TV council requests STV plans by June

THE SLOVAK Television Council overseeing the operation of state television STV has asked the station's director, Richard Rybníček, to submit proposals on new organisational and broadcasting structures by June 23.

Some council members have expressed dissatisfaction with Rybníček for thus far not communicating with the council on key decisions within STV.

"I am afraid [Rybníček] is playing with our trust," said STV Council member Marek Maďarič at an April 23 press conference.

Rybníček was appointed in January to head the troubled station, and quickly rolled out what he called an emergency regime, meaning deep cuts and mass layoffs to prevent STV's financial collapse. Before implementing the cuts, Rybníček put losses at the station at Sk20 million (€488,000) per month in addition to unpaid bills from 2002 totalling Sk689 million (€16.8 million).

In early April, the station dismissed around half of its 2,015 employees, part of a package of measures that Rybníček says will save the station Sk300 million (€7.3 million) by the end of the year.

After the council's statement, Rybníček told the SITA news agency that from now on, he would inform the body of all crucial decisions at STV.

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