NEWS IN SHORT

STV finally gets its budget approved

THE STV Council, the supervisory body overseeing public broadcaster Slovak Television (STV), approved a budget and a programme concept for the broadcaster for 2009 in late March. STV had been working with a provisional budget since the end of December 2008. The draft budget of STV director general Štefan Nižňanský was finally supported by 11 members of the council, the SITA newswire reported.

THE STV Council, the supervisory body overseeing public broadcaster Slovak Television (STV), approved a budget and a programme concept for the broadcaster for 2009 in late March. STV had been working with a provisional budget since the end of December 2008. The draft budget of STV director general Štefan Nižňanský was finally supported by 11 members of the council, the SITA newswire reported.

STV will work with a budget of about €82 million, with an expected loss of €6 million. From this budget, STV will only be able to make the most necessary investments and current expenditures. STV expects revenues of €76 million. They do not include compensation for lower advertising sales and compensation for lower fees for broadcasting of €19.9 million.

In the past, the Ministry of Culture has flatly rejected providing a subsidy from the state budget for STV to compensate for the shortfall.

However, the ministry has conceded lately that STV could receive additional government funds, depending on the final decision of the Slovak cabinet.

Compensation of about €6.5 million for a shortfall of revenues resulting from a change last year in the system of viewers’ and listeners’ fees for public service media was also included in the budget. STV expects another compensatory tranche worth €3.5 million over the course of the year.

The STV Council ordered Nižňanský to revise the budget by June 30 so that revenues and expenditures for 2009 are balanced by the end of the year.

STV expects to have 999 people on its payroll at the end of the year.

The Council refused to adopt STV’s draft mid-term strategy on programming, technological, economic and personnel development for the period 2009 - 2014.

STV management was asked to redraft the strategy before the end of April, SITA wrote.

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