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Matthias Dang named Media Man of the Year
Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology and Data Officer at RTL Deutschland, has been named ‘Media Man of the Year’ by German trade magazine Horizont.

Media Man of the Year

Matthias received the prestigious ‘Mann des Jahres 2023’ (Man of the Year 2023) award for outstanding achievements in the ‘Media’ category during the Horizont Congress in Berlin on 27 June 2024. Horizont has been presenting the award – which recognises individuals who demonstrate entrepreneurial courage, successfully manage brands and media, and realise new ideas – annually since 1983.

Matthias Dang, who has decided to step down from his position as Chief Commercial, Technology and Data Officer at the beginning of 2025, has been with RTL Deutschland for over 30 years. According to the jury, Matthias Dang has established strategic partnerships for advertising sales, technology and streaming at an early stage, thereby driving the digital transformation of the TV business.

“Ad Alliance, which was built up by Matthias Dang, is now the largest cross-media advertising sales house in Germany,” continued the jury. The jury also highlighted how Matthias, over the years, has put his heart and soul into offering the German market real alternatives to US platforms – such as the launch of the RTL+ multimedia app in August 2023. “Through such visions, trust in his own strengths and constant belief in the power of TV, Matthias Dang has succeeded in transforming RTL Deutschland into a company that is well positioned for the future,” concluded the jury.

In interview: Matthias on his career, challenges and the future

“I feel an extremely deep connection to RTL,” says Matthias in an interview with Horizont. In the in-depth interview, he discusses his career steps, challenges, future plans, and how his former career as a handball referee has helped him in the past. “I’ve spent my entire professional career here,” continues Matthias in the interview. “But of course there is a life after that for me too. […] Our media world in particular is changing so quickly that you can’t take yourself too seriously.”

“Relevance to people is our heartbeat and our brain at the same time,” explains Matthias regarding the various crises he has helped RTL Deutschland to navigate during his career: the dotcom crisis, the economic and financial crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine and the Middle East. “Fully focusing on this and, if necessary, cutting old habits, is one of the few positive consequences of the now almost constant mood of crisis. For every media company, constant change has become the norm.”

In the interview, Matthias also praises the “great and trusting working relationship” he has with Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group. “We had the same opinion on the future strategic direction of RTL Deutschland right from the start,” explains Matthias. “And we are now seeing these successes. We are optimally positioned in terms of both management and content in linear and digital – this gives me a really good feeling as I say goodbye.”

Regarding the future, Matthias plans to “make a cut and completely turn my attention to other topics”. These topics include travelling, lecturing at universities and supporting social projects in Africa – to name a few examples he has in mind. “This is very close to my heart,” explains Matthias.

And finally: Congratulations, Matthias!

“RTL is Dang, and Dang is RTL,” says Stephan Schmitter, CEO of RTL Deutschland, in a video celebrating Matthias Dang’s career and achievement as ‘Media Man of the Year’. Stephan is joined by other colleagues from RTL Deutschland and key players from the German media industry to congratulate Matthias for his outstanding achievements. Congratulations, Matthias!


Oliver Fahlbusch

Executive Vice President Communications & Investor Relations, RTL Group

+352 / 24 86 5200

Irina Mettner-Isfort

Vice President Media & Investor Relations

+49 221 456 56410