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Station logo
SWR umbrella brand.svg
General information
Seat: Stuttgart
Intendant: Kai Gniffke
Radio: SWR1
SWR2 Archive radio
SWR Aktuell
SWR cont.ra (former)
SWR Info (former)
Watch TV: SWR television
Sound body: SWR Symphony Orchestra
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
SWR Big Band
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern (together with SR )
SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg (former)
SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra (former)
Legal form: Institute of public right
Website: www.swr.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
Funkhaus Stuttgart
Funkhaus Mainz
Radio station Baden-Baden
The current SWR logo since November 2015
An old color variant of the station logo
Logo of the SWR until February 28, 2011

The Südwestrundfunk ( SWR ) is a country broadcaster with three main sites in Baden-Baden , Mainz and Stuttgart , the latter serves as the seat. The media company, founded in 1998, is the third largest broadcasting company of the ARD after the WDR and the NDR and, as an institution under public law, is responsible for the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate .


The SWR was created on January 1st, 1998 as a new foundation by the two federal states. On August 30, 1998, he took over the broadcasting operations of SDR and SWF . After a one-month winding-up phase, the SWR also became the legal successor of its predecessor institutions on October 1. The state governments had preferred this way to a mere merger of two institutions, as was practiced around 2003 when the SFB and ORB merged to form the RBB . The State Treaty on Südwestrundfunk had already been signed on May 31, 1997. In the State Treaty, the obligation to objectivity and plurality of its reporting as well as the cultural mandate of public broadcasting are anchored.

In 1998, the station's director was the then acting director of the SWF, Peter Voss . On December 1, 2006, the previous administrative director Peter Boudgoust was elected as artistic director. He led the office from May 1, 2007 to August 31, 2019. He was succeeded by the current director Kai Gniffke .

The way to merger

The special south-west German broadcasting case was ended by the merger. Until 1998, Baden-Württemberg was the only German federal state to have two different state broadcasters for the northern and southern parts of the state - one of which was also responsible for another federal state. This special case was historically justified: the SWF was founded after the Second World War as a transmitter for the French zone of occupation with the states of Baden , Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Rhineland-Palatinate , the SDR for the state of Württemberg-Baden of the American zone of occupation . In 1952, the states of Baden, Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern and Wuerttemberg-Baden merged to form the new state of Baden-Wuerttemberg , without changing the responsibility for broadcasting.

While both broadcasters (and Saarländische Rundfunk (SR)) cooperated closely on television and from 1968 also on cultural radio programs (SWF 2, SDR 2, SR 2) from the beginning, the cooperation in the rest of radio was limited to individual community broadcasts. Different corporate cultures and program philosophies as well as the fact that in a large part of Baden-Württemberg both the SWF and SDR programs were receivable and used, led to competition between the two institutions and sometimes open solicitation for “foreign listeners”. The competitive relationship between the makers and listeners of the two pop waves SWF3 and SDR 3 was particularly pronounced .

Various scenarios for a reorganization of broadcasting in the southwest have been discussed since the 1970s. Two models were in the foreground, on the one hand the merger of SDR, SWF and SR to form a three-country broadcaster based on the model of the North German Broadcasting Corporation , and on the other hand the dissolution of the Südwestfunk with the expansion of SDR responsibility to all of Baden-Württemberg and that of the SR around Rhineland-Palatinate. Since there was considerable resistance to each of these two models - one was too large to be a three-country broadcaster, the other was too small to have a radio station only for Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland - the status quo was retained. In 1988, the then Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Lothar Späth, launched the first initiative to merge SDR and SWF without the involvement of Saarland. This approach failed, but in 1991 SDR and SWF were obliged to merge their two cultural programs ( SDR 2 and SWF 2 became S2 Kultur ) and to create a joint fourth radio program for Baden-Württemberg ( S4 Baden-Württemberg ). The cooperation with the SR in the radio sector was unilaterally terminated, but continued in the television sector. In 1997, the jointly organized youth radio program DASDING , which was initially only broadcast on DAB digital radio, started .

After the state elections in 1996, both directors (Peter Voss, Hermann Fünfgeld ) and both prime ministers ( Erwin Teufel , Kurt Beck ) started a new merger initiative, which resulted in the 1997 State Treaty on Südwestrundfunk. Especially in the SDR broadcasting area and in the SDR itself, the State Treaty was criticized in many ways because it was interpreted as a hostile takeover of the SDR by the SWF. In fact, after the merger, most of the institute's central facilities were concentrated in the former SWF headquarters in Baden-Baden, and most management positions were filled with former SWF staff without an advertisement for the positions in question or an election. The new radio programs of the SWR were much more oriented towards the former ones of the SWF than of those of the SDR.

