Temporary board member appointed at LTV

Latvia's media watchdog, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) on January 3 made Vikija Valdmane-Rozenberga a temporary board member at Latvian Television.

Valdmane-Rozenberga is a content editor at LTV. She will be a board member until a new one is appointed to the public broadcaster.

She is to take office immediately. The media watchdog plans to open a competition over the two vacancies in LTV leadership on January 10.

As reported, shortly before year-end 2018, Latvia's media watchdog sacked Ivars Belte, head of LTV, as well as Sergejs Ņesterovs, board member for program development. 

In a statement to the press, NEPLP accused the public broadcaster of failing to ensure development planning and supervision, thereby creating the risk of ineffectively using taxpayers' money in 2017 and 2018. The media watchdog also said that that the television has failed to adequately use €1m of state funding granted in 2016. 

The move was criticized by the Latvian Journalists' Association, which said it has not been explained sufficiently and may threaten the independence of public media. 

Meanwhile the parliament is to discuss the matter in depth next week, while NEPLP itself is to turn to the Swedish public broadcaster for an independent review of the decision, and to Latvia's Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to evaluate potentially suspect LTV tenders.  

NEPLP is the institution that represents the public interest in the field of electronic mass media.

LSM English is part of the same umbrella public service organization as Latvian Radio and Latvian TV.

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