The general director of TV Nova, one of the top commercial television stations in the Czech Republic, Jan Andruško will be stepping down from his post. The news was reported by the Tyden.cz server on Monday morning, though it is not clear if Mr. Andruško has resigned, or if he was dismissed by TV Nova’s owners at Central European Media Enterprises (CME). The company has yet to comment on the staff change. Long-time president and general director of CME, Adrian Sarbu, announced he was resigning in August. As of January he will be replaced by Christoph Mainusch and Michael Del Nin from Time Warner, which has a majority stake in the company.
Viewers of commercial broadcaster TV Nova probably couldn’t pick Petr Bělík out in a crowd but many will remember moments from his many reports. As a journalist in the late 1990s, Petr investigated countless cases of injustice almost every week on the programme Občanské judo (Citizen’s Judo) and later took the plunge in the highly-popular and creative show Víkend, where he reported on everything from digging for coal with miners to training with URNA, the Czech rapid response force.
The Public Affairs party allegedly had a secret bank account from which it paid out over 41 million crowns, according to a report aired on commercial TV Nova. Journalists were given documents by an unidentified source that showed payments made by the party in 2010 and 2011. Several people, including a member of the party, confirmed the document’s validity. A number of current and former party members further admitted to receiving some payments in cash in those years. Party chairman Radek John has denied any knowledge of a hidden account and the party’s de-facto leader Vít Bárta said the report was an attempt to tarnish his reputation.
In Business News: Prague bourse sees trading drop in face of worries over new economic downturn; Czech Railways weighs the controversial purchase of 16 new trains at the cost of five billion crowns; leading commercial vehicle manufacturer DAF acquires a 19-percent stake in Tatra trucks; sources report that at least two firms have applied to launch exploratory operations in search of new shale gas reserves.
The financial daily Hospodářské noviny has reported that Petr Dvořák, the director of TV Nova, the country’s largest commercial broadcaster, would be stepping down after seven years. But the information was quickly discounted by a spokeswoman. She confirmed that while Mr Dvořák had been promoted to vice president position for CME, the firm which owns the station, he would also stay on as general director. Mr Dvořák, who is 45, was first named to the post in 2003. The broadcaster, suffering a drop in advertising sales, is currently undergoing a number of key changes in management.
TV dramas in the Czech Republic often aren’t bad, but occasionally something comes along which is a head above the rest. Last autumn, it was a dramatic series on commercial broadcaster Nova, entitled Soukromé pasti (Private Traps). 12 separate stories centering on characters in everyday dilemmas - which critics praised for excellent writing, acting and psychological depth. The project was overseen by filmmaker Tereza Kopáčová, one of the best-known names in the Czech TV business. Her work and Soukromé pasti are the subject of this Panorama.
US film, television and print media giant Time Warner has bought itself a prime part in the Czech commercial television market. Time Warner has taken a 31 percent stake in Central European Media Enterprises (CME), which owns the country’s most watched tv station, Nova. But what does the latest turn in the Nova ownership saga and US acquisition mean?