Central German radio

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Central German radio
Station logo
MDR Logo 2017.svg
General information
Seat: Leipzig
Intendant: Karola will
Radio: MDR Sachsen
MDR Sachsen-Anhalt
MDR Thuringia
MDR Jump
MDR Kultur
MDR Aktuell
MDR Sputnik
MDR Klassik
MDR Schlagerwelt
MDR Tweens
Sorbischer Rundfunk (together with rbb )
MDR Life (formerly)
DT64 (formerly)
Watch TV: MDR television
Sound body: MDR symphony orchestra
MDR radio
choir MDR children's choir
Legal form: Institute of public right
Website: www.mdr.de
Radio Bremen Norddeutscher Rundfunk Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Bayerischer Rundfunk Südwestrundfunk Saarländischer Rundfunk Hessischer Rundfunk Westdeutscher Rundfunk KölnARD Karte.svg
About this picture
MDR headquarters in Leipzig
MDR State Broadcasting House in Dresden
State Broadcasting House Saxony-Anhalt

The Central German Broadcasting ( MDR ) is the national broadcaster for the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the Free States of Saxony and Thuringia (radio, television and Telemedia). It is a member of the ARD and has the legal form of an institution under public law . From 1992 it replaced the radio and television stations of the GDR, which were dissolved in the course of German reunification, in part of their former broadcasting area (Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were taken over by the SFB , ORB and NDR ).

The seat of the establishment was established in accordance with the State Broadcasting Treaty in Leipzig (Saxony). The television center has since been located on the site of the former slaughterhouse in Leipzig-Süd at the end of Kantstrasse.

The radio programs like MDR Jump, MDR Aktuell, MDR Sputnik, MDR Kultur, MDR Klassik and MDR Tweens broadcast from the program management in Halle (Saale) . The state capitals of Dresden , Erfurt and Magdeburg are home to the state broadcasting houses that broadcast independent radio programs as well as daily regional magazines on television ( Sachsenspiegel , Sachsen-Anhalt today , MDR Thuringia Journal ) for the three federal states. MDR Schlagerwelt is produced in the State Broadcasting House of Thuringia. A radio studio used by MDR Klassik and MDR Kultur is also located on Augustusplatz in Leipzig .


Logo from 1992 to 2003
Logo until December 31, 2016
Logo since January 1st, 2017

The Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk has its origins in the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk AG (MIRAG) founded in 1924 . After the introduction of entertainment broadcasting in Germany, this was one of the first large national broadcasting companies . After the DC circuit of broadcasting in the era of National Socialism and the nationalization of Mirag this 1934 became the "realm transmitter Leipzig".

After the end of the Second World War , the Soviet occupying power temporarily licensed “Radio Leipzig” in 1945, which only existed for a few months until the re-establishment of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. In 1946 the new program "Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Sender Leipzig" started in the new Funkhaus Springerstraße . Soon afterwards, the state broadcasters Dresden, Halle and Weimar as well as the studios Chemnitz and Magdeburg were connected to the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk . In this second era of independent Central German broadcasting, the traditional Leipzig radio play production with original broadcasts such as Der brave Soldat Schwejk by Jaroslav Hašek (director: Carl Nagel, with Karl Hellmer , Wolf Kaiser , Maximilian Larsen , June 7, 1950) or Listen, Here Jesus speaks Hackenberger by Walter Karl Schweikert (composition: Curt Beilschmidt, director: Werner Wieland , with Willy A. Kleinau , Robert Aßmann, July 13, 1951) set the accents of the repertoire that were recognized throughout Germany.

In 1952 the GDR was centralized and the five states were replaced by districts. In the course of this, the GDR radio was also standardized and centered in Berlin. Since then, all of the main radio programs of the GDR have been produced in the new Nalepastraße radio station in Berlin-Oberschöneweide . Since then, television programs have only been produced in Berlin-Adlershof.

