Moderator Standl (archive picture): Is the WDR modernizing past its loyal viewers?
Photo: Christoph Hardt / imago / Future Image
The TV presenter Simone Standl will no longer work for West German Broadcasting in the foreseeable future.
Standl had moderated the regional information program "Local Time" on WDR for 17 years.
Standl had publicly criticized the circumstances of her involuntary departure.
As a result, an originally made offer to continue employment was withdrawn by the broadcaster.
On the occasion of the presenter's last “local time”, who had been part of the show's team since 2004, the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” published an article at the end of June in which Simone Standl complained that the WDR had not even issued a press release on her departure .
As is common in other public broadcasters, Standl was not a permanent presenter.
The fact that the occupation could suddenly end is "for us free moderators a sword of Damocles that hovers permanently over us," said Standl.
She herself could have “done another three or four years.
Maybe until mid-60s, "but no one asked her about her wishes, Standl regretted:" You're treated like an apprentice who hasn't passed the probationary period. "
Simone Standl points out that WDR viewers are on average 66 years old
Standl also spoke to the Kölner Blatt about the supposed motivation to replace it.
The WDR justified it by saying, “The broadcaster must become more diverse.
That can only be done with new faces.
And people who have been around for a long time should go first «.
The successor of the 59-year-olds in the moderation team of the “Lokalzeit Köln” is Sümeyra Kaya, born 1983 in Duisburg as the daughter of a Turkish father and a German mother.
Age reasons also played a role, quoted the "Stadt-Anzeiger" broadcasting groups.
Simone Standl points out that WDR viewers are on average 66 years old and thinks that RTL's private competition "does it completely differently, does it better and sticks to its familiar faces."
The WDR was rather monosyllabic about the case: »There are always changes among the local time moderators.
That's normal. ”A spokesman told the newspaper that it was fundamentally important for the broadcaster to reflect the diversity of society in the program.
In this case, "more diversity" is not a reason to switch.
Originally, the WDR had offered Simone Standl to continue working for the "local time Cologne", among other things, she should present the program on the radio.
But after Standl's publicly expressed displeasure, there was apparently a need to speak: On Friday the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" reported that the WDR had withdrawn the offer to continue employment.
The public statements had "seriously disrupted the relationship of trust."
Reason for a further public settlement of the moderator with her former employer: In an interview with the "Bild am Sonntag" Simone Standl said that they still do not know what was behind their dismissal.
She calls the WDR "pretty cowardly", speaks of "vague statements" that they want to conquer other target groups, especially younger ones between 35 and 55.
The WDR wants to reposition itself desperately and become more diverse, claims Standl, which is not at all well received by regular viewers over 50.
Out of sheer anger, even audience letters to the editorial team would get "slightly racist traits".
For Standl "of course absolutely out of the question and wrong".
Nevertheless, she continues to speak in the "BamS": "From the point of view of these viewers, we German moderators are gradually being replaced because we do not have a migration background."
The presenter claims to have heard several times from the WDR executive suite that "the old would die anyway", that they did not belong to the "target group to be conquered".
The broadcaster alienates "its loyal viewers if it completely modernizes past them." The WDR incapacitates the old, loyal viewers and acts clumsily.
There was a clear reply to these statements from Westdeutscher Rundfunk.
The accusations raised by Standl are "nonsense and simply wrong," tweeted the WDR: "Ms. Standl knows the reasons why she will no longer moderate the local time from Cologne." .