D.hat was close. A “lucky punch”, one would say in sport. Until shortly before the end it didn’t look like a success, the failure seemed inevitable, so the opponent curtsied, resigned, and Norbert Himmler was elected the new director of the station with 57 out of 60 votes by the ZDF television council. The fact that 25 television councils decided differently in this charade in the third ballot than in the second, where the opposing candidate from the ARD capital studio, Tina Hassel, received 28 votes, only went unnoticed by those who believed they had attended an act of unprecedented broadcast democracy . The current ZDF program director, Himmler, will take up the post of artistic director next March. What does he find there and what does he have to do?
Himmler takes the lead in the German TV broadcaster’s range master. In 2020, ZDF had an audience share of 13.6 percent, ARD landed at 11.3 percent, RTL, as the leading private broadcaster, was lagging behind in third place with 8.1 percent.