The article reports considerable changes in the content and style of German election coverage between 1990 and 2002. The findings are based on a content analysis of the main evening news of the four major television channels, spanning four Bundestag elections. During the observation period, television has immensely expanded its coverage of the top candidates. While the presence of the candidates in the news increased, they were not able to get their issues across to the audience. The news discourse was narrowed down to election and campaigning as issues. Matters of campaigning style, the ‘game schema’, as well as election polls became increasingly salient. The number of sound bites grew, although the average sound bite length decreased slightly. The presentation of the candidates became more vivid and more colorful, and, thus, more attractive for the audience. On the other hand, there are no signs of increasing negativism. The observable trends in the scope and kind of presentation of candidates can be interpreted as increasing personalization and dramatization of media coverage. The changes partially fit into the pattern of convergence (i. e., a mutual assimilation of public and commercial channels). These developments are partly rooted in the change of the German television market. Other results can be explained by historical incidents such as the German unification in 1990, and by the candidate constellation during each election. In spite of some similarities with developments in the US, the authors argue that it would be misleading to label the observable changes of German election coverage as ‘Americanization’.