Karl Valks becomes the new head of sports at WDR. Valks, previously Editor-in-Chief of Sky Sport News as well as for live sports and Sky’s digital sports offering, is expected to take up the position on January 15, 2023.
As head of sports, Valks (49) will be responsible for all linear and digital sports content on WDR. In addition to the sports show on Erste, the ARD Bundesliga conference and sports reporting on the radio, this also includes the digital strategy of the sports show with sportschau.de, the sports show app, various podcasts and the social media channels of the sports show.
Valks succeeds Steffen Simon as head of sports, who left WDR on May 1, 2022. He completes the management team of the WDR sports department, which has consisted of Judith Biedermann, Erik Felske, Sebastian Göllner and Klaus Heinen since August 1, 2022.
Karl Valks: “I’m very grateful to Sky and the people there for almost 18 great years – and I’m now looking forward to an exciting challenge and, above all, to a successful and experienced sports team. Everyone knows the sports show – that’s up-to-date reporting combined with high-quality Background. I want to help us reach even more people in the future.”
Editor-in-Chief of Sky Sport News for three years
Karl Valks, born in Kevelaer, has been editor-in-chief of Sky Sport News for three years and is also responsible for Sky’s digital sports channels. Overall, he has been with Premiere/Sky since 2005, where he was responsible for reporting on the top Bundesliga game, among other things, and since 2019, as Sky Vice President of the “Sports” editorial team, he has been responsible for live reporting on all sports in addition to football, such as handball, Formula 1, golf, athletics and tennis.
Jörg Schönenborn, WDR program director: “With Karl Valks, a sports journalist with a great deal of experience and an excellent feeling for trends and changes is joining us. Together with our team and the partners in the ARD, he will continue to advance the sports show on the way to the digital world And it stands for the fact that we will not only depict the excitement, emotion and passion of the competitions in the future, but also take a critical look behind the scenes and uncover grievances.”
Ellen Ehni, WDR Editor-in-Chief: “I got to know Karl Valks as an experienced manager who has also devoted himself to many sports outside of football in recent years. I wish that with our offers on the various platforms we would show sport in all its diversity show – and in the future will also win users who have not yet followed us.”
Responsible for around 70 permanent and 200 freelance employees
At WDR, Karl Valks is responsible for around 70 permanent and 200 freelance employees. The sports show in the first, sportschau.de and the ARD Bundesliga conference on the radio reach millions of people every week. In addition, WDR is also responsible for the cross-media reporting of major projects such as the 2023 finals, the 2023 handball world championship and the 2024 European football championship, and handles the entire ARD winter sports reporting and the online offering of other major events such as the Olympic Games from Cologne or soccer World Cup.
The background and investigative reporting of “Sport inside”, numerous sports policy documentaries and cross-media formats such as “Zeigler’s wonderful world of football” are also produced on the WDR sports campus.