Westdeutscher Rundfunk

From Academic Kids

Missing image
WDR building in Köln

The Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) is a public broadcaster in the German Bundesland North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Köln. WDR is a member of the ARD. The WDR produces one TV channel (WDR-Fernsehen, older names WDF and West3) and 5 radio channels targeted to different audiences.



The WDR was created in 1955, when the NWDR was split into the NDR responsible for Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, and the WDR responsible for North Rhine-Westphalia. On January 1 1956, the first two radio channels were started.


WDR started its regional television service on December 17, 1965 under the name Westdeutsches Fernsehen (WDF). In 1988 the programme was renamed to West 3, since 1994 it is known under the name WDR Fernsehen.

While the programmes are mainly run from their Köln headquarters, they also have a number of regional studios performing a regular broadcast called Lokalzeit aus... with "Regio Aachen" (Aachen), "OWL aktuell" (Bielefeld), "aus Dortmund" (Dortmund), "aus Düsseldorf" (Düsseldorf), "Ruhr" (Essen), "Köln" (Köln and Bonn), "Münsterland" (Münster), "Südwestfalen" (Siegen) and "Bergisches Land" (Wuppertal) added for the respective region.

Apart from the WDR Fernsehen channel, WDR also contributes programming to the ARD network.


  • EinsLive (L1VE)
EinsLive is the WDR's radio station for a younger audience and very much modelled after the BBC's Radio 1. Although it sounds like any commercial hit radio station during the day, at night it devotes itself to special programming, including "Heimatkult", with pop music from Germany or "Lauschangriff", a series of audio-books.
  • WDR 2
This is the WDR's adult contemporary station. The music is inter-mixed with current affair programs, sports and local coverage. It carries North Rhine-Westphalia's most extensive traffic information.
  • WDR 3
The network's station for classical music.
  • WDR 4
"Schönes bleibt." (The beautiful remains.) WDR 4 is targeted toward an older audience, the kids of the 40s, 50s and 60s, with its blend of mostly German-language music.
  • WDR 5
WDR 5 is current affairs with as little music as possible. There might be some jazz and lounge music, but it's mostly about the spoken word.
  • FunkhausEUROPA
Together with Radio Bremen, this is a multicultural station targeted towards the "Gastarbeiter" in the nation.

All WDR radio stations are available on FM, cable, satellite and digital. WDR 2 is broadcasted on two AM stations, 720 and 774 kHz, with even longer traffic announcements and the possibility to opt out for coverage from parliament.

Despite the fact that WDR is a public broadcaster that receives a lot of its funds through licence fees, EinsLive, WDR 2 and WDR 4 carry commercials during the day.

The WDR is the largest broadcasting company (qua employees) in Europe.

External links

Live streams


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