BERLIN — Karl Holzamer, the founding director general of German pubcaster ZDF, died Sunday in the city of Mainz at the age of 100.
Current ZDF topper Markus Schaechter described Holzamer as “the architect of ZDF” who, in the span of 15 years, managed to transform a fledgling public broadcaster into one of the biggest television channels in Europe.
Holzamer began his media career in 1931 as radio director at Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and later served as a correspondent with the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War.
Following the war, he served as broadcasting commission chairman at regional pubcaster Suedwestfunk (SWF) from 1949 to 1960. Holzamer was appointed as head of the newly launched ZDF in 1963 and served until 1977.
Unlike German pubcaster network ARD, which includes a main nationwide channel as well as nine regional affiliates, ZDF was established as a single nationwide broadcaster.