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Czech TV taps new director

News topper Janacek takes over beleaguered CTV

PRAGUE — Czech TV upped acting director of news Jiri Janacek to general manager on Wednesday, making him the pubcaster’s sixth topper in under six years.

Janacek was elected for a six-year term and replaces acting G.M. Petr Klimes, who is also financial director.

Turmoil within the station and conflict with the CTV Council led to the early dismissal of prior directors. In December 2000, some 100,000 citizens publicly supported a strike by the CTV union over the political appointment of management.

Janacek, who has worked his way up through the ranks of CTV since 1989, faces changes as he takes up the post. A new law covering the appointment of the CTV Council is in preparation, and a new panel could be appointed by the end of the year.

Janacek said he wants to continue reforms at CTV by streamlining production. He also wants to create a more youthful image for the station. In recent years, its ratings have declined while private broadcasters Nova TV and Prima TV are claiming the youth and family markets. Cable and satellite also eat into the upscale market.

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