Cull of Editors on Croatian TV Causes Protests

Around 40 editors at Croatian state television will be sacked or demoted, a local newspaper has reported – but bosses of the station deny carrying out a purge.According to Vecernji List, a Croatian daily newspaper, the TV’s new management has already replaced seven out of nine editors in charge of different programming areas.

“Within five days the new management has made a decision to dismiss at least 40 senior editors in an unpecedented personnel change at the HRT [Croatian state broadcaster],” Vecernji List said.One of the affected HTV employees, who has remained anonymous, questioned the criteria apparently used in deciding the dismissals.

“Is it possible that all of the 40-odd editors at HRT are incompetent? Some are, but it is impossible that all of them are bad, as it is impossible that they would be replaced by top professionals.

“Even if they wanted to, the new management did not have enough time to carry out analysis [of the editors’ work]. It is clear that the dismissals are based on arbitrary conclusions and decisions,” he said.

The dismissed editors have announced a legal fight over the dismissals, as they believe that they are doing a good job and that there is no reason to change.

According to Vecernji List, the situation is “legally complicated” because it is not clear whether there are legal grounds for the dismissal of the editors.

Dean Sosa, acting Editor-in-Chief of HTV, rejects the accusations of purges.

“I named only seven new people to posts of editors… not all were removed. The editor of educational and religious programs has remained Mario Raguz, and the editor of the Culture Programme is Vlatka Kolarovic,” said Sosa.

Most changes will take place in News programming, where it is likely that many well known journalists, editors and managers may be left without a job.

The Acting News Editor, Sanja Mikleusevic-Pavic, rejected the accusation of indiscriminate dismissals. “The problem is that some people think that once an editor means always an editor,” she said.

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