Since the merger

As a result of the merger, two national broadcasters were set up in SWR with extensive powers and their own structures. Specialist editorial offices, especially those of the SDR, were dismantled, and numerous correspondent offices were reopened in the broadcast area. Accordingly, subject-specific specialist programs were reduced on both radio and television and regional reporting was increased.

In 2000, the SWR was allowed to use FM frequencies for its youth program DASDING , which it was forbidden until then. 2002 SWR launched its information program SWR cont.ra . In 2005 the SWR took over responsibility for the digital television program EinsPlus from the RBB . Between 2006 and 2008, SWR converted terrestrial television broadcasting from the old analog standard PAL to the new digital standard DVB-T . In 2011, SWR started broadcasting its radio programs in the DAB + digital standard . On January 9, 2012, SWR cont.ra was replaced by SWRinfo .

Since April 30, 2012, SWR television can be received in high definition HDTV via satellite, the analog satellite signal has been switched off.

In 2007 Peter Boudgoust succeeded Peter Voss as artistic director, and in 2011 Boudgoust was re-elected. Under Boudgoust, the SWR pursued a consistent austerity course; The two symphony orchestras were merged and a quarterly cut in the budget for the SWR2 cultural program by 2020 compared to 2010 was announced.

On May 23, 2019, Kai Gniffke was elected to succeed Peter Boudgoust.

Organization and finance

Control bodies Broadcasting and administrative board

Südwestrundfunk is controlled by a 74-strong broadcasting council , the composition of which is made up of representatives of socially and politically relevant interest groups from the two federal states. In particular, the Broadcasting Council also monitors compliance with the program principles. He advises the artistic director on general program matters.

In contrast, the 18-person board of directors oversees the management with regard to administrative and financial matters and determines the budget and the annual financial statements. The Broadcasting Council elects 10 members of the Board of Directors. The state parliaments and state governments of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate send three additional members of the board of directors to each state. The staff council sends two further members, one from each country. Hans-Albert Stechl has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors since September 16, 2011 . Membership in the Broadcasting Council and the Board of Directors is remunerated with a fixed monthly expense allowance and attendance fees.

Intendancy and direction

Seat of directorship , managing director and country stations Directorate Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart, the television and radio Directorate and the Directorate of Engineering and Production are based in Baden-Baden, and the legal department and the provincial stations Directorate Rheinland-Pfalz is located in Mainz.

The director reports to seven directors who are responsible for the following areas of activity (place of employment in brackets):

  • Jan Büttner: Administration (Stuttgart)
  • Clemens Bratzler : Program Director Information, Sport, Film, Service & Entertainment (Baden-Baden)
  • Anke Mai: Program Director Culture, Knowledge & Young Formats (Baden-Baden)
  • Stefanie Schneider: State broadcaster Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart)
  • Simone Schelberg : State broadcaster Rhineland-Palatinate (Mainz)
  • Hermann Eicher: Legal Office (Mainz)
  • Michael Eberhard: Technology and Production (Baden-Baden)


From 2006 onwards, the SWR had a total of around 3,650 permanent employees (in August 1998 there were over 4,200), plus an unquantified number of freelance employees without a permanent position. On average for 2018, the SWR employed 3582 people.

The total personnel expenses of the SWR including pension expenses in 2014 amounted to 503.537 million euros. The gross salary of the artistic director in 2013 was around 309,000 euros; in 2018 his salary was 356,000 euros.


The SWR's contribution income from the broadcasting fee including the return flows from the state media authorities' share of the broadcasting fee:

year Premium income Return flows from media companies Total premium income source
2013 € 987,574,064.73 € 8,018,927.04 € 995,592,991.77
2014 € 1,060,649,239.32 € 8,782,933.83 € 1,069,432,173.15
2015 € 1,030,625,236.87 € 8,565,582.55 € 1,039,190,819.42
2016 € 1,012,754,398.18 € 7,823,571.82 € 1,020,577,970.00
2017 € 1,000,986,890.59 € 7,747,643.77 € 1,008,734,534.36
2018 € 1,023,455,834.97 € 7,989,353.47 € 1,031,445,188.44

Subsidiaries of the SWR

The following companies belong to SWR-Holding GmbH, which takes on the management and management of the company:

