In a move that is expected to dramatically alter Macedonia’s largest broadcaster, state-controlled network Macedonian Radio Television (MRTV) is about to submit a media reform plan to the republic’s parliament.
MRTV director general Gordana Stosic said the reform will ax up to 1,570 personnel in a bid to cover the network’s $13 million deficit. The net will offer early retirement to longtime employees and pink slips to more recent hires.
Balkan media analysts admit MRTV has been ailing for years. In the past five years, employees have had to wait up to two months for their salaries; contrac-tors have had to wait more than a year for payment; and no investments have been made in technology.
Network sources said MRTV’s financial woes stem from unpaid subscription fees, a number that’s currently running up to $21 million in the red. Due to the civil war that has plagued the broadcast territory since 2000, entire communities do not pay subs.