Dhe former WDR director Fritz Pleitgen is dead. Pleitgen died on Thursday at the age of 84, as the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR) announced on Friday in Cologne. Pleitgen had worked as a journalist at WDR since 1963 and was its director from 1995 to 2007.
Pleitgen, who lived in Bergisch Gladbach until his death, was considered one of the most influential German journalists and media makers. WDR director Tom Buhrow explained that Pleitgen was a highly respected broadcast manager, correspondent and political journalist. He had a decisive influence on the WDR.
Among other things, Pleitgen is known to the television audience for numerous moderations of “Brennpunkt” programs or the ARD “Press Club”, which he moderated until 2006. In 2020, Pleitgen, who was then honorary president of the German Cancer Aid, made pancreatic cancer public.