Frank Plasberg has just returned from the summer break with “hard but fair” when the surprising news comes on Wednesday: After almost 22 years, the successful and award-winning journalist and moderator Frank Plasberg, 65, is giving up the moderation of the ARD political talk. Louis Klamroth, 32, is to become the new moderator of “hard but fair”, the WDR announced.

Frank Plasberg says goodbye to the “hard but fair” viewers at the end of November 2022 after a total of almost 750 broadcasts. Louis Klamroth will present “hard but fair” for the first time in January 2023.

“When you’ve been traveling with a show for so long, you want it to continue to evolve. And now is the right time for that,” Plasberg is quoted as saying in the WDR announcement.

“How lucky for me to be able to present ‘tough but fair’ for over 20 years. For this I owe a big thank you to the ARD and my home broadcaster WDR, a great team and of course the many guests, without whose willingness to argue hard but fairly the show would not have been possible.”

Successor Louis Klamroth may not be known to every television viewer. The son of the actor Peter Lohmeyer moderated the political talk show “Klamroths Konter” on n-tv, for which he won the German Television Prize (Förderpreis) in 2018.

He also received a lot of attention with the “ProSieben Bundestag Election Show”, for which he was in front of the camera in 2021. Together with the team at his production company K2H, founded in 2019, he produced and moderated exclusive interviews with the chancellor candidates for ProSieben in advance, including the first interview with Annalena Baerbock after she was named by Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen.

‘hard but fair’ is one of the most established formats on German television, and I am very pleased to be able to help shape this program in this prominent slot as a moderator from next year and to be able to lead it into the future,” says Klamroth. “I am convinced that strong and responsible public service broadcasting is essential, especially in these times.”

Anyone who has seen the quick-witted Klamroth in his formats or has met him in person can well imagine that Jörg Schönenborn, WDR program director for information, fiction and entertainment, is not entirely wrong in his assessment.

“With Louis Klamroth, ‘hard but fair’ is entering a new era. Klamroth is a smart and sensitive observer of our society. As a young and yet very experienced moderator and reporter, he will bring new ideas to the show. ‘Hard but fair’ will change and yet remain true to the most important principle: that politics meets reality in the show and has to explain and prove itself in the process.”

With Plasberg, a moderator is stepping down who, with his confrontational “tough but fair”, has given the often uniform talk events on German television an unmistakable touch (the reward: Grimme Prize, Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Prize), albeit in recent years a certain excessive routine could not be denied. Maybe now is the right time to go.