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"Tagesschau" head spokesman Jan Hofer leaves - smiling and without a tie

"You take care". With these words Jan Hofer said goodbye to the viewers of the "Tagesschau" on Monday evening. After around 36 years in the service of the news program with the highest ratings on German television, the 68-year-old read out the latest news from Germany and the world for the last time at exactly 8 p.m. This time they were mainly about Corona and the presidential election in the USA, the poison attack against the Kremlin opponent Alexej Navalny and the football championship.

At the end of the broadcast, Hofer himself became the reporter. He didn't have to read them out himself, however. His successor Jens Riewa took over for him. "No speaker for the most famous German news program could be seen for so many years in a row as the native of the Rhineland," said Riewa.

Hofer himself used the time after the weather for a few words of thanks to the audience and his colleagues. "For me, however, today is the last time: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Do it well," said the 68-year-old, while he took off his red tie with a smile.

NDR director Joachim Knuth paid tribute to Hofer on Monday as an "institution". "Calm, thoughtful, serious. Jan Hofer is an institution and has been the face and voice of television news in Germany for decades. He has managed to keep up with the times without bending," said Knuth, according to the announcement. "He will be missing in the German living rooms."

Hofer had started his media career with radio. Later, in addition to his work as a news anchor, he was also the presenter of television and talk shows, including 20 years for the "Riverboat" of the MDR. 16 years ago he became chief spokesman for the "Tagesschau".

After around 36 years in the "Tagesschau" service, saying goodbye is not difficult, Hofer told the German Press Agency in Hamburg on Monday. For example, he likes to do without getting up early and shift work. Now he is looking forward to more time for his family and hobbies. Hofer has four children and is married to a second marriage. dpa