New head of Latvian Television named

Latvia's broadcast regulator, the National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) announced March 28 it had decided to approve Einars Giels as the new Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Television (LTV), and Eva Juhņēviča as the board member responsible for Digital Development and Content.

The new board members will take up their positions on April 15.

Giels is a business consultant with no previous direct media experience who has been a lecturer at Turība Business School and the Latvian Maritime Academy, and has worked in the marketing department of the “Olainfarm” pharmaceutical company. 

NEPLP said in a media statement that “Giels has the necessary management competencies, strategic planning skills, understanding of the basic principles of public media activity and development vision”.

Juhņēviča meanwhile is a former executive director of the XXVI General Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration, and has worked at Jurmala City Council as head of the marketing department.

One of the first tasks for the new LTV board members will be the development of public procurement for 2019, in line with a tight budgetary situation. LSM is part of the same organization as LTV and Latvian Radio.

However, news of the appointments did not go down well in some quarters, in particular with the New Conservative Party (JKP), one of the members of the ruling coalition.

JKP chairman and current Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns said in a statement to the media that the JKP advocates “quality media management and independent public media, which are one of the cornerstones of democracy and the guarantors of Latvia's independence and security” and that the limited experience of the new appointees raised serious concerns.

Consequently the JKP will ask for the appointments to be annulled and for the contest to fill the vacancies to be re-run. 

“There is doubt as to whether the best and most independent management of public media has been chosen," said Bordāns, asking the relevant Saeima committee to intervene "to evaluate the compliance of NEPLP activities with the democratic and legal interests of the Latvian state,” said Bordāns.

As reported by LSM, the previous LTV head, Ivars Belte, was unexpectedly dismissed at the end of 2018.

 

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