Thomas Bellut
Markus Hintzen


After more than 30 years working at the German public-service broadcaster, 66-year-old Bellut stepped down from ZDF in March 2022, handing off the broadcaster to program director Dr. Norbert Himmler.  A former journalist, he took the top job at the broadcaster in 2012. Despite Germany’s highly competitive TV landscape, he worked to ensure that ZDF remained the most watched channel for nine years in a row. In 2021, amid lockdown and Germany’s elections, ZDF was one of the country’s most popular news sources. Bellut also made quality dramas a priority, achieving global success with the likes of “Generation War” and “Ku’damm 59.” In recognition of the mark he has made on television in Germany and beyond, Bellut won 2021’s International Emmy Directorate Award.


  • ZDF
  • Westfälische Nachrichten
  • Reporters Without Borders (Germany)


  • Westphalian Wilhelms University (Germany)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2020 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2021 Variety500 Honoree


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News from Variety

Yvonne Orji to Host the 2021 International Emmy Awards

Yvonne Orji to Host the 2021 International Emmy Awards

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that Yvonne Orji will host the 49th International Emmy Awards, which takes place in person Nov. 22 at the Great Hall of Casa Cipriani in New York.Additionally, NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki will present the International Emmy Directorate Award to Thomas Bellut, director general of ZDF German Television.Orji and Nowitzki will be joined by a cast of presenters including Vanessa Williams, Aidan Quinn, Brian d'Arcy James, Method Man, Piper Perabo, Emeraude Toubia,...


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