Michael Schmid-Ospach, successor to Dieter Kosslick as executive director of German regional funding board, Filmstiftung NRW, has called on leading commercial broadcaster RTL to join public TV stations WDR and ZDF as shareholders in the funding body.

Speaking this week ahead of officially taking up his post on May 1, Schmid-Ospach declared that it was "extremely urgent" that RTL came onboard and that the absence of the Cologne-based channel "as the market leader and with headquarters in this federal state, hurts in particular".

The involvement of the private TV stations in the $32m (DM 70m) fund is clearly high on Schmid-Ospach's agenda. Last autumn, as his appointment was announced, he declared that "a film funding programme cannot really be successful in the long term without the commercial stations' involvement".

Before taking up the executive director post at the Filmstiftung, Schmid-Ospach had been head of arts programming at WDR and a regular presenter of ARD's arts magazine programme Kulturweltspiegel as well as chairman of the Filmstiftung's supervisory board.