Radio staff demand rethink on new boss

Take note – story published 9 years and 5 months ago

In an extraordinary move Tuesday, more than a hundred employees of Latvian Radio - which is part of the same public broadcaster as LSM - signed an open letter demanding a review of a recent decision to appoint a new board.

The way a new board was appointed with no prior notification of who the candidates were was "opaque and undemocratic" the letter says, while the announcement of the results "gave rise to confusion and surprise".

The net result, in the opinion of the signatories, is that Latvian Radio had not been given the strongest board possible, which was supposed to be the aim of the exercise. 

There are 149 signatories of the letter, including many of the most familiar voices from radio and faces from TV who have a host of awards and experience between them.

The open letter is particularly critical of the seemingly inconsistent manner in which candidates were apparently fielded, discarded and then placed back into the race for the influential places on the board, saying:

There is no clear motivation why in such a short space of time, the [National Electronic Mass Media] Council changed its mind and endorsed candidates, which it had previously found to be weak."

Radio employees were stunned when they were told that popular radio boss Janis Siksnis - credited with drastically improving the service in recent years - was not named among the three appointees, none of whom have extensive radio experience.

The appointment of Aldis Pauliņš in his place - whose previous experience is running a market research company - raised both eyebrows and suspicions that the whole process was seriously flawed. 

Meetings between Pauliņš and staff in the two weeks since the appointments were announced have done little to reassure Latvian Radio's workforce.

The disgruntled employees sign off with an explanation that they are operating from "patriotic" reasons and call for the tendering process for the position of Chairman of the Board to be re-run, "this time ensuring that it takes place in transparency and openness."


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