Reorganisation plan for the Greek public service broadcaster was announced
On 19 August 2011, the Minister of State and government spokesman Elias Mosialos announced the restructuring of the Greek public service broadcaster, ERT. The reduction of ERT’s expenses, which fit in with the government’s broader plans to reduce public spending, is at the heart of the proposed changes. According to Mr Mosialos, the reforms also aim at establishing a public service broadcaster that operates in a transparent manner and which is ‘not politicised’. An independent committee will be formed in order to examine the management practices of public service broadcasters in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. On the basis of its findings, it will subsequently advise the government on the best practices to follow. Its proposals are expected to be published by the end of October 2011.
The measures announced include closing ET1, the flagship television network of ERT, and the digital channels Cine Plus and Sport Plus, which had recently merged into one, and placing greater emphasis on the Internet and multimedia platforms. NET will become an information and entertainment channel while ET3, currently broadcasting from Thessaloniki, will become a national channel. Turning to public radio, ERA, the channels of national range, such as NET (with a focus on streaming news), the Third Programme (with a focus on classical music and the arts) and ERA SPORT will be upgraded, while special radio programmes for immigrants will be provided in partnership with the Athens Municipal radio. 19 regional stations will be merged into nine, becoming centrally administered, while fiifteen out of the 20 medium-wave transmitters will be closed.
The reorganisation plan also includes the abolishment of the Hellenic Audiovisual Institute, the national applied research organisation in the field of audiovisual communication, and of the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive. According to Mr Mosialos, a draft law containing provisions for the provincial press and the regional media will be announced within the coming weeks. A Presidential Decree assigning responsibility for the media to the Minister of State will also be issued.
See the relevant articles in Imerisia (in Greek).