|Callsign meaning||West German Broadcasting|
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR, West German Broadcasting)1 is a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. WDR is a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions, ARD. As well as contributing to the output of national television channel Das Erste, WDR produces the regional television service WDR Fernsehen (formerly known as WDF and West3) and six regional radio networks.
WDR was created in 1955, when Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) was split into Norddeutscher Rundfunk – covering Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and Hamburg – and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, responsible for North Rhine-Westphalia. WDR began broadcasting on two radio networks on 1 January 1956.
WDR is funded partly from the limited sale of on-air commercial advertising time but principally from viewer and listener licence fee receipts. As of January 2009 the monthly fee payable per household for radio and television reception was €17.98: the equivalent of €0.59 (USD 0.45) per day. For radio only, the monthly fee was €5.76. These fees are collected not directly by WDR but by the Beitragsservice: a joint organization of ARD, its member institutions, ZDF, and Deutschlandfunk.
WDR began its regional television service, Westdeutsches Fernsehen (WDF), on 17 December 1965. In 1988 the channel was renamed West3; since 1994, it has been known as WDR Fernsehen.
While the programmes are mainly run from their Cologne headquarters, they also have a number of sub-regional studios contributing a regular broadcast called Lokalzeit with the addition "Regio Aachen" (Aachen), "OWL aktuell" (Bielefeld), "aus Bonn" (Bonn), "aus Dortmund" (Dortmund), "aus Düsseldorf" (Düsseldorf), "aus Duisburg" (Duisburg),"Ruhr" (Essen), "Köln" (Cologne and Bonn), "Münsterland" (Münster), "Südwestfalen" (Siegen) and "Bergisches Land" (Wuppertal) for each respective region. WDR has its current affairs and regional-politics studios in Düsseldorf.
It has served as the production entity for network shows on Das Erste of ARD, such as Verbotene Liebe, which over the years has exposed many young actors to the German audience, such as Andreas Stenschke, Jo Weil, Luca Zamperoni and Kay Böger. The TV-sport for the “First Channel” Das Erste is produced in Cologne, and WDR contributes to ARD Digital, 3sat and arte.
- 1LIVE (formerly styled L1VE: Radio Eins Live) is a popular music channel modelled on BBC Radio 1 and aimed at a young audience. Its schedules include such non-mainstream night-time programmes as "Heimatkult", focusing on pop music from Germany, and "Lauschangriff", a series of audio-books.
- WDR 2 (motto: Der Sender, "The Station") focuses strongly on national and regional news and current affairs, together with adult-oriented popular music as well as sports.
- WDR 3, the cultural channel, offers mostly classical, jazz and world music as well as radio drama and spoken-word features covering literature and the performing arts.
- WDR 4 (motto: Schönes bleibt, "The beautiful endures") is principally oriented towards an older audience. The channel specializes in traditional and modern tuneful German-language music.
- WDR 5 (previously WDR Radio 5) offers spoken-word programming with the focus on present-day culture and society.
- Funkhaus Europa 103,3: previously WDR 5 Funkhaus Europa (an offshoot of WDR 5) and now a joint Radio Bremen / WDR production, this channel, which features a wide selection of world music, is principally directed at immigrants and aims to promote integration. It is not available over-the-air in every part of WDR's broadcasting area.
WDR's radio programmes are available on FM and digital, as well as via cable and satellite. In addition WDR 2 is broadcast on two AM frequencies, 720 and 774 kHz, which provide extended road traffic announcements and opt-out coverage of parliamentary debates.
Except on Sundays and public holidays, 1LIVE, WDR 2, and WDR 4 carry a limited amount of paid-for commercial advertising during the daytime.
WDR also produces a number of experimental digital radio channels, which are mostly variations on 1LIVE and WDR2.
- Full official name: Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln
- Public broadcasting
- WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln)
- WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln
- German television
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