Jiri Balvin elected new Czech TV interim director

10-02-2001

The Lower House elected on Friday Jiri Balvin as interim director of the Czech public TV network, Czech Television. Mr. Balvin used to work at the station as a director of art programmes, and he'll head Czech TV until the Lower House elects a new Supervisory Board, which will then appoint a new director. Staff members at the television station have been on strike since late December, when the Czech TV Supervisory Board selected Jiri Hodac as the general director of the station, whom journalists accused of political bias. Mr. Hodac resigned in early January following mass demonstrations calling for him to step down.

New Director Balvin meets with striking employees

After his appointment, Mr. Balvin said he was prepared to work with striking journalists. He met them on Friday evening. Adam Komers from the Czech TV Crisis Committee told the Czech News Agency that his colleagues and Mr. Balvin had agreed to end the strike as soon as possible. Shortly afterwards Mr. Balvin dismissed head of news Jana Bobosikova from her post and withdrew the notices of dismissal the striking journalists had received from their former management. A forensic audit by the British Pricewaterhouse-Coopers company will also be carried out at the station.