Solid as a rock goes – bye, dear Claus-Erich Boetzkes

When the planes flew into the New York Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, it was early afternoon in Germany. In Hamburg, the Tagesschau editorial team sat together in front of the screens and stared at the pictures from New York. It was time to go on the air. Claus-Erich Boetzkes was on duty and began to moderate – without knowing how this day ends, but knowing that it will be a historic moment for the world.

There were also many special programs: In addition to terrorist attacks, there were also election reports and, most recently, many Tagesschau extra issues on Corona.
No matter what happened: Claus-Erich Boetzkes was the calm itself. Press conferences that were delayed by 10, 15 or even 20 minutes: he carried on the program very confidently. Lines to reporters who suddenly broke off: no problem for him. A fancy teleprompter: He just continued to moderate. New information that the bosses on duty called him in between: Claus-Erich Boetzkes incorporated it very elegantly into his flow of speech.

He also casually plays around mishaps that – yes, you have to admit – there are also with the Tagesschau. Even when a program had to be canceled after a short time: Claus-Erich Boetzkes sold it to the audience so confidently that there were no complaints whatsoever.

His greatest strength: He is always at eye level with the audience. You understand him. You immediately understand what he is saying. Never aloof, never know-it-all. He can even explain his favorite topics such as economics and financial markets so well that he doesn’t seem like an expert, but like someone who, like a neighbor at the garden fence, asks the right questions.
That is why the audience likes him so much, also because of his sonorous voice, which makes every tragic news bearable.

Every reporter who makes a call with him from outside knows how he discreetly clears his throat when you talk too long and the calculated time budget is too strained. Clearing your throat twice in a row means unequivocally: break up immediately! The planned time has long been used up.

Today is the last working day of Claus-Erich Boetzkes at the tagesschau and ARD-aktuell thanks for the many hours that he stood like a rock in front of the camera.
We owe him a lot and we wish him all the best in his retirement.

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