  • Bavaria Film GmbH - film and television production company
  • The Audio Verlag GmbH - production and distribution of sound carriers
  • Fernsehturm Betriebs GmbH - Operation of the viewing platform and restaurant of the Stuttgart TV tower
  • House of Documentary Film e. V. - Association for the scientific study of documentary films
  • Maran Film GmbH - film production company (dissolved in 2015)
  • Popakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH - SWR is a founding partner of the first German Popakademie in Mannheim.
  • Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele gGmbH - organizer of the annual festival since 1952
  • Südfunk Wirtschaftsbetriebe GmbH - Lease of the "Parkhotel Stuttgart" (demolished in 2006)
  • SWR Media Services GmbH GB - advertising and sponsoring in the radio and television programs of the SWR
  • Telepool GmbH - international distribution of productions from SWR and other public broadcasters
  • TR-Verlagsunion GmbH - publisher of accompanying materials


Studio Mannheim-Ludwigshafen

While the state programs SWR1 and SWR4 are mostly produced in Stuttgart and Mainz, the cross-state programs SWR2, SWR3, DASDING and SWR Aktuell are created in Baden-Baden. The TV editorial offices for culture and entertainment as well as the technology and production department are also located here. In addition to state-specific editorial offices, the Funkhaus Stuttgart with the headquarters of the artistic director and the sports editorial office, as well as the Funkhaus Mainz with the legal department and the online editorial office, also perform transnational tasks. The children's aid campaign Herzenssache , based in the SWR Funkhaus Mainz, is the official donation and participation campaign of SWR, Saarländischer Rundfunk and Sparda-Bank, which supports children in need in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

In addition to the three broadcasting houses in Stuttgart , Mainz and Baden-Baden, SWR also maintains studios in Baden-Württemberg in Friedrichshafen (with regional offices in Biberach , Konstanz and Ravensburg ), Freiburg im Breisgau (with regional offices in Lörrach , Offenburg , Villingen-Schwenningen and Waldshut- Tiengen ), Heilbronn (regional offices in Schwäbisch Hall and Tauberbischofsheim ), Karlsruhe (regional office in Pforzheim ), Tübingen (with regional office in Albstadt-Ebingen) and Ulm (regional office in Aalen ); Rhineland-Palatinate studios in Mainz (regional offices Bad Kreuznach and Worms ), Mannheim - Ludwigshafen (with regional offices in Landau and Mosbach - Buchen ), Kaiserslautern , Koblenz (regional offices Bad-Neuenahr - Ahrweiler , Hachenburg ), Trier (regional offices Gerolstein , Traben-Trarbach ).

In addition, two television correspondents and eight radio correspondents from Berlin and one radio correspondent from Bonn (formerly a studio at Heinrich-Brüning-Strasse 16 ) report for the SWR .


The SWR organizes a joint television program for Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate and eight radio programs.

The flagships of SWR television are the two state shows for Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. Overall, state content makes up 30 percent of the television program, 70 percent comes from the joint program from Baden-Baden. This common coat is also taken over by the SR television of the Saarländischer Rundfunk , which contributes individual broadcasts to the coat. In addition, SWR produced the TV program EinsPlus for ARD-digital until September 30, 2016 , and for radio from October 1, 2016 .

In addition, the SWR is involved in other community television programs via the ARD ( Das Erste : SWR share: 18.2 percent; Phoenix , KiKA , ARTE , 3sat , One , tagesschau24 ). Via its DVB-T offer, it broadcasts the third TV programs from BR , hr and WDR in its broadcast area in addition to its own and cooperation programs .

In radio, the SWR produces two state radio programs for Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate: one edition each of SWR1 , a radio program that mainly plays oldies and soft pop music, and one edition of SWR4 , which mainly plays pop music. Regional program windows run on both SWR programs. For the evening and night programs, the two state programs of SWR1 on the one hand and SWR4 on the other hand are interconnected. In addition, the SWR produces four national programs: the cultural program SWR2 , the pop radio SWR3 , the youth wave DASDING and the news radio SWR Aktuell .

In addition to its eight main programs, the SWR broadcasts various audio streams on the Internet that consist of automated repetitions of individual radio broadcasts. The most prominent offer here is the SWR2 archive radio (“The Knowledge Documentation Channel on the Internet”).


Like most West German ARD stations, the SWR operates its own network for broadcasting its radio and television programs. Private radio programs are also broadcast via this from individual locations. In addition, other operators of radio services such as mobile phone providers or authorities often use the SWR's transmission systems. In addition, the SWR uses other transmission systems operated by the private company Media Broadcast .

