Ljubljana – After an ownership change at a company publishing the right-wing weekly Demokracija, the news portal Necenzurirano reports that three Hungarian owners have sold their stake in NovaTV24.si, the company running TV channel NovaTV24, to the TV’s director who is also a long-term member of the Democrats (SDS).
Hungarian businessman Peter Schatz sold a majority stake in Nova Obzorja, the company issuing Demokracija, to NovaTV24.si in late May, and he has now also withdrawn from NovaTV24.si.
According to Necenzurirano, Schatz and fellow Hungarian businessmen Agnes Adamik and Adam Gabor Nemeth sold just over 45% of the shares in NovaTV24.si to Boris Tomašič, director of NovaTV24 and a long-term member of the SDS, now an opposition party. He is also the host of the controversial show Who Lies to You.
The Ministry of Culture has confirmed for Necenzurirano that it has given its clearance for the change of ownership of just over 45% of NovaTV24.si shares.
The portal says that it is not clear how much Tomašič paid for the shares, which in 2017 were worth nearly a million euros.
Rumours about Hungarians withdrawing as owners from NovaTV24.si surfaced just after the 24 April general election in Slovenia, in which the SDS-led coalition government was voted out.
Necenzurirano writes that the deal between Tomašič and the three businessmen, who it says are close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was agreed in mid-May.
The portal notes that the Hungarians offloaded their stakes in NovaTV24.si at a time when the new ruling coalition has filed for a parliamentary inquiry into the financing of party media, mainly from Hungary. Just days ago, parliament endorsed the decision to open the inquiry, appointing former TV Slovenija journalist Mojca Šetinc Pašek, now an MP for the Freedom Movement, as inquiry head.