The Slovak Parliament on Wednesday, August 1, picked Václav Mika to head the country’s public broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS). Mica, a former head of the private broadcaster TV Markíza, won out over ten other candidates. The winning candidate needed an absolute majority in parliament. Mica received 74 votes from the 95 MPs who took part. His nearest competitor Jaroslav Rezník, who currently heads the TASR newswire, got two votes.
Apart from MPs of the governing Smer party, deputies from the opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) also took part. The other opposition parties boycotted the vote.
Mika said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that he would like to re-launch a third TV channel oriented towards sports; to make Channel One what he called a “standard European TV format”, and for Channel Two to broadcast programmes for more intellectual and demanding viewers. He also said he wants RTVS to return to investigative journalism and to cooperate more intensely with the Czech Republic’s state television broadcaster, ČT. Mika opined that Slovak Radio, the radio arm of RTVS, is already quite stable, but said that Rádio FM should have bigger audiences. Between 1986 and 1994, Mika held several managerial positions at the state-owned TV broadcaster Slovak Television (STV), and in 1998-1999 he was vice-chair of the STV Council. He led Rádio Expres from its launch in 2000 until 2006, when he became chief executive of TV Markíza. He left that post in September 2010.
The former head of RTVS – it first director following the merger of STV and Slovak Radio (SRo) – Miloslava Zemková was removed as general director on June 26 after 82 MPs voted in support of a motion from parliament’s media committee to sack her before the end of her five-year term. The opposition boycotted the vote and said the action was a political move by Smer to take control of the public broadcaster. She filed two complaints with the country’s Constitutional Court – the second on July 11 – alleging that her basic rights were violated by parliament.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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