In the long term, the CDU in Saxony-Anhalt wants to switch off "Das Erste", the joint program of the ARD state broadcasters.

This is reported by the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung”, which appears in Halle, in its Tuesday edition.

"Das Erste", which has been on the air since 1950, is to disappear in the long term.

This is a proposal from Saxony-Anhalt's Media Minister Rainer Robra (CDU), which the CDU parliamentary group supports.

Michael Hanfeld

responsible editor for feuilleton online and "media".

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"We support Minister of State Robra's proposal to abolish the station 'Das Erste' as an independent channel in the long term," said the report, according to the report, the parliamentary manager of the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament, Markus Kurz. The ZDF and the third programs of the ARD should remain. With a view to this, Kurz speaks of a concept “The first with a regional focus”.

The idea follows a consideration that Rainer Robra had already made in the past.

He had repeatedly spoken out in favor of a restriction to the ARD state programs, i.e. the third parties, and brought ZDF into play as the only national public broadcaster.

In an interview with the FAZ, he recently pointed out that the potential for savings in public broadcasters with their many double structures is great.

“That is our long-term goal”

Founded in 1963, ZDF, which has always feared that it could be privatized, would be upgraded with a reform such as Rainer Robra has in mind. "ZDF would remain as the national broadcaster," confirmed CDU MP Kurz in an interview with the "Mitteldeutsche Zeitung". Discontinuing the “First” program is a long-term vision. “We know that we cannot implement this politically at the moment. But that is our long-term goal," Kurz is quoted as saying.

The CDU parliamentary group, it is said, accuses the public broadcasters of having distanced themselves from their viewers. "We are of the opinion that in public service broadcasting, minority opinions are often stronger than the opinion of the majority," Kurz said. "For example, the broadcasters should not only let those who still want more and more climate protection have their say, but also those who have to pay for it."

The relationship between the state government of Saxony-Anhalt and public broadcasting is a special one. In December 2020, the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff (CDU), blocked the increase in the license fee by not putting the corresponding state treaty to a vote in the state parliament. In August of last year, the Federal Constitutional Court, following a lawsuit filed by the public broadcasters and the other fifteen federal states, pushed through the increase in the fee from EUR 17.50 to EUR 18.36 per month. The constitutional judges determined that the state government of Saxony-Anhalt had violated the freedom of broadcasting with its blockade.

In the meantime, the ARD had countered that the community facility “ARD Kultur” should be located in central Germany. Halle was discussed as a location, but in the end the directors of ARD decided to set up the platform in Weimar, in Thuringia, which is governed by the Left Party, the SPD and the Greens. This could certainly be seen as a tit-for-tat for the attitude of the ruling CDU in Saxony-Anhalt, whose ranks had repeatedly criticized the bloated apparatus of the broadcasters and an attitude of public broadcasters, namely ARD, that was supposedly turned away from the citizens had been. ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio currently have income from the broadcasting fee of around eight billion euros per year,if you add ancillary businesses, the income amounts to around nine billion euros.