Editorial council of Horizont channel demands resignation of Bulgarian National Radio Director General

Photo: BGNES

At a hearing at the Council for Electronic Media, the editorial council of the Bulgarian National Radio’s Horizont channel demanded the resignation of the BNR’s Director General Svetoslav Kostov, as well as of the national radio’s Executive Board.

The demand comes after journalist Silvia Velikova was taken off the air as anchor, and in connection with the doubts surrounding the real reasons for the technical maintenance routine conducted of the BNR’s central channel Horizont on Friday, 13 September, as a result of which there was a 5-hour interruption in the channel’s broadcast from 6 until 11 AM on.

On 17 September the investigation ordered by Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov of the matter ascertained that there was no technical reason for the interruption in the broadcast. At the time, the BNR Director General stated that the interruption was connected with the poor technological condition of the BNR and not with the exertion of any political pressure on the national radio. The case was referred to the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office which is to establish whether by demanding the technical maintenance routine, the BNR’s technical director Plamen Kostov has committed malfeasance.

After today’s Council for Electronic Media meeting, its chair Sofia Vladimirova announced that the Council would refer the case to the prosecutor’s office today, for pressure and attempted censorship at the Bulgarian National Radio. The members of the Council for Electronic Media are to discuss the fate of its director general next Friday, 27 September. A fine will also be imposed on the BNR for the unprecedented 5-hour interruption of the broadcasting of Horizont’s programme, which constitutes a breach of its 24-hour programme licence, though the amount of the fine is as yet unspecified. 

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