Herbert G. Kloiber mixed arts, TV biz from an early age for a vertically integrated group.

Author:Serafini, Dom
Position:Int'l TV Distribution Hall of Fame

Herbert G. Kloiber single-handedly revolutionized German and European television with a vertically integrated company: Tele Munchen Gruppe, involved in production, broadcasting, international program sales, theater ownership and film distribution.

In his 46-year career, Kloiber has been in partnership with virtually every major player in the television industry worldwide.

It can be said that vertical integration in the U.S. television industry began in 1993 with the repeal of the so-called Fin-Syn rule, which was established in 1970.

In fact, 1970 was the year in which Herbert Georg Kloiber (generally known as Dr. Kloiber) entered the German entertainment sector and, with hindsight, it could be said the seed of vertical integration was already ingrained in his mind.

Kloiber made his first appearance in the international television distribution business at MIP-TV 1970, when he was 23 years old. In effect, he's the youngest of the world's international TV distribution pioneers, yet still one of the oldest MIP-TV participants.

German pioneer TV producer and distributor Reiner Moritz recounts how the proprietor of Tele Munchen Gruppe (TMG), one of Germany's largest media holdings, ended up owning a vertically integrated TV production, distribution and broadcasting business: "Late in the 1960s at the Palace Hotel in Montreux during the Rose d'Or Festival, I made a bet with David Attenborough that he would step down as controller of BBC-2 when I had my PhD and I would quit the Kirch Group, which I did in 1969 as he had simultaneously done at the BBC. Since a successor for me was needed at Kirch Group, Herbert von Karajan, with whom Leo Kirch jointly owned the Swiss production company Cosmotel, mentioned to both me and Leo a young aspiring Herbert Kloiber, his godson."

In 1970, the same year that Kloiber received his law degree from the University of Vienna--his birthplace--he started at Beta-Taurus, the combined company that Leo Kirch had founded in 1959 as Beta Film, and Taurus Film in 1963. Four years later Kloiber was named managing director of Unitel, a producer and distributor of classical music founded by Kirch in 1959.

But let's return to Moritz's recollections: "Herbert comes from an old well-to-do Viennese family. His father, an industrialist, held two PhDs and died in 1987, while working on his third, which dealt with French and Catalan influence on the language of the inhabitants of Mallorca. His mother, who recently died at the age of...

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