In September 1952, the “Sender Leipzig” program was simply converted to the “Berlin III” entertainment program. However, the broadcast structure was reorganized as early as August 1953. The programs Deutschlandsender , Berliner Rundfunk and Radio DDR were created . In 1956 the regional program of Radio DDR, "Sender Leipzig", was introduced. In Leipzig, a program window was broadcast for Radio DDR, the broadcasting time of which was gradually increased to up to eleven hours (most recently in 1989) and the radio DDR fair, which was on the air for the spring and autumn fair in Leipzig from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., later until 8 p.m. Regional programs were also produced in the other former large regional studios of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk in Dresden, Halle and Weimar.

In July 1990 a new decentralization took place. Three new regional broadcasters emerged from the state broadcasters, in Saxony “ Sachsen Radio ”, in Saxony-Anhalt “Radio Sachsen-Anhalt” and in Thuringia “Thuringian Broadcasting”, which broadcast until the end of 1991. With the amendment of the State Broadcasting Treaty for the five new states after reunification, the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk (MDR) was founded on May 31, 1991 as a three-state company for the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

The MDR started broadcasting on January 1, 1992 at midnight - immediately after the DFF had finished broadcasting. Actually, the DFF was not allowed to continue transmitting a second after midnight - but a few seconds passed before it actually switched. The MDR image with the sound of the ORB and its director Hansjürgen Rosenbauer was then broadcast for minutes on some stations that were now broadcasting the MDR television program (including Brocken, Dresden) .

The first television director of the MDR was Henning Röhl , the previous editor-in-chief of ARD-aktuell (Tagesschau and Tagesthemen). Since August 27, 1993, the program has also been available across Europe via satellite and since 1992 the MDR has also been participating in the ARD community program.

On January 1, 1992, the three state programs MDR 1 Radio Sachsen , MDR 1 Radio Sachsen-Anhalt and MDR 1 Radio Thuringia , the pop music, service and entertainment program MDR Life , the information program MDR Info , MDR Culture and the DT64 youth program taken over by GDR radio .

In February 1993, MDR moved into its first reconstructed building on the site of the former Leipzig slaughterhouse : the old stock exchange. Many other buildings have been restored and embedded in a new ensemble. The first broadcast from the new MDR headquarters took place on May 14, 2000.

On May 1, 1993, youth radio DT 64 was transferred to the MDR Sputnik program , which had been broadcast via satellite since March 1, 1993. On January 1, 2000, the entertainment program MDR Life was replaced by the new radio program Jump FM , later Jump and now MDR Jump , due to failure . MDR Klassik started on May 6th, 2002. On January 1st, 2004 the cultural program MDR Kultur was renamed MDR Figaro . In the course of this, MDR Figaro's program was also reformed, which, in addition to classical music, also attaches great importance to sophisticated pop music. The renaming was reversed in 2016.

In mid-April 2001, the MDR came under media criticism when reports of possible losses of millions in financial transactions were made. In a public statement by the MDR, the latter denied the allegations of having invested radio license fees in risky securities. Over party lines, state politicians criticized the station's financial conduct.

In October 2015, the press reported about plans by the Thuringian state government, formed by the parties Die Linke , SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , to withdraw from the MDR state treaty and join the HR.

Organization and finance

The general manager , who is appointed by the Broadcasting Council, is responsible for the legal representation and management of the broadcaster . Karola Wille is the director of the MDR. She took office on November 1, 2011.

Her predecessor was Udo Reiter . From 1991 to 2011 he was the first director of the MDR.

Subordinate to Wille are eight directors who are responsible for the following areas:

  • Angela Tomschke - Acting Program Director Leipzig
  • Katja Wildermuth - Program Director Halle (since April 1, 2019, previously Nathalie Wappler Hagen )
  • Sandro Viroli - State Broadcasting House Saxony
  • Elke Lüdecke - State Broadcasting House Saxony-Anhalt
  • Boris Lochthofen - State Broadcasting House Thuringia
  • Ulrich Liebenow - Operations Director
  • Jens-Ole Schröder - Legal Director
  • Ralf Ludwig - Administrative Director

In 2014, the MDR employed an average of 2204 permanent, 1388 employee-like and numerous other freelance workers in various forms of employment.

The total revenue of the MDR from the broadcasting fee, including the returns from the share of the state media authorities in the broadcasting fee, amounted to 622.068 million euros in 2014.

