Tagesschau newsmen no longer have to wear a tie

André Schünke, last Sunday morning at 1.40 you greeted the viewers of the “Tagesschau” with the usual “Ladies and gentlemen”. One thing, however, was different from usual: they did not wear ties. With your appearance, you announced the end of the obligation to wear a tie at the “Tagesschau”, at least in the evening programs. When was the decision taken against the draw?

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor in the “Life” department of the Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

For me it fell much earlier. About a week ago, an email came from the editor-in-chief on leave. I knew that soon I would be working the night shift again and I wanted to take this opportunity because I think it is a good decision.

Did you get an email out of the blue?

I hadn’t heard anything rumbling, but my gut told me something might be coming. We listen to what people tell us and there’s always been a desire to loosen up and be a little more accessible. The email came as a surprise. I knew it would be something completely new for the “Tagesschau”.

It is strange that speakers are only allowed to go without ties at night.

I think it’s about getting a little closer and seeing what the reactions are going to be. In the end it is a colorful garment, but then one with symbolic power. For example, I found it interesting how people reacted to my Instagram account. Users tend to be younger on average, and more than three-quarters of comments were positive. According to the motto: Go for it. But if you look at other news sites, some of which also voted, then it’s like this: 60 percent are arguing whether this is right. The rest, in my opinion, do not care.

2022: André Schünke in last Sunday's show without a tie

2022: André Schünke in last Sunday’s show without a tie

Image: Tagesschau

Then you went on air. Do you have the impression that something is missing?

In advance I pulled up my shirt and collar for a long time, and then we did a little trick: Only one button open is difficult, because the shirt wrinkles strangely, at least for me. Two open buttons are too many. That’s why we decided on one and a half and put a piece of tape in the middle of the road.

Oh dear, about the future without ties, that sounds awkward.

It is not practical. For me, the shirt buttons would need to be moved a bit. In return, the direction that the tie is crooked is left out. This can be incredibly distracting on screen.

2021: Jan Hofer retires by untying his tie.

2021: Jan Hofer retires by untying his tie.

Image: Picture Alliance

You were born in 1980, how many ties do you have hanging in your closet at home?

Personally, I only have two or three. If so, I like it very elegant for a ball or wedding with a tuxedo and bow tie. I like to wear a shirt and a full suit. I’m not the jacket-jeans combo.

Interesting how the tie has lost its relevance in recent years. You can also see it this way: you feel like you belong to a certain group and yet you stand out as an individual. What more could you ask for in fashion?

In my euphoria about finally ditching the tie, I probably didn’t think far enough ahead. Because now the possible combinations are significantly reduced. What do we have? Dark blue jacket, medium blue jacket and three different shirt colors. There are not many combinations. Of course there is the possibility to place any sign.

2014: Jan Hofer accidentally wears a blue tie on the night of the World Cup final against Argentina.

2014: Jan Hofer accidentally wears a blue tie on the night of the World Cup final against Argentina.

Image: Tagesschau

You have your own collection of socks, right?

I started this on my Instagram channel because I once showed an outfit and wore colorful socks. Now I get colorful socks from people who bring them as holiday souvenirs. And at some point you have to show them. When I spontaneously hosted the 8pm news last year, I wore popcorn patterned socks. Only half an hour ago I found out that I was entering. I had neither the time nor the head to change my socks.

Then, like a man who has already found a new accessory, you were destined to break the tie.

Basically, it was a good thing that I had the opportunity to implement this relatively quickly.

You have been with “Tagesschau” for five years. Are you used to the tie then?

I had to learn again. At least I could tie a tie, even in the dark, because I used to sing in a choir and we men wore ties. We had to be able to tie our ties or our neighbors’ ties at any time. That’s why I quickly went back there. I can tie ties blindly. Five years ago I wouldn’t have even questioned the tie. But now it is fitting that something is changing on the screen as well.

1978: Werner Weigel

1978: Werner Weigel

Image: Roba

Who makes knots in the “Tagesschau”?

We all tie our ties, they hang neatly on hangers in a room where all the dresses and suits are kept. I checked, my colleagues hang their ties straight again. There are also people who leave the knot in their tie and tie the loop around their head. But as I see it, everyone seems to be able to do it.

Is there a tie collection for everyone?

In fact, they all have their own, although one fell on my hanger that I didn’t know about. I also suspect Constantin Schreiber that he was wearing my blue tie a few weeks ago.

In your opinion, when was dressing a news anchor successful?

I still think a jacket is a must, if only because it defines the shape of the TV figure. A shirt can look very heavy in the light from a distance. You can wear a blouse under a jacket, but more so in magazines, where it is a little more moderate. In the news, I think the shirt collar is important. i’m drowning

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