A “Tagesschau” spokesman also had his last TV appearance

After 2977 issues of “heute-journal” it is all over for Claus Kleber.Image: ZDF screenshot

After Jan Hofer, Pinar Atalay and Linda Zervakis, another public broadcaster has to cope with the departure of a prominent speaker: on Thursday evening, Claus Kleber conducted the “heute-journal” on ZDF for the last time. In February 2003 he started as the main presenter of the show, so he presented it for almost 19 years.

At the beginning of the issue, Kleber held up a sign with the number “2977” on it – that’s exactly how often he was on duty for the “heute-journal”. “It won’t get any more than that,” he said before the news was presented. Among other things, a conversation with virologist Christian Drosten was on the agenda.

Surprise for Claus Kleber

After looking back over the year, Kleber’s colleague Gundula Gause took the floor. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” she addressed to him, also on behalf of the editorial team – and spoke of “great journalistic spirit.” Finally she added:

“We will miss you, and me in particular. And now I have to say something that you don’t want to hear, but it has to be said: You are leaving, and that is the end of an era.”

Even a separate clip was cut for Kleber, with various highlights from his time as spokesman for “heute-journal”. In it he was described, among other things, as the “heart and soul of this program”. At the very end, Kleber himself addressed the team and the audience again.

One player looked back on Kleber's career.

One player looked back on Kleber’s career.Image: ZDF screenshot

With a view to the world situation, which is currently not necessarily positive in many respects, he came to the conclusion that humanity actually has “the knowledge, technology and historical experience” to cope with all of this. For the first time, “our tools are as powerful as our problems”. Without a committed, well-informed public, however, that would “nothing”, continued Kleber. Now he drew a link with his colleagues and employees: “And that’s why there have to be editorial departments like the people behind this show. Passionate professionals who can compete every morning with the sole aim of making the best possible show.” He then ended his statement with the words:

“Good night, good luck, and a happy new year. Above all, many thanks to everyone here. See you soon.”

This “Tagesschau” spokesman also stopped

However, Claus Kleber is not the only one who retired on Thursday. For news anchor Claus-Erich Boetzkes it was also the last working day. The 65-year-old hosted the “Tagesschau” for the last time on December 30th after 25 years at 5 pm. At the end of his last issue he said:

“I would like to thank you for letting me be a guest so often, and I would like to thank a wonderful, intelligent, extremely pleasant team with whom I have been able to work over the years.”

Claus-Erich Boetzkes proves in his last "daily News"- Edition with this photo humor.

Claus-Erich Boetzkes shows humor in his last “Tagesschau” issue with this photo.screenshot ard

In this context, he added that he was walking with a crying eye. He also showed his sense of humor. After his final speech, he showed pictures of what he might look like as a pensioner: The retouched photos showed him once without hair, once with a longer mane. In another picture he was shown with a white beard. To this he said: “To grow old with dignity, that is the goal later.” Then he referred to the next “Tagesschau” and said goodbye with a simple “Adieu”.

“heute-journal”: Sievers follows Kleber

Christian Sievers will replace Kleber at “heute-journal”. He will make his first appearance in his permanent new position on January 10th, with Marietta Slomka remaining as the second main presenter.

Kleber was active for ZDF more than 160 evenings a year. However, there is no reason to fear that he might get bored in retirement. He told dpa just a few days ago what his everyday life will look like now: “I want to get to know the phenomenon that everyone talks about so much – social life, friendships, I’ll try things like that.”

Gundula Gause found emotional words for her colleague in "today's Journal".

Gundula Gause found emotional words for her colleague in “heute-journal”.Image: ZDF screenshot

Incidentally, the 66-year-old is not yet completely away from the window on TV. Documentary projects in particular are planned for the coming year in cooperation with ZDF. Kleber said: “ZDF would like to have more documentaries, and I would like to do them. At the moment, journalist Angela Andersen and I are developing a documentary about the digital future. It should be ready in the second quarter of 2022.”

(ju)

After Jan Hofer, Pinar Atalay and Linda Zervakis, another public broadcaster has to cope with the departure of a prominent speaker: on Thursday evening, Claus Kleber conducted the “heute-journal” on ZDF for the last time. In February 2003 he started as the main presenter of the show, so he presented it for almost 19 years.