The Slovenia Times

RTV Slovenija chairman steps down

Zvezdan Martić steps down as chairman of the board of RTV Slovenija, the country's public broadcaster. Photo: Katja Kodba/STA

The chairman of the management board of Slovenia's public broadcaster, Zvezdan Martić, stepped down after less than a year on the job, citing a loss of trust from the RTV Slovenija councillors as the main reason for the move.

Martić announced his resignation after a session of the RTV Slovenija council on 28 May where he was faced with substantial amount of criticism.

"I have been observing for a while that there are differences between the management board and some members of the RTV Slovenija council. Although I have been performing my job in accordance with the law, it has become clear that I no longer enjoy trust from the majority of the council, which is becoming an obstacle to the functioning of RTV Slovenija," he wrote in the resignation letter.

He described the situation at the public broadcaster as still extremely difficult due to what he believes is insufficient funding from the state.

This is despite the management and others at the public broadcaster having managed over the past nine months to "establish a situation that is significantly better than that left by the previous management".

Martić's appointment in July 2023 was to mark the end of a deep crisis at the public broadcaster after the previous governing council was appointed under the previous, centre-right government, and then named several people with close ties to government parties to senior positions.

The new, left-leaning government amended the act on RTV Slovenia with the stated goal of "depoliticising" the broadcaster. The amendments, which eliminated the parliament's role in the appointment of the council and created a new management board to replace the position of director general, were allowed to come into effect in May 2023 by the Constitutional Court after being endorsed in a referendum.

But faced with a huge financial shortfall, the new management had to make significant programming cuts in order to keep the public broadcaster afloat.

Martić has also been unable to make his management complete after one of its members resigned in December 2023 over the programming cuts. This was one of the sources of disagreements between Martić and the council.

Ilinka Todorovski, a representative of the works council, described Martić's resignation as a cathartic event, but said she could not see where the broadcaster was headed.

She wondered whether there is a person in the country "willing to take over the helm of such a large organisation with 2,000 employees, with totally insufficient funding, with taps turned off every step of the way, with enormous public expectations, with high expectations of the employees" and for an "indecently low salary" too.


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