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Former 24UR editor cannot help himself: Even as an employee of a Hisense subsidiary company, he continues to tweet stupidities

The political activity of the most politically diligent journalists of the current “fifth opposition party,” POP TV, has often paid off in the past. One of the diligent journalists in question is also Denis Oštir. The former long-time journalist and editor of the 24UR website became the Head of Public Relations at the company Gorenje under the management of Franjo Bobnac, and now he works in a company called Vidaa, which is the subsidiary company of the Chinese owners of Gorenje. “If, in addition to the water they drank, they also ate a salad, then that is not a problem. Because, as far as I understand what Krek is saying, salad with vinegar is a medicine, so to speak, and as such, it certainly does not fall under the decree on the restriction of offering food service,” was only one of Oštir’s tasteless messages he published on social networks.

Our media outlet has previously already reported on how nice it is to be a central journalist on the show 24UR on the largest Slovenian commercial television POP TV. In the past, many of their journalists have transferred into the political sphere, namely, into the left-wing political parties. Irena Joveva became a Member of the European Parliament after she joined the LMŠ party, Jure Brankovič became the Head of Public Relations at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, former weather forecaster Helena Lovše became Head of Public Relations at the Court of Audit, which is headed by Tomaž Vesel, Boštjan Lajovic worked as a PR representative for the President in the past, Melita Župevc was an MP in the National Assembly on the list of the Social Democrats and later Janković’s Positive Slovenia (Pozitivna Slovenija – PS), Nataša Pirc Musar became the Information Commissioner, and Tamara Vonta became an MP of the Positive Slovenia party and the director of the Media Directorate in one of the former left-wing governments. The victim of Šarec’s physical violence, the former 24UR journalist Polona Križnar was a consultant at the Ministry of Health at the time of Minister Aleš Šabeder. And the new media campaign of revealing sexual violence and harassment has proven that the sexual violence has been caused by Igor Pribac and Matjaž Tribušon, regardless of whether or not they want to actually take responsibility of their actions. Perhaps the 24UR journalists could ask their former colleague about these events, which have been causing quite a stir in the Slovenian public for a while now. Thus, the truth would finally be able to come to light, once and for all.

There are cases of people joining political parties after their journalistic career on the so-called right-wing pole as well (Eva Irgl, Miro Petek, Jure Ferjan); however, there is only a handful of them. One of the lucky winners of the award for the diligent undermining of the Slovenian right is also Denis Oštir, a former journalist and editor of the 24UR website. In 2018, he got a job in the former left-wing economic fortress from Velenje, Gorenje. He is now also working with the new owners, the Chinese company Hisense. After long-term financial difficulties of the former management, the Chinese bought the company for 293 million euros, some Slovenian media outlets wrote. However, this was not the end of Oštir’s career, as, after the arrival of the Chinese owners, he climbed even higher on the hierarchical ladder within the company.

He had an amazing salary in Gorenje
Denis Oštir is no longer “officially” employed in Gorenje. In February of last year, he became the Director of Global Business Development in Hisensa’s subsidiary company, Vidaa. The company was founded in March of 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. On the company website, Vidaa is described as a technology and innovation company, whose main product is the VIDAA Smart OS and Content Platform. It was founded by the Hisense company and other investors in March of 2019, with the goal of becoming the market leader in Smart TV OS. The company’s headquarters are located in the United States, with branches in China, Israel, Germany and Slovenia. According to data available online, Denis Oštir and Jernej Smisl are the only two employees in Slovenia. The Director of APAC Business Development of the company is Haoran Pang.

In the past, Mladina wrote some interesting articles about Oštir. With the news that Gorenje was threatening to lay off 324 employees, information about Oštir’s very high salary also appeared – the salary he was receiving as Head of the Public Relations department at Gorenje. Despite the pressures, he did not want to disclose his actual salary and insisted that this was a private matter. However, our sources who know Gorenje very well came forward and told us that Oštir’s monthly salary was somewhere between seven and ten thousand euros.

In his spare time, Oštir also writes a blog, called Kričač (the screamer). The former Dnevnik and 24UR journalist writes about his life on the blog. He wrote about how the snow destroyed the solar panels on his roof. In a blog post from the 9th of February of this year, he wrote “the roofers in his area are incompetent. Most of them were not interested in repairing or reinstalling the solar panels, and those who actually came forward wanted to install the same panels that the snow had already torn down once,” Oštir begrudgingly describes his problems. Later, his day was finally made better by a company from Železniki, which successfully solved the problem.

The former Head of Public Relations in Gorenje also took the time to sell skiing equipment. If anyone wants to buy Oštir’s skiing equipment, you can find it in the blogpost titled Selling our Equipment. He is selling children’s skis for 100 euros, Alpina ski boots for 40 euros, Ean Eragon snowboard with the bindings for 150 euros, and Elan’s winter footwear for 100 euros. According to publicly available data, he was an independent entrepreneur at the time when he was employed at POP TV. Between the years 2012 and 2014, he received an annual revenue of just over 40 thousand euros. On his blog, you can also see how he advertised Gorenje and POP TV.

He wants to send the children to school, despite the unstable conditions
The famous former face of the largest commercial television shows no signs of culture of communication in his tweets, even though that would be expected from a long-time media representative. He seems to have plenty of time in his new job to regularly publish tweets and write political judgements of the government measures on his blog, which he obviously knows better than the leading epidemiologists. Namely, Oštir is one of those people who, despite the unpredictable conditions, wants to send the children to schools, which is quite risky, if not naïve, especially coming from someone who used to be the editor of the 24UR web portal. Here is what he wrote in one of his recent tweets: “They are deprived of any serious education (because this is a joke) and their future. And the kids who, mainly because of the technologies available to them in this day and age, have the best insight into the world around them, is very much aware of this. Their resistance is pure and, above all, understandable.”

During the day, Oštir is playing the role of a businessman, but in the virtual world, he is playing the role of a classic leftist, who likes to bash the representatives of the Slovenian right and the current government. Nevertheless, Oštir seems to have forgotten that he is receiving his monthly salary from Hisense, the company that owns Gorenje. So, we asked the management of the company whether they find such comments acceptable, in terms of the reputation of their company. They replied, saying that Oštir was no longer employed as the Head of Public Relations in their company and that our claims that his messages represent the official standpoint of Gorenje, are not true. They did not respond to our additional statement where we mentioned that as he is still employed in the Hisense company, and therefore, his statements still indirectly represent Gorenje. We’ll let you in on another secret. Through Gorenje’s subsidiaries, at least three times as much money as the Chinese paid for the takeover of the company, had disappeared. So, you should not be surprised to find out that Hisense first laid off 150 senior employees and then started selling its subsidiaries. But more on that some other time.

Luka Perš

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