The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) has announced the appointment of Hannes Aigelsreiter as the new sports director, replacing Hans-Peter Trost, who is retiring from the position after many years. Aigelsreiter, who previously worked as ORF radio editor-in-chief, is set to take over on March 1.
The appointment of Aigelsreiter is regarded as a significant move for the financially important and popular sports sector. As head of sport, the 58-year-old will be tasked with setting up a main multimedia department comprising television, radio, and online platforms.
Aigelsreiter was born on April 16, 1964, in Lilienfeld in Lower Austria and has been with ORF since 1989. He began his career as a reporter and editor in the state studio of Lower Austria and subsequently worked as a television reporter for “Welcome Austria” in the mid-1990s. In 1997, he joined the radio domestic policy department, and in 2002, he was promoted to head of the domestic policy department of the “Information” radio department. In 2011, he was appointed as Ö1 info chief before being named radio editor-in-chief at ORF in 2012.
Aigelsreiter’s appointment at the time was also considered a bourgeois personnel request for the re-election of ex-ORF general director Alexander Wrabetz. With his extensive experience in journalism and broadcasting, he is expected to bring new ideas and perspectives to the ORF sports department.
Aigelsreiter’s appointment comes at a time when two of the three editor-in-chief positions in the multimedia ORF newsroom are vacant. Last year, ORF-TV-News editor-in-chief Matthias Schrom resigned from his position after being implicated in chats with ex-FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache. Schrom will now lead the “Smart Producing” project alongside Stefan Kollinger, evaluating modern, cost-reducing production methods for existing and future multimedia program initiatives.
Another former ORF executive, Robert Ziegler, who faced serious allegations of influencing the ÖVP during his time as editor-in-chief of ORF-Lower Austria, has been appointed to the “Facility Management and Corporate Social Responsibility” department. There, he is expected to oversee the expansion of accessibility and inclusion in the ORF.
The ORF is Austria’s largest public service broadcaster and is mandated to provide comprehensive news and sports coverage to the country’s citizens. With Aigelsreiter’s appointment, the organization looks set to continue providing high-quality, engaging sports content to audiences across the country.