Saarländischer Rundfunk

Saarländischer Rundfunk (Saarland Broadcasting – SR) is a public radio and television broadcaster serving the German state of Saarland. With headquarters in the Halberg Broadcasting House in Saarbrücken, SR is a member of the ARD consortium of German public-broadcasting organizations.

Saarländischer Rundfunk
Public broadcasting
IndustryMass media
PredecessorReichssender Saarbrücken (1935–45), Radio Saarbrücken (1946–47), Saarländischer Rundfunk (1947–52), Saarländischer Rundfunk GmbH (1952–56)
Founded1 January 1957
Area served
Key people
Thomas Kleist (Director)
ProductsBroadcasting, radio
ServicesTelevision, radio, online.


Broadcasting in the Saarland began in 1929, under the League of Nations mandate. In 1935, when the Saar rejoined Germany, Joseph Goebbels's Propagandaministerium established the Reichssender Saarbrücken, under the control of the Reichs-Rundfunk GmbH Berlin.

After World War II, the Saarland was placed under French administration as the Saar Protectorate. The French military government established Radio Saarbrücken to serve the area. This became Saarländischer Rundfunk following the re-establishment of civilian government on 31 December 1947.

In 1952, the Saarland introduced a law reorganizing radio broadcasting, and created Saarländischer Rundfunk GmbH, a limited company. In 1953, SR expanded into television and started a second radio network, SR2.

The Saarland became part of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957 and Saarländischer Rundfunk was converted into a public broadcasting corporation, patterned on the system in other Länder, and renamed Saarländischer Rundfunk. The organization joined the ARD alliance of broadcasting corporations in 1959.

On 5 April 1969, the three broadcasters then covering southwest Germany – Saarländischer Rundfunk, Südwestfunk (SWF; Southwest Broadcasting), and Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR, South German Broadcasting) – initiated a joint third television channel, known as Südwest 3 or S3. The new channel operated on only three days a week at first, then expanded to four days in September 1969, and to the whole week in 1971. On 30 August 1998, S3 became SR Südwest Fernsehen, planned in co-operation with Südwestrundfunk, the successor to SWF and SDR. Since 11 September 2006 it has been called simply SR Fernsehen. 70% of its programming is identical to that of the new SWR Fernsehen, but the on-screen logo and other graphic-design features are different. A teletext service, Saartext, has operated since 2 October 1989.

On 1 November 1964, the SR reorganized its radio services, converting SR1 – previously a general network – into the music station SR1 Europawelle Saar. A new station, SR3, was launched, aimed at immigrant workers in the region. Since 7 January 1980, SR3 has been known as SR3 Saarlandwelle and is the main regional station for the Saar.

SR2 became SR2 Studiowelle Saar in 1967. From 1972 until 1990, this station was organized in co-operation with SDR and SWF, and from 1990 until 1994 in co-operation with Hessischer Rundfunk's hr2 station. From 1 January 1995, the station has been known as SR2 KulturRadio and is now programmed independently.

SR4, the fourth radio service, began on 6 November 1989. The station carried programming for immigrant workers and, from 1 March 1999, coverage of debates in the Bundestag and Bundesrat (the two houses of the German parliament). When parliament was not sitting, SR4 carried SR2 and SR3 programmes.

On 1 March 1999, the SR began a youth station, UnserDing, produced in co-operation with the SWR's youth service DASDING. In January 2004, SR4 was closed and its frequencies were taken over by UnserDing.

Organization and finances

Chairmen of the Saarländischer Rundfunk

1935 1938 Adolf Raskin, Director of Reichssenders Saarbrücken (Imperial Broadcasting Saarbrücken)
1938 1945 Karl Mages, Director of Reichssenders Saarbrücken, and later director of Radio Saarbrücken and first director of SR.
1945 1947 Emanuel Charrin, Officier-Chef du Center Emetteur, later Contrôleur Général of Radio Saarbrücken
1947 1948 Gérard Losson, General Director of Saarländischer Rundfunk
1948 1955 Frédéric Billmann, new General Director of Saarländischer Rundfunk (under French postwar administration)
1953 1954 Hans Wettmann, second General Director of Saarländischer Rundfunk
1954 1955 Hermann Mathias Görgen, new second General Director of Saarländischer Rundfunk
1955 1958 Eugen Meyer, provisional managing director of "Saarländischer Rundfunk GmbH"
1958 1978 Franz Mai, Director of the public broadcaster Saarländischer Rundfunk (under West German administration, after Saarland was reunited with West Germany)
1978 1989 Hubert Rohde
1989 1996 Manfred Buchwald
1996 2011 Fritz Raff
July 2011 Thomas Kleist


Every household in Germany is lawfully bound to pay a 17,50 Euro poll tax per month as so called "Rundfunkbeitrag" (broadcast contribution) to finance the public broadcast system.[1] The fee is collected by Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio.


SR provides programmes to various TV and radio networks, some done in collaboration with other broadcasters, and others completely independently.

TV programming

  • SR Fernsehen – Third TV channel for the Saarland, part of a regional collaboration with Südwestrundfunk.
  • Das Erste – SR contributes programming to Germany's main network.
  • Phoenix – collaborative network programming between the ARD and ZDF.
  • KiKa – Children's network from the ARD and ZDF.
  • Arte – Franco-German cultural network
  • 3sat – Cultural network from the ARD, ZDF, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting), and SRG SSR (Swiss Broadcasting).

Radio programming

  • SR 1 Europawelle ("Europe Wave") – Pop music and information
  • SR 2 Kuturradio – High culture, classical music, drama, opera
  • SR 3 Saarlandwelle ("Saarland Wave") – Music in German and French language (mostly chanson and schlager), also news from Saarland.
  • UnserDing ("Our Thing") – Youth-oriented programming, in cooperation with DASDING from Südwestrundfunk.
  • Antenne Saar – Spoken word information with Franco-German character.


See also


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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