The news that Darja Groznik, with the support of the Chairman of the RTVS Management Board, is challenging Mirko Štular for the leadership of Radio Slovenia has visibly upset the former Director-General of RTVS, Igor Kadunc. “Can you imagine a person in a responsible managerial position who calmly declares during the selection process that she applied for the tender after “an internal agreement with the Chairman of the (four-member) board,” and with “his support”,” Kadunc critically pointed out in relation to the developments at the “depoliticised” national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia.
With Golob’s amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act’s entry into force, the management of the public institution was transformed. It brought about the termination of the mandates of the directors of television and radio, and acting directors are now in charge of both until new directors with full powers are appointed. Four weeks ago, the newly-elected Management Board of RTV Slovenia published a call for applications for the directorships of Television and Radio Slovenia and for the post of Director of Digital Content, with the deadline expiring last week. At the time, Mirko Štular, the current Acting Director of Radio Slovenia, confirmed to the Slovenian Press Agency that he would run for re-election.
“An undecided duel for the leadership of Radio Slovenia: Darja Groznik with the support of Zvezdan Martič challenges Mirko Štular,” reported the newspaper Večer. Former Director-General of RTVS, Igor Kadunc, in a critical response to the above-mentioned report, pointed out: “Can you imagine a person in a responsible managerial position who calmly declares during the selection process that she applied for the tender after “an internal agreement with the Chairman of the (four-member) board,” and with “his support”. He had persuaded her to apply on the basis of an “internal agreement”, because he had agreed that she could “contribute to greater cooperation within RTV and greater reciprocity than they have had so far”. She also calmly says that, although “radio is in good shape, there is room for improvement also in the area of staff satisfaction” (probably in radio!). How does he know that?”
In his response on Facebook, Kadunc stressed his belief that Groznik had shown qualities that are never expected of a leader. “Not only did you basically expose yourself to ridicule, but you dragged one of the four board members who will decide on this into it,” he pointed out, recalling that Martič is one of the four-member board that will make its proposal at an upcoming board meeting. “The only truth is that in the event of a two-against two-vote, his vote will prevail. But it is now completely compromised. The fact that, having been informed, albeit legitimately, of Darja Groznik‘s intention to ambitiously, without any real arguments, apply for a third time for the position of Director of the Radio, which is obviously so dear to her, you express your support and agree to even make this public in the media, is completely frivolous,” said Kadunc, who also pointed out that Martič is not the Director-General of RTVS.
He went on to highlight the time when he himself was in office in 2019 and had proposed one of the candidates. At that time, he had spoken to both candidates and had not made any promises or shared his opinions with either of them. “It was not at all difficult for me to propose Mirko Štular, because after informal conversations with many radio insiders, it was clear to me that Mirko had almost plebiscitary support within the radio. But not Darja! But allegedly, she already had external support even then,” he pointed out, adding that he had not spoken to anyone from the RTVS Programme Council or to any politician about his thoughts. “But when I was at RTV today, I had the feeling that everything had already been decided!”
This is damaging behaviour
He went on to recall that at the beginning of September, he had already published the summaries of a Mediana survey on Štular’s management of the radio station. “That he is an excellent radio manager is also shown by all the more recent research,” he stated, wondering why anyone would replace a “proven winning horse”. Kadunc also recalled that at one of the round tables, Štular had expressed his support for the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act. “For me, his clear message was as strong as if he had stood among the opponents of the destruction of TVS in front of the RTV building,” he stated, wondering what Martič would do in the end.
“Did Darja Groznik get his words right? Perhaps even in collusion with him? If what is written in Večer is true, he made it very clear to his practically equal colleagues (yes, I am also sorry that there was no female candidate among those who applied!) that he does not care about them,” he pointed out, reminding that it does not say that Martič expressed his support after consulting the others. “If we know that member of the Board Franci Pavšer, who is extremely familiar with the dynamics and relations at Radio Slovenia, was in the Philippines and Okinawa at the time, then the probable soloing raises quite a few questions about the integrity of the Chairman of the Board. Well, unless Franci agreed to support Groznik,” he added, expressing his conviction that this is not the easy way to do things. “Above all, this is very damaging behaviour.”
But at the depoliticised RTVS, it seems that a lot of things are done differently. In addition to being open about who has the best chance of being elected, the plans for staffing and the cancellation of some programmes are also being made public – for everyone to know. Eugenija Carl, a long-time journalist who has never made her dislike for the right a secret, shared her thoughts on the developments at RTVS with her friends on Facebook. The post suggests that Carl is not too fond of Jadranka Rebernik in the position of Editor-In-Chief of the news programme. “Just a little more, come on. First, the responsible person has to go, and then they will all fall – like dominoes…The cancellation of shows – arenas, magnets, panoramas… will follow,” she wrote.
If something like this had happened in the days before the so-called “depoliticisation” of the national media outlet, it would have been the most problematised issue in the country, and journalists would have gone on strike. But in times of the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda), things are different.