Appointment of new public TV director in the limelight

20-12-2000

The sacking of the general director of Czech public television last week, and the search for his replacement, has become a broader issue than just finding the right man for a sensitive job. President Havel has said he does not really understand the reason why Dusan Chmelicek was sacked. A strong lobby within Czech Television itself says the decision was unprofessional - after just ten months in the job, Mr. Chmelicek couldn't possibly prove that he was capable of handling the job. Many believe the issue is purely political. The supervisory body that appoints and sacks public TV directors is appointed by parliament, or in reality, political parties. So, if the outgoing director did not get along with the supervisory body, were some politicians behind his removal? Olga Szantova asked commentator Vaclav Pinkava for his view on the situation.