Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk

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Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk
Type Broadcast radio, television and online
Country Germany
Headquarters Leipzig, Germany
Key people
Karola Wille, Intendant
Launch date
Official website

Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting, MDR) is the public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Established in January 1991, it has its headquarters in Leipzig and regional studios in Dresden, Erfurt and Magdeburg.

MDR broadcasts its own television channel to the three states it serves and contributes to the first German TV channel (Das Erste) and also broadcasts various radio channels.

Studios and staff[edit]

MDR headquarters in Leipzig

MDR has approximately 2000 employees. The main television studio is in Leipzig, and the main radio studio is in Halle. There are also radio studios in each of the three state capitals for the territory that MDR represents: Dresden (Saxony), Erfurt (Thuringia), and Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt).


Licensing fees required for radio and TV sets are €17.98 per month, as of 1 October 2011. These fees are not collected directly by MDR but by the GEZ, a common organisation of ARD, its members, ZDF and Deutschlandfunk.


MDR provides programs to various TV and radio networks, some done in collaboration with other broadcasters, and others completely independently.

TV programming[edit]

  • MDR Fernsehen (MDR TV) - Third TV channel for central Germany, with regional programming for Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia
  • ARD - MDR contributes programming to Germany's main network
  • Phoenix - collaborative network programming between the ARD and ZDF
  • KI.KA - Children's network from the ARD and ZDF
  • arte - Franco-German cultural network
  • 3sat - Cultural network from the ARD, ZDF, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting), and SRG (Swiss Broadcasting)

Radio programming[edit]

  • MDR1 Radio Sachsen (MDR1 Radio Saxony) - Regional programming for Saxony
  • MDR Radio Sachsen-Anhalt (MDR1 Radio Saxony-Anhalt) - Regional programming for Saxony-Anhalt
  • MDR Radio Thüringen (MDR1 Radio Thuringia) - Regional programming for Thuringia
  • MDR SPUTNIK - "Programming for young people", former DT64 cultural youth channel of GDR broadcasting organisation.
  • MDR JUMP - Pop music and service
  • MDR FIGARO - Cultural spoken programming and regional classical transmissions
  • MDR INFO - News and information (AM radio ceased operation in April 30, 2013)
  • MDR KLASSIK (available on digital radios only) - classical music

Musical organizations[edit]

The MDR operates two musical organizations and a ballet.

The MDR Symphony Orchestra (German: MDR Sinfonieorchester) was originally founded in 1915 as "Orchester des Konzertvereins" ("Orchestra of the Concert Society"). It became the "Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig" ("Radio Symphony Orchestra Leipzig") in 1924. Principal conductors have included Herbert Kegel, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, Daniel Nazareth and Fabio Luisi. Since September 2007, Jun Märkl is the orchestra's principal conductor.

The MDR Radio Choir (German: MDR Rundfunkchor) was founded in 1946 as the "Rundfunkchor Leipzig" ("Leipzig Radio Choir").

The MDR also has the lead management of the MDR TV Ballet (German: MDR Fernsehballett), the only TV ballet company in Europe. It was founded in 1962 as the "DFF-Fernsehballett", reorganized in 1992, and has 30 members.


MDR does not own its own transmission towers. Instead, they are leased through and operated by Deutsche Telekom.


Several podcasts produced by MDR are available through the iTunes Music Store. These are essentially repeats of regular radio programmes, including: "Figaro," "MDR Info," "Programming Highlights," "Riverboat," "Sputnik" and "Unter uns."


From 1991 to 2011 the Managing Director was Udo Reiter, followed by Karola Wille.

Popular MDR productions[edit]

MDR produces several programs for the ARD, including crime drama episodes for the series "Tatort" ("Crime Scene") and "Polizeiruf 110" ("Police Emergency 110"). MDR also produces the successful hospital series "In aller Freundschaft" ("In friendship") and the animal series "Abenteuer Zoo" ("Adventure Zoo"), "Deutschlands wilde Tiere" ("Germany's Wild Animals") and "Europas wilder Osten" ("Europe's Wild East").

See also: German television

External links[edit]