On December 30, 2021, Claus Kleber (66) guided viewers through the “heute journal” on ZDF for the last time after almost 3,000 programs. At the beginning, the journalist and presenter held a piece of paper with the number 2,977 in the camera.
“Well, it won’t be more. 2,977 times, today for the last. Good evening ”, Kleber greeted the TV audience and seemed visibly moved. “Dear Claus, you were not just our boss and presenter, you are and were the heart and soul of this program and this editorial team”, it later said in a humorous clip in which Kleber was also referred to as “our inspirer and motivator”.
“Looking ahead with worry”
After the short clip, Kleber made an appeal to the audience with serious words. “It still has to get a little serious: Anyone who works out the news here every day cannot help but look ahead with worries,” explained the moderator. “The pandemic leaves a lot of suffering, but it will pass – nothing else. What happens on the Ukrainian border and could happen in the Baltic at some point, the hard line from China, the dismantling of democracy in America, which is constantly eating away, and the European idea that has lost its momentum – as well as some things here. “
“That doesn’t have to be all of that,” explained Kleber. The people have, among other things, knowledge, experience and technology “to master all of this”. For the first time, “our tools are as powerful as our problems. That can be something. But it won’t work without a committed, informed public. And that’s why there have to be editorial departments like the people behind this show – passionate professionals who can compete every morning with the sole aim of making the best possible show. ”
However, this is of no use “if we cannot convince you,” continued Kleber. “This is all a bit of a video circus if you don’t take the time and effort to do our work. Committed and critical. With the trust that we have to earn here every day. “
Every now and then “the noses that stand in front” changed. His colleague Gundula Gause (56) is staying, he is going and Christian Sievers (52) is coming. Most recently, Kleber said: “Good night and good luck and a happy new year. Above all, many thanks to everyone here. See you soon. ”From January 10th Sievers will be seen as Kleber’s successor.