Andraž Pöschl is the editor who was directly responsible for the scandal on the 7th of February this year, when, after the official end of the broadcast of the Slovenian Cultural Holiday celebrations, he continued the broadcast so that Svetlana Makarovič could come on stage. Accompanied by Jašaa Jenull and Boris A. Novak.
On Thursday, the Council of the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS) gave its consent to the RTVS Management Board to dismiss Uroš Urbanija from the post of Acting Director of Television Slovenia (TVS). The Councillors also agreed with the Management Board’s proposal to appoint Andraž Pöschl as the new Acting Director of TVS. Both decisions were adopted by the Council of RTVS unanimously, without a single vote against them.
The Chairman of the Management Board of RTVS, Zvezdan Martić, explained the decision to dismiss Urbania by stating that he had found serious misconduct after reviewing the status of the authorisations issued. According to Martić, the former acting Director-General of RTVS, Andrej Grah Whatmough, had given Urbanija the power to sign financial documents amounting to 25,000 euros and had authorised him to further delegate this power, but only up to the amount of 5,000 euros. Urbanija delegated this authority to the long-serving Assistant Director of TVS for Finance, but without limitation. Moreover, she was not an employee of RTVS at the time but worked with the Television on the basis of a contract, whereas Urbanija could only delegate this authority to employees up to the second level of management. This was the main reason for the dismissal proposal, Andrej Trček from the legal department of RTV Slovenia further explained.
Trček said that, in his response to the dismissal, Urbanija had not provided any evidence that former Acting Director Grah Whatmough had agreed to the delegation of powers without restriction. On the basis of the evidence from the documents, the Board, therefore, considered that the delegation of power was made in breach of the restrictions.
Urbanija was not given the opportunity to defend himself at the meeting, as the chairman of the RTVS Council, Goran Forbici, explained that the Council only gave its consent to the dismissal. This was also confirmed by lawyer Jožef Klavdij Novak of the law firm Čeferin, Pogačnik, Novak, Koščak and Partners, engaged by the RTVS Council, who said that Urbanija had already had and exercised his right to a defence. Urbanija objected but left the meeting, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reports.
The RTVS Council then took note of the RTVS Management Board’s proposal to appoint the current Editor of Cultural and Artistic Programmes at TVS, Andraž Pöschl, to the position of Acting Director of TVS. During his presentation, Pöschl explained that he was ready to take on the responsibility and that he was looking forward to the challenges he would take on in cooperation with the Management Board and in accordance with the Statutes, the law and the current programme and production plan. Councillors unanimously approved his appointment by 15 votes. Pöschl will lead the broadcaster until a new director is appointed with a full mandate, RTVS said.
The new management has already published on Friday the vacancies for the posts of directors of television, radio and digital content. Candidates have until the 8th of September to apply. The mandate of the radio and television directors expired with the entry into force of an amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which provided for a changed way of managing the institution. The amendment also provided for a new appointment of a Director of Digital Content.
And who is Pöschl? He is the editor directly responsible for the scandal in February this year. Namely, during the transmission of the celebration of the Slovenian Cultural Holiday on the evening of the 7th of February, after the official end of the transmission, he proceeded to allow Svetlana Makarovič (accompanied by Jaša Jenull and Boris A. Novak) to come on stage and, to put it plainly, complain about everything that had been on her mind. Apparently, this was an agreed manoeuvre, as the lighting in the Cankar Hall, where the event was held, continued to operate unchanged after the supposed end of the event, and Makarovič’s assistant also brought a microphone on stage. Her performance was thus broadcast live by Television Slovenia, even though it was not part of the script and even though the broadcast had officially ended. And that is probably enough for you to know who the new Acting Director of Television Slovenia is.