Norddeutscher Rundfunk

Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Type Broadcast radio, television and online
Country Germany
Availability Regional
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Launch date 1924
1 January 1956[1]
Official website

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) (North German Broadcasting) is a public radio and television broadcaster, based in Hamburg. In addition to the city-state of Hamburg, NDR transmits for the German states of Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein. NDR is a member of the ARD consortium.

Because of the responsibility for the German participation in the Eurovision Song Contest the NDR organized the contest in 2011 after Lena Meyer-Landrut won the 2010 event in Oslo.


NDR studios

NDR television buildings in Hamburg

Studios in Hamburg are split into two locations, both of them within the borough of Eimsbüttel: Television studios are located in the quarter of Lokstedt as the radio studios are located in the quarter of Rotherbaum, a little closer to the city centre. In addition to these, there are further regional studios, also comprising both television and radio facilities. They are located in the state capitals Hanover, Kiel and Schwerin as well as at the ARD's national studios in Berlin. The NDR also maintains other regional offices within its four state territories.


Licensing fees required for Radio and TV sets are €17.03 per month, as of 1 April 2005. For radio reception alone, the monthly fee is €5.52. These fees are not collected directly by the NDR but by the GEZ that is a common organisation of ARD, its members, ZDF and Deutschlandfunk.


The NDR currently provides a number of services on its own or in co-operation with other broadcasters:


  • ARD Das Erste — joint national channel
  • NDR Fernsehen (formerly N3 and Norddeutsches Fernsehen) — third public service channel for the NDR area and Bremen, in co-operation with Radio Bremen.
  • Phoenix — events channel produced by ARD and ZDF
  • KI.KA — children's channel produced by ARD and ZDF
  • Arte — Franco-German culture channel
  • 3sat— cultural channel, co-produced by the ARD, ZDF, ORF, and SRG


  • NDR 90.3 — Local station for Hamburg, playing music for older listeners.
  • NDR 1 Niedersachsen — Local station for Lower Saxony, run from Hanover with some regional opt-outs. Plays music for older listeners.
  • NDR 1 Welle Nord — Local station for Schleswig-Holstein, run from Kiel with some regional opt-outs. Plays music for older listeners.
  • NDR 1 Radio MV — Local station for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, run from Schwerin with some regional opt-outs. Plays music for older listeners.
  • NDR 2 — Popular music station for middle-aged listeners. This is a commercial public service station.
  • NDR Kultur — Arts and culture station. Plays classical music.
  • NDR Info — News and information station.
  • N-Joy — youth station.
  • Nordwestradio — Cultural station for northwest Lower Saxony and Bremen, produced by Radio Bremen.

Musical organizations

The NDR has four musical organizations, including two orchestras, a chorus and a "big band":

  • Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg — the NDR Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; created in 1945 as the Symphony Orchestra of the NWDR and continued by the NDR under its current name sine 1955. Principal conductors have included Günter Wand and John Eliot Gardiner.
  • NDR Radiophilharmonie — the NDR Radio Philharmonic; created in 1950 as the Hanover Radio Orchestra of the NWDR and continued by the NDR under its current name since 1955. Principal conductors have included Willy Steiner and Bernhard Klee. The orchestra plays light classical or "concert hall" music.
  • NDR Chor or Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks — created in 1946 by the NWDR and continued under its current name by the NDR since 1955. The choir specializes in "Alte Musik", but a broad repertory also includes contemporary music.
  • NDR Bigband; created by the NWDR and continued by the NDR in 1955 as the NDR Studioband. Renamed NDR Bigband in 1971.


FM, MW and TV

FM and TV

  • Steinkimmen
  • Torfhaus
  • Zernien
  • Osnabrück
  • Aurich-Popens
  • Göttingen
  • Lauenburg
  • Bungsberg
  • Welmbüttel/Heide (Holstein)
  • Sylt
  • Visselhövede
  • Cuxhaven
  • Kronshagen (near Kiel)


In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the former East Germany, NDR programmes are broadcast from facilities owned by Media Broadcast GmbH, a former subsidiary of the Deutsche Telekom AG.

Other facilities


For 1924–1955 in detail, see Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk.


In 1924 broadcasting began in Hamburg, when Norddeutsche Rundfunk AG (NORAG) was created. In 1934 it was incorporated into Großdeutschen Rundfunk, the national broadcaster controlled by Joseph Goebbels's Propagandaministerium, as Reichssender Hamburg.

In 1930, the Welte-Funk-Orgel, a theatre organ, was custom built for the NORAG to accommodate the specific accustic needs of radio broadcasts. It is still maintained by volunteers in the studio Rothenbaumchaussee 132, the oldest radio studio still in use.[2]


In the British Zone of occupied Germany, the military authorities quickly established Radio Hamburg to provide information to the population of the area.

The British Control Commission appointed Hugh Greene to manage the creation of public service broadcasting in their Zone. On 22 September 1945, Radio Hamburg became Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, the single broadcasting organisation of the British Zone.

Länder control

In 1948, the Control Commission transferred the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) to the control of the constituent Länder. At first, NWDR had just one radio station, later known as NWDR1. In 1950, it introduced a regional station for the north, NWDR Nord (later to become NDR2), and a regional station for the west, NWDR West (later WDR2).

