Jan Hofer Retires as News Anchor for Tagesschau

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Eight o’clock Newsman leaves German Public TV Station after 35 years anchoring for Tagesschau.

BERLIN/ HAMBURG- He had many nicknames. He was the King of the 8:00pm News. The Man with many ties, one different one each Tagesschau episode. He was a professional- honest, calming and thorough. He made sure everyone got the information that was expected, which was truthful, monologue and not much emotion. Last night, the King of the Nightly News Hour made his last bow and the timing could not have been any more perfect:

Jan Hofer was known as Mr. Tagesschau, having been at the helm every evening at 8:00pm on German Public TV station ARD (and its affiliates) since 1985. And despite the changes age and appearance over the years, there was one legacy that remained the same throughout his term. That was his informative and professional character.

Hofer has been in the broadcasting business for half a century. Born in Büderich (NRW), he grew up in Wesel and studied business economics in Cologne before entering the TV and radio broadcasting business after graduation. Before being the voice of the 8:00pm news in 1985, Hofer had worked in many TV and radio stations. He became managing editor of Tagesschau in 2004, the post which will now become the care of fellow colleague Jens Riewa, in addition to the coming of two more anchors come 2021, Julia-Niharika Sen and Constantin Schreiber to support the 8:00 news team that features Riewa, Susanne Daubner, Judith Rakers, Torsten Schröder and Linda Zervakis.

Hofer had also done the news for Tagesthemen, a late night news show, and whose last night on the air was December 14 with host Caren Miosga.

The departure of Hofer from Tagesschau comes as symbolic, given the fact that it on this day 30 years ago that the last broadcast of Aktuelle Kamera took place:

It was the former TV newscast of the German Democratic Republic. from 1952 until 1990 and like Tagesschau, AK presented its news with a key figure, Angelika Unterlauf who was known as the Face of the GDR. Its broadcast was objective but had a socialist-leaning taste.

Jan Hofer for ARD is for the three evening news anchors that dominated the American news scene: Tom Brokaw for NBC, Dan Rather for CBS and Peter Jennings for ABC. He was the face of German broadcasting and one who got to every story and addressed it to the public in a way that they understood it and talked about it. For people who (have) learned German, its language and culture, his name has come up many times and his simplicity made watching the news for people learning German easy. Hofer had what the three anchors in America had during their broadcasting days, which was integrity, honesty and objectivity, which made watching Tagesschau a must.

And with that, the tie comes off for the last time. Machen Sie gut! (Take care!). And to Mr. Hofer, a million thanks for your years of contributing to the 8:00 news. You and your many colorful ties will be missed. Take care and happy trails to you and your family! 🙂


Advent Calendar December 15

This Christmas tree entry provides us with a very mystical view of the Christmas tree. And the irony is the Christmas season we’re dealing with is all but mystical as we see lights of hope being lit in the thickness of the fog of doom and gloom, especially when we talk about Covid.

This photo was taken by Axel Wanders, who has an instagram page on the photos of Hamburg City. It’s of the Alstertanne, located in the middle of Hamburg Hafen. As he decribes it in the post, the whole tree was covered in mist with very dim lighting in the background. A very mystical photo indeed.

And with this photo comes a mystical music piece that goes together like bread and butter……

O Magnum Mysterium

O Magnum Mysterium is a well-known musical piece that talks about the birth of Jesus and the nativity scene. Written by Morten Lauridsen in 1994, it was based on a Greogrian music piece dating back to the 13th Century, which Lauridsen included some of the modern choir elements. “I wanted this piece to resonate immediately and deeply into the core of the listener, to illumine through sound, ” Lauridsen said in an interview last year. The piece focuses on the nativity scene where figures stop by to see the birth of a new baby, the one who was christened the name Jesus, yet it has been interpreted many times, even in the Bible. They include the donkey and oxen but also the welcoming of the baby by Elizabeth. The piece was written in Latin but was translated into English, both of which can be seen below:

Latin text: O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, iacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Iesum Christum. Alleluia!

English translation: O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the newborn Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the virgin whose womb was worthy to bear the Lord, Jesus Christ. Alleluia!

The piece is mysterical in a way that the announcement of the birth could be echoed from miles away, from village to village, until everyone heard the great news. The piece is best performed at night, when the stars are out, for that was the time when Christ was born and the angels came out to give praise to the baby. Seriously. Great for evening church services, especially Midnight Mass.

I had an opportunity to sing this piece with the choir of my alma Mater, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota twice during my studies there. This includes a nationally televised concert that was performed in 1997, which I had a wonderful opportunity to be part of the concert. A video with the piece can be seen below:

And perhaps with all that has happened this year, this mysterium may be a signal that the best is yet to come. If so, we need to be really careful and objective in taking advantage of the opportunities that come, for they are becoming rare to find these days. Something to really think about as we contemplate how we got here, what is yet to come and how we can make things better for everyone.

Some food for thought during this unusual holiday season. 😉

Happy Holidays! 🕯️🕯️🕯️🏔️⛪🎶🎄❤️☕