfister (ZG).

SVP party president and National Councillor Marcel Dettling (SZ) emphasized that it was important for SRG to remain down-to-earth and fulfil its basic mandate of providing coverage for all language regions. It should not pursue an expansion into other areas such as online.

The media trade union Schweizer Syndikat Medienschaffender (SSM) urged Wille to be cautious when taking personnel measures and to maintain a better relationship with the trade unions. (SDA)

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