ARD symbol: Fritz Pleitgen is dead

The contents in the “archives” were created and posted by the previous owners of this website. We are not responsible for any misleading or incorrect content that is posted here.

Symbol figure of the ARD
Fritz Pleitgen is dead

Fritz Pleitgen had a decisive influence on public television for decades – first as a journalist and later as director of his home channel WDR. Now he dies of cancer at the age of 84.

The television journalist and former director of the West German Broadcasting Company (WDR), Fritz Pleitgen, has died, he passed away on Thursday evening at the age of 84 in Cologne, the WDR announced.

In June 2020, Pleitgen informed the German Cancer Service that he had pancreatic cancer. He lived in Bergisch Gladbach until his death.


The subject of war had occupied him before.

(Photo: photo alliance / dpa)

Pleitgen, born in March 1938, was regarded as a symbol of the public broadcaster, for which he had worked since the early 1960s. He was an ARD correspondent for a long time, including in Moscow and Washington.

He was then chief editor and radio director at his home station WDR and then director for twelve years from 1995 to 2007. During that time he was involved in setting up the regional studios. “We switch to next door”, was the motto. “I didn’t want to be a hierarch at all,” he once said. “I always wanted to be a journalist. But I liked doing it.” By 2006, he had led the “ARD Press Club” nearly 300 times.

“Face of the Territory”

His last major project was the Cultural Capital Ruhr.2010. Here he was CEO from 2007 to 2011 and as such “the face of the neighborhood” in the year of the Cultural Capital. He was busy dismantling outdated ideas about the former “coal pot” and sending new photos of the Ruhr around the world.


In later years, the Cultural Capital Ruhr.2010 became important to him.

(Photo: photo alliance/ dpa)

When 21 people died in the Love Parade catastrophe in the year of the Cultural Capital, Pleitgen immediately drove to the scene of the accident and publicly acknowledged a moral responsibility.

Pleitgen leaves behind his wife, three sons and a daughter. His son Frederik Pleitgen is also a television journalist. When he went to Moscow as a CNN correspondent in 2018, the father admitted: “I envy him that.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *