Normal Gets You Nowhere: Linda Zervakis

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the daytime news". Many of us have probably heard this sentence from Linda Zervakis. In our podcast, Linda gives us an insight into her beginnings in radio, her path to Tagesschau, her own podcast and Greek culture.

Tagesschau anchor, journalist, presenter, best-selling author, own podcast, mom. "Sounds good!" - Linda Zavakis says with a smile after a short listing of her CV at the beginning of the conversation with Melvin Lamberty. Former Tagesschau anchorwoman, journalist, presenter, best-selling author, own podcast, mom of two children are among the names. The Hamburg native with Greek roots is known to most from the Tagesschau. However, Linda laid the foundation for her current career on the radio. Starting out as a newscaster at N-Joy, Linda auditioned to become a spokesperson for the TV program "Schleswig-Holstein Magazin. Through a colleague she then got the hint that the current station "Tagesschau24" needed a new spokeswoman. There, too, the casting was crowned with success. From there, she moved to "Nachtmagazin" on ARD. "I was totally excited and thought to myself "Oh God, on the first German television?", says Linda looking back on her beginnings. After the Nachtmagazin and Morgenmagazin, the switch to the Tagesschau followed. "I remember I was really reeling," Linda says of the moment after receiving the news of succeeding a departing colleague. "The first issue, I was scared shitless. That I even got a sound out. But after that, I just made three crosses and felt like I had lost 20 kilos," Linda says with a laugh, thinking back to the first issue.
For eight years, Linda performed this important role. It involves more than simply reading the news off the teleprompter. "If I don't understand the news, how can I sell it well?" says Linda, "that's what separates good newscasters from not-so-good ones."
In between all the positive news being reported, there is of course the negative news that needs to be told. The Corona pandemic in particular is not easy for Linda in this regard. "That was the horror. I then also partly did not watch the news myself to reset myself," says Linda in response to this difficult time. In April 2021, Linda makes the decision to change again professionally. "Actually, I would not have left, but I needed another "playing field" for myself. There were a few other things they offered me, but I wasn't that keen on. I then got a call from Pro7 and thought to myself 'Okay it's nice, but I can't leave the daytime show'. Then I asked myself, do I actually want to continue doing this until I retire?", says Linda, who then decides - despite some doubts - to leave the Tagesschau. Linda then gets her own format "Zervakis and Opdenhövel" at the Munich-based private broadcaster. Even though this format has not yet brought the desired success, Linda does not regret the step so far. "Even if the show fails in the end, then something new will come," Linda says confidently.
In addition to her job as a presenter, Linda also has her own Spotify Original podcast "Gute Deutsche" since 2020. In the podcast, which is now in its third season, Linda talks about her migration background with guests including Rin, Palina Rojinski and Enissa Amani. "It's about the people who also got a second culture in the cradle and what kind of problems they had. And then you listen full of humility and think to yourself, 'look what they've done for a way'," says Linda about her podcast.
Linda has no concrete plans for the future, but if she has her way, her Greek roots may also play a role. "If I had a dream, I would like to live half a year in Greece, half a year in Germany, just to have the best of both cultures always there," Linda says with a smile.


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