Pubcaster axes new chief backed by PM

World brief

BUDAPEST — Tension between execs and journalists at Hungarian state broadcaster MTV exploded Oct. 1 when network prexy Imre Ragats fired news chief Miklos Merenyi.

The sudden ouster appears to be politically motivated. MTV journalists have come under fire in recent months from government politicians and the opposition for “a lack of balance” in reporting.

Socialist Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy expressed public satisfaction with Merenyi’s job performance but network execs deemed Merenyi was not strong enough to keep his talking heads in check.

Merenyi’s ouster comes during turbulent political times when news ratings are soaring as journalists delve into a banking scandal that some critics claim reaches into Medgyessy’s office.

As Medgyessy fends off media attacks, new data has been released stating Hungarians are watching TV more than ever before. Women now spend 58% of their free time in front of the TV, according to a survey by the Central Statistics Office and Eurostat.

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