That same year, NWDR became a founding member of ARD. The NWDR also played a founding role in launching 625-line television in Germany, starting broadcasts on 25 December 1952.

NWDR split

In February 1955, North Rhine-Westphalia decided to establish its own broadcaster, whilst Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein continued with the existing system. To this end, the NWDR was split into two broadcasters, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) in the north and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in North Rhine-Westphalia.

NDR continued to operate out of Hamburg. The split was effective from 1 January 1956, although the station NWDR1 remained a joint operation with regional opt-outs.

The NWDR television service also remained a joint operation, from 1 April 1956 under the name Nord- und Westdeutsche Rundfunkverband (North and West German Broadcasting Federation — NWRV). The NDR and the WDR launched separate television services for their area in 1961.

NDR history

The previous logo of NDR between 1984 and 2001, which featured Antje the Walrus, the mascot of the broadcaster for the north.[3]

On 1 December 1956 the NDR started its third radio channel, NDR3 (from 1962 to 1973, this was a joint operation with Sender Freies Berlin).

In 1958 Han Koller became the musical director of Hamburg's NDR Jazz Workshop, which became a popular radio broadcast. Numerous names in Jazz performed on these broadcasts including; Kenny Clarke, Lucky Thompson, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Sahib Shihab, Carmell Jones, Lee Konitz, Cecil Payne, Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, Jazz Composers Orchestra, Howard Riley, Barry Guy, John Surman, the Kuhn Brothers and Barney Wilen. Some of these have been released since 1987, while the older ones only exist as rare bootlegs, sought after by many Jazz aficionados.

On 4 January 1965 the NDR, Radio Bremen and SFB began a joint "third channel" television service, Norddeutsches Fernsehen, later Nord 3 and N3. As of December 2001, this service is called NDR Fernsehen. SFB started a separate TV channel for Berlin in 1992, called B1, later SFB1, now RBB Fernsehen.

In 1977, Gerhard Stoltenberg, the minister-president of Schleswig-Holstein cancelled the NDR-Staatsvertrag, the governing body of the NDR onesided. This caused a discussion how to organise broadcasting in the North German region.

In 1980, the NDR signed a new convention with the three Länder, changing the pattern of broadcasting and creating new regional services. NDR1 was divided into three independent radio stations from 2 January 1981:

  • NDR 1 Radio Niedersachsen (from 2002, NDR 1 Niedersachsen) for Lower Saxony
  • NDR 1 Welle Nord for Schleswig-Holstein
  • NDR Hamburg-Welle 90.3 (from 2 December 2001, NDR 90.3) for Hamburg

NDR2 and NDR3 (now NDR Kultur) continued as regional stations.

These regional services were further subdivided with opt-outs for specific areas. NDR 1 Niedersachsen established regions based around Oldenburg-Ostfriesland-Bremen-Cuxhaven, Osnabrück-Emsland, greater Hanover, Braunschweig-southern Lower Saxony and northern Lower Saxony. NDR 1 Welle Nord was subdivided with studio centres in Flensburg, Heide, Norderstedt, Lübeck and Kiel.

On 30 September 1988 the NDR introduced a teletext service on its N3 television channel. Originally called Nordtext, it became NDR Text on 2 December 2001. The teletext service also offers information for viewers in the Radio Bremen area under the title Radio Bremen Text.

On 1 April 1989, the NDR introduced its fourth radio service, NDR4. This service was later renamed NDR4 Info and from 2 June 2002 is now known as NDR Info. The station is a news and information service for the whole NDR region.

On 1 January 1992, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the former East Germany joined the NDR as the fourth state in the organisation. The area receives the main NDR radio and television stations, plus the regional NDR 1 Radio mV, which has subregions based in Schwerin, Rostock, Neubrandenburg and Greifswald. In October of the same year, SFB in Berlin stopped relaying the Nord 3 television service in favour of its own Berlin 1 TV channel.

On 4 April 1994, the NDR introduced N-Joy Radio (since 2001, just N-Joy), a young-persons radio station aimed at 14 to 29-year-old listeners.

On 3 October 1997, NDR3 was relaunched as Radio 3, produced in co-operation with Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg. At the end of 2000, SFB joined Radio 3. This arrangement lasted until ORB and SFB merged on 1 January 2003 and started their own classical and culture network. NDR3 became NDR Kultur on 1 January 2003.

On 1 November 2001, the NDR and Radio Bremen launched a joint radio station, Nordwestradio, to serve Bremen and northwestern Lower Saxony. This service replaced Radio Bremen 2 and control of the service remains with Radio Bremen.


  • 1955–1961: Walter Hilpert
  • 1961–1974: Gerhard Schröder
  • 1974–1980: Martin Neuffer
  • 1980–1987: Friedrich-Wilhelm Räuker
  • 1987–1991: Peter Schiwy
  • 1991–2008: Jobst Plog
  • 2008–present: Lutz Marmor

See also

  • German television


  1. ^ Note: As NDR
  2. ^ Staff (2008-12-14). "". Freunde der Welte-Funkorgel Hamburg e.V.. Retrieved 2009-02-01.  (German)
  3. ^ "Antje (1976 - 2003) - Nachruf auf ein Walross" (in German). TV wunschliste. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 

External links

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