André Schünke, last Sunday morning at 1.40 a.m. you greeted the viewers of the “Tagesschau” with the usual “Ladies and gentlemen”. One thing, however, was different than usual: They weren’t wearing a tie. With your appearance you announced the end of the obligation to wear a tie in the “Tagesschau”, at least in the night programs. When was the decision against the tie made?
For me it fell much earlier. About a week earlier, an email came from the editor-in-chief with permission. I knew that I would soon be working a night shift again and I wanted to take this opportunity because I think it’s a good decision.
Did the email come out of nowhere for you?
I hadn’t heard anything rumbling, but my gut feeling told me something could be coming. We listen to what people tell us, and there’s always been a desire to loosen up and be a little more approachable. The email came as a surprise. I knew it would be something completely new for the “Tagesschau”.
It’s strange that the speakers are only allowed to go without their ties at night.
I think it’s about getting a little closer and seeing how the reactions turn out. In the end it is a colorful piece of clothing, but then one with symbolic power. For example, I found it interesting how people reacted to my Instagram account. Users tend to be younger on average, and more than three-quarters of the comments were positive. According to the motto: Go for it. But if you look at other news sites, some of which have also voted, then it’s like this: 60 percent are arguing whether that’s right. The rest, in my opinion, don’t care.
Then you went on the air. Did you have the impression that something is missing?
Beforehand, I tugged at my shirt and collar for a long time, and then we did a little tricking: Only an open button is difficult, because the shirt creases strangely, at least for me. Two open buttons is too many. That’s why we decided on one and a half and put a piece of tape in between halfway.
Oh dear, for the tie-less future, that sounds awkward.
It’s not practical. For me, the shirt buttons would have to be moved a bit. In return, the direction that the tie is crooked is omitted. This can be incredibly distracting on screen.
You were born in 1980, how many ties do you have hanging in your closet at home?
Personally, I only have two or three. If so, I like it really chic for a ball or a wedding with a tuxedo and bow tie. I like to wear a shirt and a full suit. I’m not the jacket-jeans combinator.
Interesting how the tie has lost its importance in recent years. You can also see it like this: you feel like you belong to a certain group and yet you stand out as an individual. What more can you ask for from fashion?
In my euphoria about finally taking off my tie, I probably didn’t think far enough ahead. Because now the possible combinations are significantly reduced. What do we have? Dark blue jacket, medium blue jacket and three different shirt colors. There aren’t that many combinations. Of course there is the possibility to set any signs.
You have your stocking collection, right?
I started this on my Instagram channel because I once showed an outfit and wore colorful socks. I now receive colorful socks from people who bring them back as holiday souvenirs. And at some point you have to show them off. When I spontaneously hosted the 8 p.m. news last year, I wore socks with a popcorn pattern. I only found out half an hour beforehand that I was stepping in. I had neither the time nor the head to change my socks.
Then, as a man who has already found a new accessory, you were predestined to break with the tie.
Basically, it was a good thing that I had the chance to implement this relatively quickly.
You have been with the “Tagesschau” for five years. Did you get used to the tie back then?
I had to get used to it again. At least I could tie a tie, even in the dark, because I used to sing in a choir, and we men all wore ties. We had to be able to tie our ties or those of our neighbors at any time. That’s why I got back in there quickly. I can tie ties blindly. Five years ago I wouldn’t have even questioned the tie. But now it’s fitting that something is changing on the screen as well.
Who knots at the “Tagesschau”?
We all tie our own ties. They hang neatly on hangers in a room where all the dresses and suits are kept. I checked, my colleagues are hanging their ties straight again. There are also people who leave the knot in their tie and choke the loop around their head. But the way I see it, everyone seems to be able to do it.
Is there a tie collection for everyone?
In fact, everyone has their own, although one has landed on my hanger that I didn’t know. I also suspect Constantin Schreiber that he wore my blue tie a few weeks ago.
In your opinion, when was the outfit of a news anchor successful?
I still think that a jacket is a must, if only because it defines the shape of the TV picture. A shirt can look very bulky in the light from a distance. You can wear a t-shirt under a jacket, but more so in magazines, where it’s a bit more moderate. In the news, I think the shirt collar is important. I’m stuffy.