TV stations face cuts

By FNE Staff
    Televison stations across CEE are feeling the effects of the economic crisis, cutting salaries and entire channels.

    Latvian State Television LTV (www.ltv.lv) announced it will cut salaries due to budget problems, although the Latvian government approved extra funds for the station.

    Hungarian State Television MTV (www.hungariantelevision.eu) will see its 2010 budget reduced by 8.7 million euros. According to local reports, the station is unable to pay salaries and rent, because anticipated supplementary funding has been re-directed to Duna TV.

    Bulgaria saw the closing of Re:TV (retv.bg), a privately owned two-yearpold news channel. In a statement, the owners blamed the weak advertising market.

    Music channel MTV Baltics has been "suspended indefinitely" according to a report in the Estonian Free Press. It will be replaced by MTV Europe (www.mtv.com). The cancellation was blamed on the economic crisis which has been especially hard on Latvia. However, that cancellation was followed by the launch of MTV Czech, a local version of the music video channel, on November 29. The channel is expected to reach 1.5 million households in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.