The West German Broadcasting Corporation is tense in its public relations these days.

At first, the broadcaster hardly succeeded in responding to the criticism due to the lack of severe weather warnings.

Now the WDR reacts very harshly to the criticism of a former employee.

After being deposed as the moderator for “Lokalzeit”, the journalist Simone Standl complained bitterly about her treatment on the station in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.

Michael Hanfeld

responsible editor for features online and "media".

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They were pushed aside because the WDR is relying on rejuvenation and more diversity, said Standl. Admittedly, she was not told the real reasons for her dismissal. “To this day, I still don't know what exactly is behind my release. The WDR was quite cowardly and twisted back and forth in vague statements, ”said Standl of BamS. She was told that they wanted to “conquer other target groups”, “especially younger people between 35 and 55”. With that one would scare off "rather the older, loyal regular viewers if one takes away what is familiar and loved". Simone Standl, who is 59 years old, had moderated "Lokalzeit" since 2004. She will be replaced by Sümeyra Kaya (38), who has been working for WDR since 2008.

How you deal with her, said Simone Standl, is not an isolated case. She has "received messages from many well-known colleagues who are and have been dealt with in the same way". She offered to work in a different role at WDR, but the broadcaster ended the collaboration completely because of "the negative reactions to my departure". “So much on the subject of freedom of expression!” Standl's forced departure had been picked up by the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, which the WDR had informed that they had withdrawn an offer for continued employment. “The moderator's public statements about the WDR” would have “severely disrupted the relationship of trust”. On Sunday, the WDR then posted a short cannonade in three parts via Twitter: They would have liked to continue working with the journalist. Your allegations are "nonsense and simply wrong".She knows “the reasons why she will no longer moderate the local time from Cologne. The relationship of trust has meanwhile been so severely disturbed that the WDR has withdrawn its offer of continued employment. Ms. Standl receives a fair severance payment according to the rules of the WDR collective agreement. From our point of view, that says it all. "

It is doubtful that everything has been said from the viewer's point of view.