When two people quarrel, the third person is happy.

It is commonly called, but not at ZDF.

Because before the election of the artistic director in the television council, which is scheduled for July 2, there is apparently a camp formation, with which the broadcaster has had very bad experiences in the past.

Two candidates stand for election, which is the most normal thing in the world: the boss of the ARD capital studio, Tina Hassel, and the ZDF program director Norbert Himmler.

It is unusual that their candidacies have only recently been officially announced.

Himmler's candidacy was expected, but Hassel's not.

And also not with the fact that the two were each proposed by two television councils who belong to one of the two “circles of friends” in which the electoral body is divided.

Following the political theory of color, the two rounds are dubbed “red” and “black” or, after their chairmen, “Freundeskreis Werneke” and “Freundeskreis Jung”.

Those who join one or the other group, all of them wanting to identify politically, would be wrong.

The composition of the television council is varied; thanks to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, there are far fewer (party) politicians there than in the past.

Still, politics has its options, as you can see right now.

The candidacy of Tina Hassel was, according to reports, induced by the SPD-led state chancellery in Mainz and carried into the “red” circle of friends. This gives the candidate a political number, and so does the candidate Himmler, who has never had one and does not deserve it, as a supposed favorite of the “blacks”.

A three-fifths majority is required for the election of the successor to the artistic director Thomas Bellut, who will retire next spring. You can not only reach them with the votes of one or the other "circle of friends". One only achieves a blockage, which would then have to be resolved by a third party. Or through back room appointments for the next top positions. The director of the ZDF namely proposes to the board of directors who will become program director, administrative director and editor-in-chief. The term of office of the current ZDF editor-in-chief, Peter Frey, ends in September 2022.

We already had such a little game on ZDF when the artistic director was elected in 2002. But the television councilors can easily prevent that today. They just have to think about who they think is the best choice, they must not allow themselves to be turned into puppets by political strippers and they must not think that it is correct to think in terms of camps and to vote in a block. A great deal depends on this for the self-image and perception of ZDF and public service broadcasting. You could say: everything.