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New head of BNR Andon Baltakov with innovative ideas for Radio Bulgaria

Photo: BGNES

Perhaps few people know that I had my first contact with professional radio journalism at the English service of Radio Bulgaria”. This is what the newly elected head of the Bulgarian National Radio, Andon Baltakov, said when presenting his program for development of the public broadcaster at the sitting of the Electronic Media Council. In its programming strategy, Radio Bulgaria remains a vanguard in the BNR's foreign-language presence in the digital space. To this end, the new director-general of the media envisages two daily podcasts with an effective digital presence targeted at two different audiences. On the one hand, a new audience will be attracted - readers, listeners in order to make Bulgaria more familiar abroad and to support the Bulgarian foreign policy. On the other hand, information about visitors to Bulgaria will be offered. For Baltakov, it is important for a foreigner to be able to get an initial impression of the country they intend to visit after they enter Radio Bulgaria’s website.

Andon Baltakov has completed his higher education at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia and holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Yale University, USA. In 1994, he started his media career as a freelance collaborator with the BNR, after which he became a presenter at Radio Vitosha. He then joined the BNR's Horizon news team. After being selected at a competition, he specialized in the BBC. His career abroad went through the Associated Press in New York and CNN Digital, where he held managerial positions. At the moment, Andon Baltakov runs a US-based media consulting firm.

In his program for development of the public radio broadcaster, the newly elected director-general proposes a radically different, innovative approach that won the support of the five members of the Council for Electronic Media. However, some councilors did not hide their fears of how much it could be implemented based on the current situation in the BNR.

One of the measures proposed by Baltakov to strengthen the financial status of the BNR is to make financing through targeted transfers from the state budget and calculate it as either a percentage of the GDP or of tax revenues. In his program, Baltakov also suggests increasing the BNR's own revenues through the various products that the BNR produces in its individual structures.

English Rossitsa Petcova

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