Bernd Thiemann has replaced Nickolaus Becker as supervisory chairman at the beleaguered German entertainment concern EM.TV & Merchandising.Thiemann is a former chairman of DG Bank.

Becker, who had clashed with EM.TV's founder Thomas Haffa on the share deal with the KirchGroup, left the company on March 31.

EM.TV's supervisory board will also be extended to six members from the present three with the appointment of corporate consultant Roland Berger, media lawyer Ronald Frohne and Klaus Hallig, president of the KirchGroup's US subsidiary International Television Trade Corp.

Meanwhile, EM.TV official have rejected reports in this week's Der Spiegel magazine suggesting that the licence trader and merchandising giant will post losses for the last financial year of $277m (DM600m) instead of the originally anticipated 162m (DM350m).

Commenting on the Spiegel report, a spokeswoman declared that "that is speculation which we cannot confirm because the figures are not yet available to us". The Deutsche Boerse recently granted the company an extension to the deadline by which it must file its 2000 figures.