You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jungner won’t wield ax in Finland

Exec says auds should expect license fee increase

Finnish public broadcaster YLE’s newly appointed general director Mikael Jungner says he has no plans to repeat the massive housecleaning that followed his predecessor Arne Wessberg’s takeover a decade ago. Jungner, a 39-year-old whizkid, was appointed general director Thursday, effective May 1.

He will begin working at YLE Jan. 1, but Wessberg will stay on as general director until April 30 to help smooth the transition. Jungner works as a liaison to the government for Microsoft in Finland and the Baltic states, but has had a career just short of meteoric by Finnish standards, having already served as adviser to several ministers and as political adviser to the prime minister’s Cabinet.

Wessberg, who has been wanting to step down from his position for some time to focus on international activities, was no lightweight himself when he took over the job 10 years ago.

A former journalist and TV exec, he began revamping the Byzantine pubcaster and its bloated budget into a broadcast entity that, although it remained non-commercial, could at least compete respectably on the media landscape for audiences.

At the time he took over, MTV3, the only commercial outfit in the territory, was a division of YLE. Now MTV3 is a part of Alma Media, Finland’s second-largest media group, whose major shareholders are the Swedish Bonnier group. Wessberg is now in his second term as GD of the European Broadcast Union.

Jungner told Daily Variety he sees “no immediate need for a sweeping housekeeping” when he steps up to his position. He said he will focus on facilitating Finland’s transition to digital and its shutdown of analog due in several years, as well as dealing with the government on YLE’s budget and programming quality.

He adds, however, that Finnish viewers can expect the $233 annual license fee to rise.

“Viewers will want more variety, and digital at this period of time is not cheap,” he added.

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content