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If he did move, however, Schmidt-Holtz would likely be replaced by Michael Smellie, BMG's COO, who has much of the day-to-day responsibility of running the music division.
IS ROLF ROLLING BACK TO TV?
Rumors Swirling That BMG CEO May Be Headed to RTL; COO Smellie Most Likely Candidate to Take BMG Reins
Wonderers are wondering if Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Chairman/CEO of BMG for the past two years, will be leaving his post to take over at Bertelsmann’s television unit, RTL.

The New York Post reports today that Schmidt-Holtz is a top candidate to run RTL, whose former chief, Didier Bellens, just recently resigned. Surprisingly, Schmidt-Holtz could be named head of RTL as soon as this week, sources told the paper.

Insiders, however, stressed that Schmidt-Holtz is not the only candidate being considered for the RTL job. And, a spokesperson for Schmidt-Holtz said the executive continues to work for BMG.

If he did move, however, Schmidt-Holtz would likely be replaced by Michael Smellie, BMG's COO, who has much of the day-to-day responsibility of running the music division.

Before taking the helm at BMG, Schmidt-Holtz held a number of positions within Bertelsmann, including heading the television division. The 54-year-old executive engineered the merger of Bertelsmann's television properties with Pearson to create RTL.

According to the Post, Bertelsmann likes to move its executives around the company. Insiders said that when former CEO Thomas Middelhoff tapped Schmidt-Holtz to run BMG, it was widely believed within the company that he would hold the position for roughly two years.

During his two years as Chairman/CEO, Schmidt-Holtz has been a very busy man. The longtime German television and magazine executive was officially named Chief Creative Officer at Bertelsmann in January 2001 by the conglom’s then-top dog Middelhoff, who placed Schmidt-Holtz in charge of running the company’s BMG music operations.

Over the course of his tenure, he has made moves that have seen the combination of J and RCA to form the RCA Music Group under industry legend Clive Davis, whom he brought back into the BMG fold. He has allowed Antonio "L.A." Reid to grow into a leading label head at Arista. And, he is overseeing the integration of Jive/Zomba into the BMG group after its acquisition for $2.7 billion last year.

In June 2001, BMG upped Sr. VP Smellie to COO of the company. Smellie previously oversaw BMG’s Asia Pacific Region, a position he had held since 1995.

As COO, Smellie oversees BMG’s Finance, Legal, Business Affairs, Information Systems & Technology, Audit and New Technologies/Strategic Development departments.

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