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Off the Fence B.V. gets dual leadership: Ralf Rückauer becomes Co-CEO

Mainz, 26th February 2019

Ralf Rückauer, VP ZDFE.unscripted of ZDF Enterprises, will share the position of CEO with of Off the Fence B.V. company founder Ellen Windemuth with immediate effect. The news was announced by Fred Burcksen, President and CEO of ZDF Enterprises GmbH.

ZDF Enterprises GmbH announced earlier this year that it had signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Off the Fence B.V., a leading non-fiction content company based in the Netherlands. The Off the Fence Group was founded in 1994 and produces and distributes outstanding documentaries and series on a global scale.

Fred Burcksen, spokesman for ZDF Enterprises management, added: “Ralf Rückauer is a proven expert in unscripted programming and has an excellent global network of long-standing industry contacts. He is the perfect person to represent ZDF Enterprises and work with the Off the Fence B.V. team to advance our collective cause”.

After completing his degree in film and television studies, Ralf Rückauer initially held positions in film production before heading up the format development laboratory of ZDF’s Das kleine Fernsehspiel editorial department from 1999. Ralf Rückauer has been with ZDF Enterprises since 2003, always focusing on  factual programming. In 2012 he was appointed Head of Sales, one year later Vice President of ZDFE.factual and since the beginning of 2018, he has been Vice President of ZDFE.unscripted. He will continue in this role alongside his duties at Off the Fence.

“Sharing the position of CEO with Ellen is a huge honour”, Rückauer says.”I am delighted about the trust that’s been placed in me and am looking forward to my new role. I have been working with Ellen Windemuth and Off the Fence for over 15 years. Now we're jointly leading a very young and international sales and production team that couldn’t be better positioned.”


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a commercial subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned TV broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the worldwide sale of programs, the making of international coproductions, the acquisition of licenses as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for the ZDF, and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the German and international stage. Bound into a strong group, the company manages the largest German-language stock of programs in the world and, next to this, a continuously growing portfolio of international productions consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. In the course of the development and diversification process carried out up to now, many business fields in the television and media domains were made accessible in the ZDF Enterprises group. Thus ZDF Enterprises can provide a comprehensive, full-service offering today, and covers every step in the chain of origin and exploitation of successful TV programs, from development to production and up to the marketing of TV licenses, merchandising rights, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Fax: +49 6131-9912130 e-mail: ;


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany


Ralf Rückauer, VP ZDFE.unscripted of ZDF Enterprises