MDR programs

Today the MDR organizes the following television and radio programs:

watch TV

TV channel main emphasis
Independently produced programs
MDR Logo 2017.svg MDR television Full program for Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia in three regional variants for the individual federal states (with a corresponding regional program window)
Community programs under the leadership of the MDR
Kika 2012.svg KiKA Children and youth channels from ARD and ZDF
Delivery to community programs
Das Erste 2014.svg The first Joint program of the ARD stations
One TV Logo.svg One Digital ARD program for young adults
Tagesschau24-2012.svg Tagesschau24 Digital news channel, formerly EinsExtra
Arte Logo 2011.svg Arte German-French cultural program
3sat 2019.svg 3 sat Joint cultural program from ARD, ZDF, ORF and SRG SSR
Phoenix-logo-2018.svg Phoenix Event and documentation channel from ARD and ZDF

Television productions

Former decoration of the program MDR aktuell on the MDR site in Leipzig

Among other things, the MDR produces crime films for the TV series Tatort and Polizeiruf 110 , the successful hospital series In allerfreund , Familie Dr. Kleist and the animal film series Elefant, Tiger & Co. , Adventure Zoo , Germany's Wild Animals and Europe's Wild East , as well as the weekly boulevard magazine Brisant .

The highest ratings of up to 30 percent in the broadcasting area are achieved by MDR television with its daily national magazines Sachsenspiegel , Sachsen-Anhalt heute and MDR Thüringen Journal . The 30-minute news magazines will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. at the same time in regional splitting. This is followed by the news broadcast MDR currently at 7:30 p.m. from Leipzig.

Also popular are the weekday afternoon programs MDR at 2 p.m. from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. the live broadcast MDR at 4 a.m., which is part of the family day-long program . On Sundays at 7:50 p.m., the police asks Kripo live for help. On Mondays, in the show Mach dich ran at 7:50 p.m., daily tasks are solved for viewers who no longer know what to do with problems. The documentary series History of Central Germany and the magazine of the same name enjoyed continued popularity . It was broadcast fortnightly at 9:15 p.m. on MDR television and moderated by Grimme Prize winner Gunter Schoß . Mirko Drotschmann has been moderating the follow-up program MDR Zeitreise since 2015 . So far it is the only history magazine in the ARD broadcasting sector. Axel Bulthaupt has been presenting regions of the transmission area since 2013 in the Sagenhaft series .

The broadcast of the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver 2010 was produced by MDR as the lead broadcaster on behalf of ARD .

In 2011 he was awarded the Rudolf Diesel Medal for “Best Media Communication” in the “Hall of Fame” in the Deutsches Museum in Munich for the inventor magazine Einfach genial .


Radio station main emphasis
MDR country programs
Mdr SACHSEN Logo 2017.png MDR Saxony Oldies-oriented, regional focus on Saxony
Mdr SACHSEN-ANHALT Logo 2017.png MDR Saxony-Anhalt Oldies-oriented, regional focus on Saxony-Anhalt
MDR Thuringia - The Radio Logo 2017.svg MDR Thuringia Oldies-oriented, regional focus on Thuringia
MDR radio
MDR Aktuell Logo October 2016.svg MDR current News and information program (between 1992 and 2016 MDR Info )
MDR JUMP Logo.svg MDR Jump Pop and service wave (formerly MDR Life and Jump )
MDR Klassik Logo 2017.svg MDR Classic ** classical music, cultural reporting
MDR Kultur Logo October 2016.svg MDR culture cultural entertainment program with pop, rock, oldies, jazz and classical music (between 2004 and 2016 MDR Figaro )
Logo MDR SCHLAGERWELT 2016.png MDR Schlagerwelt ** Schlager program with regional words, from September 2, 2016
MDR SPUTNIK Logo 2017.png MDR Sputnik * Youth radio (formerly MDR DT64 )
MDR Tweens ** Children's radio for 8 to 13 year olds
Community programs under the leadership of the MDR
ARD information night News and information program that is produced at night by MDR Aktuell for several ARD radio stations
Special programs
MDR SAKSKA Logo 2017.png Sorbian radio Program in the Sorbian languages, in cooperation with the rbb
Mdr SACHSEN Logo 2017.png MDR Saxony Extra *** Event channel with live broadcasts from the Saxon state parliament as well as full football reports (main program is MDR Saxony )

* only digitally, via cable and on the internet, via VHF only in Leipzig and Saxony-Anhalt, ** only digitally and on the internet, *** only digitally via DAB + , **** only on the internet

Orchestra and choirs of the MDR

MDR symphony orchestra

The MDR Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1915 and transferred to the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1924 ; Kristjan Järvi was chief conductor from 2012 to 2018 .

