Tension in the ard: quarrel with the bavarian broadcasting corporation

For once, the ARD is united in its displeasure with Ulrich Wilhelm, the director of BR. Is a BR exit looming?

The director of Bayerischer Rundfunk Ulrich Wilhelm Photo: Frank Hoermann / Sven Simon

If, for once, ARD could do as it pleased, it would amount to an unregulated BR exit. Whereby it is not about Great Britain at all. But about Bavaria! Because Ulrich Wilhelm has made it. The director of Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) has succeeded in doing what many in the club, which likes to be called "Alle Reden Durcheinander," have failed to do. ARD is finally in agreement. Tusch and applause!

For Wilhelm, only the Bavarian basic law "Bavaria first" applies, they say. He couldn’t care less about ARD as a whole. Unless, that is, it comes along with humility in white and blue plaid. Then the Munchner Kindl is happy.

Oh, have you noticed it already, one would like to shout. Because Ulrich Wilhelm hasn’t changed a bit. Soaping up charmingly at the front, playing false at the back. That’s how it was when he was a government spokesman – "Merkel’s smiling guillotine" wrote the taz when Wilhelm left politics for ARD in 2010. Now, however, he has apparently overstepped the mark. There is talk in higher ARD circles of a "new quality," also in terms of his "human behavior."

Incidentally, the oath against Bayern with the record-breaking result of 8:1 came about because of the dispute over the East. The ARD has looked into the still so-called new countries and was astonished to find that it is virtually non-existent there. Of course, there is RBB and MDR (disclaimer: I also work for MDR and was ARD spokesperson in 2016/17 when MDR director Karola Wille was ARD chair). But the "big" things with which ARD is associated are located in the FRG (old).

The house is also otherwise in a bad way

The "Tagesschau" in Hamburg at NDR, the "Tatort" and feature film coordination along with the "Sportschau" at WDR in Cologne. The ARD subsidiary Degeto in Frankfurt/Main decides what is produced at great expense or what films and series are bought in. The future of public broadcasting, i.e. funk, is located in Mainz. And Volker Herres, who may finally soon be a thing of the past, rules over the First Program from Munich. Oh, and sports and its billions are managed by none other than Ulrich Wilhelm at BR.

Because the media politicians think this is stupid, an ARD-wide cultural platform is to be set up at MDR, but Ulrich Wilhelm doesn’t like that. If culture has to go, then it has to go to Munich, demands the head of Bayerischer Rundfunk, and that’s why he even calls the Saxon State Chancellery.

The ARD house blessing is also crooked in other ways: the moment someone proposes something, Ulrich Wilhelm says "no," even if the matter doesn’t concern him at all, according to people close to the current ARD chair.

Sounds a lot like "no deal," which brings us back to the BR exit. Of course, ARD won’t dare to do that. And despite their unique unity, they will continue to frustrate each other and confidently sit out their worries with each other. After all, Wilhelm’s term at BR ends in 2021.

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