Switching off the medium wave in 2012

To save money, when SWRinfo started broadcasting, SWR's medium-wave transmitters , on which the SWR cont.ra program was broadcast until January 8, 2012, were switched off . The Südwestrundfunk justifies the shutdown with the power consumption, which is much higher with a medium wave transmitter than with a digital radio tower. By switching off the medium wave, the technical range of the transmitter is reduced , as the digital radio stations do not yet cover all of southwest Germany.

Orchestra and choirs

In 2012, the SWR employed around 300 musicians in three regional radio orchestras. The SWR financed and maintained five of its own formations and a sixth in cooperation. These were the two symphony orchestras that the SWR took over from its two predecessors, the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra of the SWF and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra of the SWR of the SDR. These two orchestras were merged into the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart in 2016/17 . While the SWF symphony orchestra was best known for its interpretations of new music and the Donaueschinger Musiktage , the SDR symphony orchestra made a name for itself through the Schwetzingen Festival . The chief conductors of the Baden-Baden orchestra were, among others, Hans Rosbaud , Ernest Bour and Michael Gielen , while Hans Müller-Kray and Sergiu Celibidache are formative leaders of the Stuttgart counterpart .

The SWR has taken over two more ensembles from the SDR: The former Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart now appears as the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart , and the Südfunk-Tanzorchester , which was directed by Erwin Lehn for many years , now operates as the SWR Big Band . The SWF, on the other hand, provided the SWR experimental studio founded in 1970 by Heinrich Strobel , an important center for new and experimental music.

The Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern was created in 2007 from the merger of the SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern , founded in 1951 by Emmerich Smola , which was known for high-quality light music and light classical music, with the SR Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken , and has been run jointly by SR and SWR ever since.

In addition, editors and presenters of various SWR radio waves operate unofficial bands: The SWR1-Band (formerly SWR1 Allstars) is a cover band in the SWR1 music format and the first "radio band" of the SWR, in which SWR1 moderators and music editors play, including Matthias Holtmann , Hans-Peter Zachary, Stephan Randecker and Frieder Berlin . The singers are the SWR1 jingle singers Moman and Britta Medeiros. Another cover band is the SWR3 band , in which several SWR3 moderators play. This also applies to the SWR4 band , in which several moderators and editors from SWR4 Baden-Württemberg participate. These include Rainer Nitschke , Sabine Petrich and Tichina Vaughn. The basic cast also includes Rolf-Dieter Fröschlin, Wolfgang Gutmann, Helmut Link, Karlheinz Link and Peter Schönfeld.


The SWR operates a website at the address "SWR.de" . The general manager is Kai Gniffke, the main SWR.Online department is headed by Jürgen Ebenau. The Internet content for radio and television programs on the SWR and the SWR.de news are the responsibility of the relevant program directorates.

A separate media library was operated at the address "swrmediathek.de" , in which video and audio streaming offers were made available. The offers have been available in the ARD media library since August 19, 2019 .

Tasks in the ARD

SWR is in charge of coordinating the two joint programs 3sat and ARTE as well as the ARD website ARD.de. Seat of ARTE Germany TV GmbH is Baden-Baden, seat of ARD.de in Mainz. SWR was also in charge of the EinsPlus digital channel . Since October 1, 2016, SWR has been in charge of the successor offer funk .

The SWR maintains the following foreign studios as part of ARD international reporting:


watch TV


In September 2013, the Otto Brenner Foundation (OBS) published a study that examined the TV programs of the SWR and NDR . In the foreword to the study - which was written by the managing director of OBS - the assertion is made that it ascertains a “tabloidization” of the broadcasting corporations, which has reached a “level that roughly corresponds to that of private competition”. For example, broadcasting is only maintained through high repetition rates, while the information shares are actually significantly lower than specified.

SWR and NDR criticized this representation. The evaluations in the foreword of the Otto Brenner study had no evidence in the study written by Joachim Trebbe himself. In a press release, however, the foundation rejected the accusation of a one-sided interpretation.

In January 2016, the SWR temporarily decided to forego the participation of smaller parties in the scheduled elephant round (on the occasion of the state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate ) after the SPD and the Greens announced that they would not participate, provided that the top candidates of the AfD to be invited. The SWR therefore reduced its elephant group to parties with seats in the state parliament . As a result, in addition to the AfD, Die Linke and the FDP were also unloaded. CDU top candidate Julia Klöckner therefore did not want to appear in the elephant group. According to the SWR itself, after an appeal by the SWR director Peter Boudgoust, all parties decided to participate in the originally planned format.

