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Infobox radio tower icon
Station logo
Radio station ( public law )
Program type EL , oldie-based AC
reception analog and digital terrestrial , cable , satellite , live stream
Reception area North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
Start of transmission January 1, 1984
Broadcaster West German Broadcasting Cologne
Intendant Tom Buhrow
Program director Jochen Rausch
List of radio stations

WDR 4 is a public radio broadcaster in North Rhine-Westphalia . WDR 4 serves as the entertainment wave of the WDR and has been aimed at a target group of people over 50 years of age, the so-called best agers , since 1984 . The range of programs has changed significantly since the 2011 relaunch . The entire program is ad-free.


Logo from 1994 to 2012

The beginnings

The station was started on January 1, 1984 as the fourth radio program of West German Radio . The initiator was the music editor Dietmar Kindler, who also oversaw the first WDR 4 broadcast Musikpavillon . In addition to this morning broadcast, broadcasting links from WDR 1 ( morning melody , café concert ) were taken over. As in previous years, the programs “ For guest workers ” were broadcast on the WDR 4 frequencies .

On January 1, 1985, WDR 4 was expanded to a full program . WDR 4 took over the aforementioned WDR 1 broadcasts and the Musikexpreß , but also the pop report with Günter Krenz from WDR 2 . In addition, there were programs such as Heimatmelodie , Gut Angie , From the Bosporus to Gibraltar and Music to Dream .

In 1986 the program In our Age started , which was designed by the former Radiothek editor Gretel Rieber. The music editor Dietmar Kindler was awarded the golden tuning fork in 1986 for his commitment to the German hit song .

From 1987 to the end of 2016, WDR 4 broadcast radio advertising .


In 1996, WDR 4 became the radio wave and Barbara Gansauge became the first wave boss of WDR 4. She previously oversaw programs such as Flipp-Zeit , Soul or Professor Bop-Show for WDR 1 . Changes in the program followed in mid-1996. The program headlights presented classics of radio entertainment by Peter Frankenfeld and Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff . The Pop Report developed into Schlager, Pop & Co. , in which the listener hit parade Top 17 was broadcast. For the first time, the Cologne Radio Orchestra and WDR Big Band received their own programs. In the evening from 8 p.m. special programs were offered under the motto “WDR 4 for lovers”. The hour-long genre broadcasts offered instrumentals, choral music, oldies and chansons. The predominant tone color was characterized by pop from Germany and neighboring countries, German hits, folklore , operettas , chansons , swing , easy listening and popular classical music .

In 1997 WDR 4 started a long-term image campaign. With the motto “Beautiful remains”, WDR 4 was for a long time one of the most listened to radio waves in Germany and number one in North Rhine-Westphalia.


In 2000, Rena Pieper took over the role of WDR 4 wave boss. Under her leadership, the evening specials were expanded. In 2000, Götz Alsmann , who previously co-designed the program On the wings of colorful dreams , got his own radio show, Go Götz Go , named after him . The singer Joana started to moderate the show chansons and songs . In 2002 the rhythm of the night started with German-language discotheque music, party hits and an international dance floor . From 2004 until his death, Chris Howland presented international oldies from the 1950s to 1970s in the show Spielereien mit Schallplatten .

Rena Pieper also sponsored public events. The "Super-Wunsch-Hitparade", which took place for the first time in 1999, developed into a large live event for which double CDs were released (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006). Also from 1999 the "Schlagerexpress" drove, mostly to the North Sea island of Norderney . Stars from the 1950s and 1960s performed twice a year in the record bar. From 2002 the “WDR 4 Sauerland Open air” attracted up to 30,000 spectators to Willingen .

Relaunch from 2011

Since March 2011, WDR 4 has developed from a hit - to an oldie radio.

The first change to the program took place in 2011. Since then, only 50% hits and 50% English oldies from the 1960s to the 1980s have been played. In addition, a hit evening was introduced daily from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. One of the highlights of this series was an exclusive concert with Howard Carpendale .

As a result of the change in programming, some programs were discontinued. Especially the end of the show Schellack-Schätze caused displeasure. Dirk Schortemeier was editorially responsible for this broadcast for decades .

The program slogan from 2011 to 2015 was melodies for a good feeling and since August 2015 my favorite hits . In spring 2014 there was another change. Since then, 60 to 70% oldies from the above period have been played, occasionally 90s or modern hits and 30 to 40% pop hits . The share of international titles is now 85%. In September 2014 the program was reformatted again; the oldies from WDR 2 were "moved" to WDR 4. So the focus now is on the hits of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The German hit will no longer take place at WDR 4.

In addition to the music tracks that accompany the day, WDR 4 also has amateur programs on its program from 9 p.m., with the focus on singer-songwriters , disco and pop music from the 1970s and 1980s, film music and classical music. The presenters of these special-interest routes also include Purple Schulz , Wolfgang Niedecken , Manfred Behrens and Peter Illmann .

Every day at 6 p.m. (since June 2016, previously at 5 p.m.), WDR 4 broadcasts “Day at six”, a 10-minute summary of current events.

