Bertelsmann chairman Thomas Middelhoff has been voted the most important player in Germany's media scene in a survey in German magazine TV Today. Leo Kirch came a distant second with 355 to Middelhoff's 435 points. Third place went to Spiegel publisher Rudolf Augstein.

Other notable players named were EM.TV's Thomas Haffa (4), state minister of culture Michael Naumann (9), producer and Constantin chairman Bernd Eichinger (14) and RTL's Helmut Thoma (17).

Amongst entertainers, German talk show host Harald Schmidt topped the list, while internationally known actors and directors such as Tom Tykwer (6), Wim Wenders (8), Franka Potente (9) and Roland Emmerich (15) were relegated to the sidelines.

The jury consisted of 23 German media experts, most of them journalists covering the media.