Kadunc staying on as RTV Slovenija director general

Ljubljana – The programme council of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija did not adopt on Monday a motion to dismiss director general Igor Kadunc which had been proposed by 13 councillors. Fourteen councillors voted in favour, but 15 votes are needed to dismiss the director general. Nine voted against and six abstained on the 29-member council.

The motion was put forward in October with the proponents claiming that Kadunc was working negligently and causing significant damage to RTV Slovenija.

They accused him of being responsible for RTV operating in the red between 2017 and 2019 and of failing to draw up a number of documents.

Kadunc rejected all the allegations already last month, arguing the motive for the dismissal was changing the public broadcaster’s editorial policy.

He repeated this today, while also rejecting the reproaches against him as misleading by arguing the bulk of the circumstances that caused RTV’s financial situation had to do with objective, external factors he had no control over.

Kadunc said that without the measures adopted under his watch, the broadcaster’s loss in 2019 would have been EUR 9.4 million higher compared to 2016, when he took over, and EUR 4.6 million higher compared to 2018.

“RTV is managing business fairly well, but it needs to execute the programme of course. Additional cuts could lead to an impoverished programme,” he added.

Councillor Slavko Kmetič on the other hand presented a legal opinion by the Matoz law firm, which states that the dismissal motion “is concrete enough and that the accusations suffice for a dismissal”.

Similarly, fellow councillor Janez Štuhec did not find Kadunc’s highlighting of the financial situation before his arrival convincing.

Štuhec was backed by Žiga Kušar, who said it was high time RTV got a director general who will also have the political wisdom to lend an ear to the positions of the programme council, the supervisors, employees and of the Culture Ministry.

Some of the councillors were however critical of the motion, with Petra Ložar speaking of a “an essay containing reproaches that definitely do not hold water” and Sašo Hribar, a representative of RTV workers, assessing this was a purely political initiative.

The RTV workers’ council has also voted on the motion, rejecting it with 11 votes against and one abstained.

Earlier in the day, the attempt at dismissing Kadunc was discussed by the parliamentary Culture Committee upon the request of four left-leaning opposition parties.

They argued it was meant to facilitate the government’s taking control of the public broadcaster, whereas the coalition MPs said the committee’s session in itself was a form of pressure on RTV councillors not to sack Kadunc.