During the night, WDR 4 broadcast the ARD hit night until it was canceled on January 13, 2018 , and WDR 4 broadcast the program on Saturday night: the program “ Rhythm of the Night ” focused on hits, discofox and party hits. Special elements of this program were the album tip, the last minute request, the maxi tip (maxi version of a track) and the DJ mix (about 20 minutes of hits "in the mix"). In the first “rhythm of the night” of the month, instead of the DJ mix and the album tip, the current top 30 of the party and hit charts was played. Since this program was discontinued, NDR1 took over the ARD hit night.

Since 1984, with a few exceptions, a daily component of the broadcast schedule from 10 p.m. to midnight has been the program Am Rande der Nacht - Music to Dream . The series has delighted listeners and critics for decades.

The program was directed by Rena Pieper (1952–2016) until July 2014. From August 2014 Jochen Rausch took over this task, who is now responsible for the programs 1 Live , WDR 2 and WDR 4 as wave director.

Location of the transmitter

Twelve hours of daily programming from WDR 4 (between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.) have been produced in the Dortmund studio since October 2013 . The rest of the program comes from Cologne .


The program is broadcast terrestrially nationwide via VHF and DAB (in the DAB plus standard), as well as via satellite ( Astra ) and in almost all cable networks in North Rhine-Westphalia and other federal states.


The following moderators are currently used in the daily program:

Christian Terhoeven , Ute Schneider, Stefan Verhasselt, Cathrin Brackmann, Heike Knispel , Bastian Bender , Ernst-Marcus Thomas , Steffi Schmitz, Martina Emmerich, Katia Franke, Carina Vogt, Janine Breuer-Kolo, Bernd Brüggemann, Jürgen Renfordt , Alix Gabele, Silke Liniewski, Anne Debus, Michael Westerhoff, Stefan Vogt and Peter Illmann .

Former moderators include:

Hermann Hillebrand, Rainer Nitschke , Ulla Norden († 2018), Gudrun Schachtschneider († 2007), Charly Wagner († 2020), Richard Schippers († 1999), Michael von Loefen, Werner Lohr , Werner Schüssler († 2007), Anne Suchalla , Uta Fußangel , Uta Vorbrodt, Michael Müller, Andreas Ryll, Daniela Tepper, Sylvia Bommes , Angelika Nehm, Kirsten Ehrhardt, Frank Gazon, Helga Boschitz, Angela Pütz, Peter Kuttler , Christiane Böhmke, Margot Gielen († 2017), Günter Krenz ( † 2009), Aviva Semadar, Rolf Röpke , Wolf-Dieter Stubel , Uwe Hübner , Günter vom Dorp , Bernd Stelter , Jörg Ullrich and Petra Pascal .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ TV hearing and seeing No. 52/1983
  2. Program scheme 1987: http://www.radiojunkie.de/wdr4.html
  3. Frankfurter Rundschau August 5, 1996
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20020222213227/http://www.wdr.de/radio/radiomenschen/pieper.html
  5. http://www.perspektiven-mittelstand.de/Mega-Schlager-Party-in-Willingen/pressemitteilung/4272.html
  6. https://www.presseportal.de/pm/7899/2064980
  7. https://presse.wdr.de/plounge/radio/wdr4/2013/10/20131018_wdr4_howard_carpendale.html;jsessionid=CCB0B0331B6609AA7EB1BCD12D5F5C8E.presse1
  8. https://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/kultur/article13793526/Ausgespiele-Schaetzchen.html
  9. https://www.juedische-allgemeine.de/kultur/sendeschluss/
  10. https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr4/ueber-uns/schortemeier100.html
  11. http://www.derwesten.de/panorama/wdr-4-macht-helene-fischer-stumm-id12030360.html
  12. https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr4/ueber-uns/team/moderatoren/manfredbehrens100.html
  13. https://www.dwdl.de/hoffzumsonntag/74954/musik_zum_traeumen_gegenentwurf_zum_einheitsradio/
  14. http://www.wirtrauern.de/Trauerbeispiel/Rena-Pieper
  15. http://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr4/rena-pieper-102.html
  16. New organizational structure in the WDR radio area. In: www.medienkorrespondenz.de. May 4, 2015, accessed February 20, 2020 .
  17. https://www1.wdr.de/unternehmen/der-wdr/standorte/studios/dortmund/studiodortmund_anfahrt100.html
  18. https://www.radioforen.de/index.php?threads/langjaehrige-wdr-moderatorin-und-sprecherin-gudrun-schachtschneider-verstorben.20175/
  19. https://www.radioforen.de/index.php?threads/was-ist-mit-richard-schippers-geschehen.22703/
  20. https://www.bild.de/folk/2007/tot-haus-2603926.bild.html
  21. Relaunch: Will WDR 4 be another wave of format dummies from March 21, 2011? Retrieved on July 23, 2020 (German).
  22. https://www.radioforen.de/index.php?threads/nachgereicht-nachruf-guenter-krenz.27678/