Slovak b’caster fined for protest coverage

Co-founder: 'We can be grateful we didn't lose our license'

PRAGUE — Commercial Slovak broadcaster Markiza TV was fined $110,000 (3.5 million Slovak crowns) by the Slovak Broadcasting Council. The station was accused of breaking the media law and its licensing conditions for a 24-hour live broadcast of demonstrators in front of Markiza studios, which disrupted its regular broadcast schedule.

Sylvia Volcova, a co-founder of the CME partnered station, told Daily Variety, “We can be grateful we did not lose our license.” She also said that although stations are allowed to broadcast live major events there is still no clear definition of precisely what that means.

Joint effort

Volcova and program director Tatiana Heldova have been temporarily appointed joint managing directors. Pavel Rusko, a co-founder of the station and its managing director until a dispute over ownership forced him out, is still reportedly out of the country. He is not expected to return before the Slovak general elections scheduled for the weekend.

Volcova said she expected no further repeats of the demonstrations of last week. “We are now consolidating and reorganizing the management,” she said.

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