MDR-Rundfunkchor Leipzig

Founded in 1946 as Rundfunkchor Leipzig , the MDR-Rundfunkchor is today the largest professional concert choir in Germany. The Estonian Risto Joost has been the choir director and artistic director since 2015. From 2020 Philipp Ahmann will take over this task at the MDR radio choir.

MDR children's choir

The MDR children's choir is the only children's choir on the ARD. It was founded in 1948 by Hans Sandig . Since 1990 artistic responsibility for around 120 choir children between the ages of six and 19 has been in the hands of the conductor Gunter Berger . Ulrich Kaiser took over his office from 2011 to 2017 . Alexander Schmitt has been the artistic director of the children's choir since January 1, 2018.


The station organizes the MDR music summer every year and is responsible for an entire season with regular concerts in Leipzig, Magdeburg, Erfurt, Suhl and Weimar.

Television ballet

The MDR was in charge of the former MDR television ballet , which was then the only television ballet in Europe. It emerged in 1992 from the DFF television ballet formed in 1962 and last had 18 members.

MDR broadcasting systems

Transmission mast u. a. for the terrestrial DVBT-2 in Leipzig

The MDR has hardly any transmitters of its own; systems operated by media broadcast are mainly used to distribute the programs . Exceptions are small FM transmitters in the studios in Halle and Leipzig. The DVB-T network has been expanded in the entire transmission area of ​​the MDR since 2008.

Since March 17, 2017, the Leipzig / Halle metropolitan area has been supplied with the new terrestrial DVB-T2 standard from the transmission mast erected in 2015 on Zwickauer Strasse, the tallest inner-city structure in Leipzig at 192 meters.

MDR-Werbung GmbH

The MDR-Werbung GmbH (MDRW) is a 100 percent subsidiary of the MDR. Your area of ​​responsibility lies in the marketing of the advertising time of the television and radio programs of the MDR. The MDRW was founded on August 23, 1991 in Erfurt .


  • 2000: The MDR lost DM 2.6 million in the context of high-risk bonds in Ecuador .
  • 2001: It became known that several z. T. opinion-forming MDR moderators had worked for the state security of the GDR , so u. a. Sabine Hingst, Ingo Dubinski , Frank Liehr or Horst Mempel.
  • 2001: The unusual contract with Stephan Sulke , who brokered a housing project for MDR employees in 1992, became known. Due to the loss of value in the meantime due to the real estate crisis and unnecessary excess capacities, the MDR suffered a loss of around 7.3 million DM as a result of this project.
  • 2005: In the summer of 2005, the sports director Wilfried Mohren was dismissed without notice for surreptitious advertising to the detriment of the MDR.
  • 2009: The Court of Auditors criticized the MDR for securities that had lost value in the wake of the financial crisis.
  • 2010: The KiKa production manager Marco Kirchhof embezzled more than 4.6 million euros at the children's channel (KiKa), which is managed and supervised by the MDR .
  • 2011: MDR entertainment director Udo Foht is said to have repeatedly requested advances in the mid six-digit range for MDR programs from TV production companies - the results of the investigation remained under lock and key, but Foth was dismissed.

Warning strike in September 2017

The employees of the MDR locations in Leipzig, Dresden and Halle went on a warning strike from September 4 to 6, 2017. They demanded salary increases and the family allowance customary in ARD. The strike ensured that the television programs Brisant, MDR at 4 and MDR currently had to be canceled or were broadcast in a very slimmed-down form. Radio operation was also disrupted on September 6th, so MDR AKTUELL briefly broadcast the program from B5 aktuell. The warning strike ended on September 6th.


