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Part of a former heute opening sequence. The sequence is integrated into the virtual studio.
Also known asheute+ (late-night)
heute in europa (Today in Europe, 16:00)
heute in deutschland (Today in Germany, 14:00)
heute Xpress (short bulletins)
Presented byPetra Gerster
Christian Sievers
Barbara Hahlweg
Country of originGermany
Original language(s)German
Production location(s)Mainz
Running timeMain bulletin: 20 minutes
Original networkZDF
Original release1 April 1963 (1963-04-01) –
Related showsheute-journal (1978–present)
External links

heute (German pronunciation: [ˈhoʏtə] (About this soundlisten); German for today) is a television news program on the German channel ZDF. The main program is broadcast at 19:00, and includes news, with an emphasis on political news from Germany, Europe and the world, plus 'mixed' news from cultural life or entertainment, and the sports news with an extra presenter. The weather forecast comes up about 19:22 after a break with commercials. The opening sequence of each broadcast features an analogue clock, a signature element of the program.

The newscast heute of ZDF and the 20:00-Tagesschau of ARD/Das Erste are the main broadcasts of German public TV starting the evening programme. Advertisements can not be shown on public television in Germany after 8:00 pm.


The first heute broadcast took place on 1 April 1963, the day ZDF itself started broadcasting.

heute was originally broadcast from 19:30 to 20:00 CET; on 1 February 1965, the show was split into two parts - heute (19:30 to 19:45 CET) and themen des tages (themes/headlines of the day) (19:45 to 20:00 CET). From 1 January 1969 the themen des tages was dropped so the evening programs could start earlier. In 1971, Wibke Bruhns was the first female presenter.

In 1973, its airtime was moved to 19:00, where it remains today.

Since 2014, the main presenters of the 7pm broadcast have been Petra Gerster and Christian Sievers, who alternate weekly; Barbara Hahlweg acts as a stand-in if neither Gerster or Sievers are available.[1]


The main program usually has a length of 20 minutes (including a weather forecast). It is also broadcast on 3sat. Around 21:45 CET, a longer, more in-depth show called heute-journal is broadcast, which is similar to Tagesthemen airing on Das Erste alongside the Tagesschau.


For most of its run, the program's title music was preceded by the letters h-e-u-t-e in morse code (···· · ··- - ·). In 1998, this was integrated with the title music, and the dots and dashes are no longer distinguishable.

On 17 July 2009, a new virtual studio debuted, featuring redesigned graphics and the integration of the title sequence to the studio in most editions.[2]


7pm edition

Presenter Years Role
Petra Gerster 1998–present Main presenter
Christian Sievers 2014–present Main presenter
Barbara Hahlweg 2007–present Relief presenter

Sports news

Presenter Years
Norbert König 1987–present
Kristin Otto 1995–present
Rudi Cerne 1996–present
Sven Voss 2007–present
Katja Streso 2010–present
Alexander Ruda 2014–present


  1. ^ "Christian Sievers plant wieder langfristig". B.Z. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Redesigning the daily news". Eden-Spiekermann. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
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