Web links

Commons : Südwestrundfunk  - collection of pictures

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Logos of the SWR , accessed on December 22, 2015.
  2. Uwe Mantel: " " Confess color ": The SWR has a new design ", DWDL.de, March 1, 2011.
  3. State Treaty on Southwest Broadcasting , accessed on March 11, 2015.
  4. New SWR director: Kai Gniffke takes over the helm. Retrieved September 2, 2019 .
  5. ^ Chronicle of the ARD , accessed on March 11, 2015.
  6. See NPFlechsig (Ed.) Commentary on the SWR State Treaty, Nomos-Verlag 1997
  7. SWR: Strategic savings course instead of lawn mower method , horizont.net of July 2, 2010, accessed on January 7, 2012.
  8. Südwestrundfunk: Kai Gniffke is the new SWR director . ISSN  0174-4909 ( faz.net [accessed May 23, 2019]).
  9. ^ The members of the Broadcasting Council. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  10. ^ The members of the Board of Directors. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  11. a b State Treaty on Südwestrundfunk , on SWR.de, accessed on March 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Organization: SWR bodies. In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  13. SWR Board of Directors elects new chairman. Retrieved January 18, 2019 .
  14. Regulation of expense allowances and attendance fees. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  15. a b SWR locations , on SWR.de, accessed on March 11, 2015.
  16. Management 8/8 , on SWR.de, accessed on March 15, 2016.
  17. a b SWR Annual Report 2018 Annual Financial Statements 2018 Notes 2018. (PDF; 502 kB) In: swr.de. P. 11/12 , accessed December 8, 2019 .
  18. ard.de: Income and expenditure account of the SWR 2014 (PDF; 51.3 KB), accessed on January 12, 2016
  19. Article on the income of broadcasting directors in: HNA from July 30, 2014, accessed on January 12, 2016
  20. SWR Annual Report 2013 Annual Financial Statements 2013 Profit and Loss Account 2013. (PDF; 75 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  21. SWR Annual Report 2014 Annual Financial Statements 2014 Income Statement 2014. (PDF; 25 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  22. SWR Annual Report 2015 Annual Financial Statements 2015 Profit and Loss Account 2015. (PDF; 25 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  23. SWR Annual Report 2016 Annual Financial Statements 2016 Income Statement 2016. (PDF; 40 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  24. SWR Annual Report 2017 Annual Financial Statements 2017 Profit and Loss Account 2017. (PDF; 27 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved February 15, 2019 .
  25. SWR Annual Report 2018 Annual Financial Statements 2018 Profit and Loss Account 2018. (PDF; 36 kB) In: swr.de. Retrieved December 8, 2019 .
  26. Heidi Keller: The end of the medium wave. Answers from SWR radio editor-in-chief Arthur Landwehr . January 4, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  27. Sven Prange, Claudia Schumacher: Der Subventionsstadl . In: Handelsblatt , No. 65, March 30, 2012, pp. 64–69.
  28. Imprint. In: swr.de. January 13, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  29. The SWR media library has moved! In: swr.de. August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019 .
  30. https://www.swr.de/unternehmen/organisation/standorte/Auslandsstudios-Korrespondenten-weltweit,auslandsstudios-100.html Correspondents worldwide, accessed on December 29, 2018
  31. Der Spiegel : Third TV programs: Human things instead of information , from September 29, 2013
  32. ^ OBS: Between Boulevard and Ratgeber-TV. A comparative program analysis by SWR and NDR ( Memento from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved January 28, 2013
  33. SWR: Study confirms SWR television high information content , from October 1, 2013
  34. ^ Horizon: Study: NDR and SWR contradict allegation of tabloidization , from October 2, 2013
  35. OBS: Sender information on the information content is misleading. Otto Brenner Foundation rejects one-sided interpretation ( memento from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), from October 8, 2013
  36. The AfD must stay outside ; FAZ; January 19, 2016, by MICHAEL HANFELD
  37. swr.de - SWR director Peter Boudgoust appeals to parties from January 21, 2016, accessed on February 1, 2016
  38. swr.de - After the SWR appeal: Elefantenrunde with all relevant parties on SWR television in Rhineland-Palatinate on January 27, 2016, accessed on February 1, 2016

Coordinates: 48 ° 47 '36.4 "  N , 9 ° 12' 11.2"  E