  • Angelika Gummelt: From the Pleiße to the Saale - A little foray through the history and prehistory of the MDR radio headquarters. Leipzig 2007. A publication of the MDR communication.
  • Hagen Pfau: Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk - radio history (s). Altenburg 2000, ISBN 3-930550-10-5 .
  • Jörg Clemen: Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk - the history of the symphony orchestra. Altenburg 1999, ISBN 3-930550-09-1 .

Web links

Commons : Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. From the foundation to the start of broadcasting. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, June 1, 2011, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  2. Chronicle of the ARD - ORB and MDR start their programs. In: web.ard.de. January 1, 1992, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  3. ↑ Start of broadcasting of MDR Fernsehen 01.01.1992 on YouTube , accessed on November 13, 2018 ..
  4. MDR KULTUR The broadcast started January 1992 on YouTube , accessed on November 13, 2018 ..
  5. The MDR does not "gamble" with fee money ( memento of April 19, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), MDR opinion, April 16, 2001.
  6. Christian Teevs: broadcasting: state politicians criticize financial transactions of the MDR. In: Spiegel Online . April 16, 2009, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  7. Michael Hanfeld: Ramelow wants access to the radio - possible exit of Thuringia from the MDR. In: FAZ.net . October 16, 2015, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  8. Prof. Dr. Karola Wille - General Manager. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, October 26, 2018, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  9. Karola Wille becomes the new director of the MDR ( Memento of October 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  10. ^ Farewell to program director Jacobi. In: mdr. Retrieved July 3, 2020 .
  11. Dr. Katja Wildermuth - Program Director. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, April 1, 2019, accessed April 25, 2019 .
  12. ^ Sandro Viroli - Director of the Landesfunkhaus Sachsen. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, October 28, 2016, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  13. ^ Elke Lüdecke - Director of the State Broadcasting House of Saxony-Anhalt. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, October 28, 2016, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  14. ^ Boris Lochthofen - Director of the Thuringia State Broadcasting House. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, October 28, 2016, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  15. Dr. Ulrich Liebenow - Operations Director -. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, February 28, 2018, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  16. Prof. Dr. Jens-Ole Schröder - Legal Director. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, February 28, 2018, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  17. ^ Ralf Ludwig - Administrative Director. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, February 28, 2018, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  18. MDR Annual Report 2014 ( Memento from January 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 9.1 MB, page 62 ff. And page 80), accessed on January 25, 2016.
  19. Income and expenditure calculation of the MDR 2014 (PDF; 51 kB), accessed on January 25, 2016.
  20. "History of Central Germany" is now MDR ZEITREISE - the face of MDR Zeitreise: Mirko Drotschmann. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, November 2, 2016, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  21. ^ Report from messelive.tv ( memento of October 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), November 30, 2011.
  22. Nomination for diesel medal. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, September 30, 2011, archived from the original on October 14, 2011 ; Retrieved September 28, 2012 .
  23. Award ceremony for MDR presenter and author Ulrike Nitzschke ( memento from June 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), November 30, 2011.
  24. ^ Biography of Philipp Ahmann. Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  25. biography of Alexander Schmitt. Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  26. MDR sells the television ballet. Thüringer Allgemeine , February 7, 2012, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  27. MDR advertising homepage. In: mdr-werbung.de. Retrieved November 13, 2018 .
  28. Hans-Jürgen Jakobs and Andreas Wassermann: Real estate: "The great Reibach" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 5 , 2001 ( online - Jan. 29, 2001 ).
  29. MDR: "Absolute Hammer" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 28 2001, ( Online - 9 July 2001 ).
  30. MDR denies gambling with license fees. In: handelsblatt.com . April 16, 2009, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  31. KiKA scandal: MDR boss Wille shuts down chief controller Gehler. In: SZ-Online. December 21, 2012, archived from the original on November 13, 2018 ; accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  32. Steffen Grimberg: Public television: Always trouble with the Schunkelsender. In: taz.de . August 9, 2011, accessed November 13, 2018 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 18 ′ 57.8 ″  N , 12 ° 23 ′ 6.2 ″  E