After the deposition of Archbishop Johann Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach-Kulmbach after the Schmalkaldic War, Frederick was appointed as new Archbishop to prevent the annexation of Magdeburg by Saxony. His appointment was confirmed by the Pope in 1551. Frederick died the next year.
His splendid household had cost 20.000 Guilders in the 25 weeks he ruled.
First, his death was kept secret, which strengthened the rumors he had been poisoned. He was succeeded by his half-brother Sigismund of Brandenburg.