Cherno Jobatey – From analog TV into the digital age

When morning news made its debut to Germany, Cherno Jobatey was one of the main hosts from the very beginning. He quickly became a mainstay on the ZDF morning news show and a trademark for the network. The “nation’s most cheerful alarm-clock”, is how Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper described him. It noted he turned the mixture of news, interviews and consumer service into an improbable success with audiences. For the German “news junkie” (Die Welt) there is nothing more fascinating than politics. The early morning show from the German capital became an important platform. The ZDF Morgenmagazin show became a huge success for the network and for Cherno Jobatey, who hosted it for twenty years.

Are you Game?

During the morning shows, Jobatey’s qualities as an entertainer and showman had to take a back seat to the news, but they were still apparent. Jobatey became a frequent guest in broadcasting slots later in the day. For two seasons, the TV moderator hosted the ZDF’s Sunday quiz show Memory. After that one of his childhood dreams came true when he became the host of the ARD network’s Saturday evening show Are you Game? He hosted the German version of Candid Camera for five years.

CHERNO! The RBB Talk Show

In the German Capital, the TV moderator soon added his own brand: Cherno.The RBB Talkshow. For five years, Jobatey conducted clever, deep and revealing interviews in prime time, winning 24% ratings at the hugely competitive 8:15 pm slot.

Political heavyweights, intellectuals, small fry and people “on the street” were among his wide variety of guests. It was often amusing as with the actress Inge Meysel, the “nation’s finger-wagging mother”, or sweet as with the up-and-coming singer/actress Yvonne Catterfeld, and invariably highly fascinating, as when former President Richard von Weizsäcker discussed responsibility.

Music was the Trigger

To be a TV moderator, however, was not his original dream! It was music that brought the teenager Jobatey on stage for the first time, and he was never able to find a cure for that virus. Five to eight times a year, he performs on stage, at clubs and festivals, playing guitar and singing with his old combo, Groove Gangster GmbH.

So Many Stages

Cherno Jobatey appears not only on TV but on many stages, at events, political rallies and conferences, as a gala moderator, lecturer, entertainer, talk show moderator and master of ceremonies.

Europe’s largest sports paper, Sport Bild, described moderator Cherno Jobatey’s stage show: a star was running late, “and Cherno quickly made that part of the program. General laughter and applause. That is what happens when a moderator has massive amounts knowledge and can pair that with pure entertainment, all with astonishing ease. He is able to help sports champions, fresh from their triumphs and unaccustomed to appearances in the media spotlight, to forget their shyness and show their open, cheerful side.”

The News Junkie goes Online

Nevertheless, the number of people who are fans of Jobatey’s political knowledge and instincts has grown constantly. The number of readers of his analytical press review has grown steadily. The format UdLDigital Talkshow was created to make politics accessible to younger people in a different form, placed where they watch TV: on the Internet.

In front of an audience, an unknown nerd debates with a well-known politician. During the second part, all those present can join the discussion. With more than 80,000 viewers, the show How ‘Neuland’ is changing politics featuring Chanceller Merkel’s whip Volker Kauder was the most successful episode so far.

Cherno Jobatey also regularly produces and moderates for Facebook, for example the #facebook BerlinTalk featuring Foreign Minister Steinmeier. Jobatey & Nida-Rümelin is the attempt to translate philosophy into modern media. The occasional interview format face time BERLIN gives him an opportunity to talk to artists, politicians and business leaders who stop by in the German capital.

Speaker / Lecturer

Constantly increasing audience numbers are also noticeable at his lectures, for instance, his appearances as a lecturer or speaker. His presentations are often about politics or communication, such as his highly successful speech Digital Power. The Silent Revolution.

Print Journalist

The moderator Cherno Jobatey, who spent his Berlin childhood in a struggle with dyslexia, has remained faithful to print journalism all these years. He has wrestled with words and made a name for himself as a freelance journalist and author alongside his TV career: he writes for Wirtschaftswoche business magazine, Cosmopolitan, Die Welt newspaper, BILD newspaper, Tagesspiegel newspaper and other publications. When he lost more than 80 pounds as a fascinated public watched, he shared the secret of his newfound fitness in the self-help book „Fit wie ein Turnschuh“ that became a best-seller. His new fitness level turned him into a dedicated long-distance runner.

Editor of the HuffPost

Since its founding, Cherno Jobatey has been part of the team leading the German edition of the HuffPost as its Editorial Director. In less than its first year, the news platform managed to get close to the top ten of German news portals. As an author, Jobatey wrote not only for the German, but also for the US HuffPost, and was a frequent interview partner for the US-based online TV offshoot HuffPost Live.


Despite all the galas, spotlights and television glamour, Jobatey the Moderator has never forgotten where he started. “I was lucky: somebody always took care of me. I want to give that back,” he says. Jobatey’s reading project “Kopf-Kino für Kinder” won a “Land of Ideas” Award from the German President.. “There are no untalented people – only people nobody takes care of.” That is why he helps many charity events and organizations.

University Lecturer

Cherno Jobatey’s activism reached a new dimension when Professor Otto Altendorfer met him at the Munich Security Conference and offered him a teaching position at university, as a mover-and-shaker and senior news presenter. Thus Jobatey has been passing on his knowledge for years at various universities. In seminars, lectures, workshops and presentations, he shares insights into his subjects with his students: political communication in the 21st century, the ethics of political communication, media economy, digital corporate communication, media history, journalism, rhetoric and business ethics.

He lectures at the TU Munich, the Free University Berlin, the Leuphana University, the University of the Arts in Berlin, Mittweida University, Stuttgart Media University and the University of the Saarland.