The RTV Council has recently voted on the new Chairman of the public media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS). In the first round of voting, Zvezdan Martič was elected with 16 votes. Out of the other candidates, only one received a single vote – namely, Miha Krišelj. Before the vote, Martič was already supported by RTV Council members Tadej Troha, Ilinka Todorovski, Gregor Drnovšek, Gaja Brecelj, Igor Prassel, Špela Stare and Council President Goran Forbici in their explanations of the vote.
The candidates running for the position were all visible leftists, namely, Peter Dular, Rajko Gerič, Mihael Krišelj, Zvezdan Martič. Eight candidates responded to the call for applications. Four candidates did not meet the conditions, including Andrej Grah Whatmough, Acting Director-General of RTV. We previously reported that there was a behind-the-scenes battle going on between the elected Martić and Simon Kardum.
Zvezdan Martič is a long-time journalist and former assistant to the former Director of TV Slovenia, Natalija Gorščak, in the period between 2019 and 2021. In the last few years, he has become known as a highly activist journalist who cheered for the political usurpation or “depoliticisation” of the public institution. Investigative journalist Bojan Požar reports that his election will be followed by a staff purge at the public service broadcaster. According to Požareport, Martič was the candidate of radical left-wing journalist activists. He allegedly promised them that all “right-wing” journalists would lose their jobs. Meanwhile, Simon Kardum, director of the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, was allegedly supported by Zoran Janković and the extreme Left party (Levica).
Zvezdan Martič admitted at the RTV Council meeting that his weaknesses are “law” and “finance”, in other words, he admitted that he is financially inept. That is also why he said that he would invite someone to the board who would complement him in this respect. He was invited to do so by the Council before the end of the meeting.
As his first steps, he announced that he would reconstitute the board, restructure the staff and end the strike by activist journalists. It is also important to note that this is the journalists’ activist group which, after Golob’s rise to power, also advocated for political change at RTV. Thus, they were big supporters of the so-called “depoliticisation”, which in practice meant the termination of legally granted mandates to persons in the management structures of the public media outlet at the time.
Chairman of the Management Board instead of Director-General
The vacancy for the Chairman of the Management Board and two members of the four-member Management Board of RTVS was published at the beginning of June. It expired on the 30th of June. Under the controversial amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, it is the RTV Council that elects the new Chairman of the Board and members of the Board on the proposal of the President. The employees of the institution will elect a fourth member, who will become the Workers’ Director.
More to follow …