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 is a member of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany.

MDR broadcasts its own television channel to the three states it serves and also contributes programming to the first German TV channel (Das Erste), as well as broadcasting a number of radio channels.

Studios and staff

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).


In 2012 87% of MDR's total annual income of €684,529,979 [1] was derived from the licence fees payable by all households at the rate of €17,50.[2] These fees are not collected directly by MDR but by the Beitragsservice (fee collection service) owned jointly by ARD (and its members), the second television network ZDF, and the national radio broadcaster Deutschlandradio.


MDR produces programming, both independently and in collaboration with other broadcasters, for transmission by a number of television and radio networks.

Television channels

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

Radio channels

  • MDR 1 Radio Sachsen (MDR 1 Radio Saxony) - regional programming for Saxony
  • MDR Sachsen-Anhalt (MDR Saxony-Anhalt) - regional programming for Saxony-Anhalt
  • MDR Thüringen (MDR Thuringia) - regional programming for Thuringia
  • MDR SPUTNIK - "programming for young people", former DT64 cultural youth channel of East German 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 on April 30, 2013)
  • MDR KLASSIK (available on digital radios only) - classical music

Musical organizations

The MDR operates two musical organizations and a ballet corps.

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 de (Udo Reiter), followed by Karola Wille.

Popular MDR productions

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