Heute Journal

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Presented by Claus Kleber
Marietta Slomka
Christian Sievers
Country of origin Germany
Original language(s) German
Producer(s) ZDF
Running time Weekdays: 30 minutes
Weekends: 15 minutes
Original network ZDF
Original release 2 January 1978 – present
Related shows heute
External links

Heute-journal (roughly Today's Journal) is a television news magazine broadcast on ZDF, a national German television network.


The programme first aired 2 January 1978 as a late weekday evening 20 minute program.[1] Originally, it was broadcast at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 10 p.m. on Fridays. It has been broadcast at 9:45 p.m. since 1 January 1984.[2] In 1991, the running time of the programnme was extended to 30 minutes. 15-minute editions were added on Saturdays (in 1992) and Sundays (in 2000). The running time of the programme is sometimes extended to one hour, to cover special events or particularly important stories. During football matches, a short edition of heute-journal is generally broadcast during the half-time break, eliminating the second news summary, stock market report and the final report (usually related to science or culture).

The programme usually starts at 9:45pm and runs for 27 minutes, followed by a 3-minute weather forecast. On Fridays it starts at 10:00pm, after the Friday crime drama; on Saturdays it is usually broadcast from 10:45pm.


In contrast to Heute, its early evening counterpart, heute-journal provides in-depth coverage of the news, usually with detailed background information and interviews with politicians, business leaders, experts, and other key people. There is also a daily report from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a weather forecast. Wolf von Lojewski, a former presenter and managing editor of the programme, once said that while heute will report that a particular politician has resigned, heute-journal will also provide detailed analysis on the reasons for the resignation.

Each edition of heute-journal has two presenters: the main presenter, who introduces most reports and conducts interviews, and the co-presenter, who is part of the editorial team and presents news summaries during the programme. The presenters generally alternate weekly.

The programme is comparable to Tagesthemen broadcast on Das Erste. The programmes' audience is sometimes higher than that of heute.

Opening sequence[edit]

Initially, the program programme's opening sequence showed the anchors, with a clock overlay and a ticker with headlines of the day. The ticker sound effect was Morse code for "heute".

The programme moved to a new, virtual studio in 2009, and a new opening sequence was added at the same time. The camera panned towards the anchors while the day's headlines, along with the time, were seen in the background; there was no real title sequence.

As of 19 February 2011, a darker background is used than for other heute news programmes. Instead of a 2D world map in the background, five globes are shown. At the start of the sequence, the clock and headlines appear in the foreground, followed by a title sequence, and finally either a zoom to the presenters or a cut to footage of the main story.

As of 25 June 2007, the program is broadcast in 16:9. It is available as a video or audio podcast.


Current presenters[edit]

Presenter Start date Role
Marietta Slomka 29 January 2001[3] Main presenter
Claus Kleber 3 February 2003 Main presenter
Christian Sievers 15 January 2013 Relief presenter

Former presenters[edit]

Presenter Years
Klaus Bresser 1978-1983
Dieter Kronzucker 1978-1980; 1986-1988
Karlheinz Rudolph 1978-1983
Jochen Schweizer 1978-1982
Gustav Trampe 1978-1979
Ingeborg Wurster 1979-1984
Ruprecht Eser 1985-1992
Sigmund Gottlieb 1988-1991
Alexander Niemetz 1991-2000
Wolf von Lojewski 1992-2003
Eberhard Piltz 1993-1997
Helmut Reitze 1997-2002
Klaus-Peter Siegloch 2003-2007
Steffen Seibert 2007-2010
Maybrit Illner 2010-2012


Since 30 June 1986, there has been a co-presenter, or an "editor in the studio", who presents a news summary during the programme.

Co-presenter Start date Comments
Gundula Gause 8 February 1993 usually with Claus Kleber
Heinz Wolf 11 January 1999 usually with Marietta Slomka
Kay-Sölve Richter 10 December 2010 usually with Christian Sievers

Former co-presenters[edit]

Co-presenter Years
Nina Ruge 1989-1994
Dunja Hayali 2007-2010


  1. ^ "Das "heute-journal" wird vierzig". Digitalfernsehen.de. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-12-24. 
  2. ^ It is common for German television programs to be scheduled at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour. See the ZDF schedule.
  3. ^ "40 Jahre "heute-journal"". ZDF Presseportal. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 

External links[edit]