50+ Directors General of Public Media demand ERT be restored to air
Media Intelligence Service
ERT fact sheet
(EBU Member access only)
ERT crisis timeline:
11 June - Greek government announces immediate closure of ERT at midnight. Greek TV screens go black. Staff and citizens launch protests as 2,700 staff lose their jobs. EBU leadership urges Greek PM to retract the decision.
12 June - EUROVISION news point established outside ERT. ERT staff continue producing news, which is transmitted by the EBU’s satellite news gathering (SNG) and EBU earth station to EBU HQ, Geneva. EBU streams NET’s signal on its website, bringing a huge spike in visitors. EBU leadership invites Member DGs to sign joint statement.
13 June - EBU president writes to European Commission President Barroso calling for a stronger stance on ERT’s closure. EBU implements workaround to allow satellite subscribers worldwide to access NET on television. EBU launches online petition which garners thousands of names in a few hours. EBU leaders head to Athens for talks with ERT executives and stakeholders.
The signatories (complete list below) , which include the directors general of all of Europe’s most important public service media organizations, universally condemn the Greek government’s “undemocratic and unprofessional” course of action, which “undermines the existence of public service media in Greece”.
The statement, to which the directors general, presidents and chief executive officers, as well as several heads of international relations, have put their names, reads as follows:
ERT MUST BE RESTORED TO AIR!
“We, as Directors General of Europe’s public broadcasters, express our profound dismay at the action taken by the Greek Government on Tuesday, 11 June in shutting down ERT with immediate effect.
This undemocratic and unprofessional action of the Greek government undermines the existence of public service media in Greece and its independence from the government.
For that reason, we strongly urge the Greek Prime Minister to immediately reverse this decision, allowing ERT to go back on the air in Greece and we wholeheartedly support the open letter sent by the EBU President and Director General on 11 June 2013.”
Having collected the signatures in less than 24 hours, the EBU leadership has now sent the document to the Greek Government in a second letter urging Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to revoke the closure decree, while in addition appealing for at least one ERT TV channel to be left on air.
On Tuesday evening (June 11) EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre wrote an open letter to Mr Samaras urging him to see sense and pointing out that “public service media and their independence from Government lie at the heart of democratic societies”.
The move followed an emergency EBU Executive Board session held on Wednesday.
For more information:
Head of Communications
T +41 22 717 2204
M +41 79 647 1724
Complete list of signatories
Chabane Lounakel Directeur General Radio Algérienne Algeria Margarita Grigoryan
Armenian Public Television Armenia Alexander Wrabetz Director General ORF Austria Bernadette Wynanats President RTBF Belgium Sandra De Preter Director General VRT Belgium Radoslav Yankulov Director General BNR Bulgaria Vyara Ankova Director General BNT Bulgaria Goran Radman Director General HRT Croatia Themis Themistocleous Director General CyBC Cyprus Petr Dvorak Director General Czech Television Czech Republic Peter Duhan Director General Czech Radio Czech Republic Maria Rørbye Rønn Director General/CEO DR Denmark Margus Allikmaa Director General ERR Estonia Lauri Kivinen Chief Executive Officer Yle Finland Rémy Pflimlin Président Directeur Général France Télévisions France Jean-Luc Hees Président Directeur Général Radio France France Marie-Christine Saragosse Présidente Directrice Générale Radio France Internationale France
General Director Georgian Public Broadcaster Georgia Ulrich Wilhelm Director General
Germany Dr Thomas Bellut Director General ZDF Germany István Jónás Chief Executive Officer Hungarian Radio Hungary Balazs MEDVECZKY Director General MTV Hungary Páll Magnússon Director General RUV Iceland Pól ó Gallchóir Director General TG4 Ireland Noel Curran Director General RTÉ Ireland Anna Maria Tarantola
/ Luigi Gubitosi
/ Director General
RAI Italia Ibrahim EL Khoury President Director General Télé-Liban Lebanon Fernand Weides Directeur Radio ERSL Luxembourg Constantin Marin President Teleradio Moldova Moldova Rade Vojvodic Director General RTCG Montenegro Faïçal Laraïchi Président Directeur Général SNRT Morocco Henk Hagoort Chairman Management Board NPO Netherland Thor Gjermund Eriksen Director General NRK Norway Alf Hildrum Chief Executive Officer TV2 Norway Andrzej Siezieniewski President Polish Radio Poland Juliusz Braun President & CEO TVP Poland Alberto da Ponte President RTP Portugal Ovidiu Miculescu President Director General Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation Romania Claudiu Saftoiu President Director General TVR Romania Oleg Dobrodeev Director General RTR Russia Konstantin Ernst Director General Channel One Russia Carlo Romeo Director General San Marino RTV San Marino Aleksandar Tijanic Director General RTS Serbia Vaclav Mika Director General RTVS Slovakia Marko Filli Director General RZV Slovenia Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique Director General RTVE Spain Cilla Benkö Director General Swedish Radio Sweden Erik Fichtelius Director General UR Sweden Eva Hamilton General Director SVT Sweden Gilles Marchand Directeur RTS Switzerland Roger de Weck Directeur General SRG SSR Switzerland Imen Bahroun Ben Mrad Présidente Directrice Générale Télévision Tunisienne Tunisia Tony Hall Director General BBC United Kingdom Oleksandr Panteleimonov Acting Director General NTU Ukraine Taras Avrakhov Director General National Radio Company Ukraine Federico Lombardi S.I. General Director Vatican Radio Vatican City State
Ingrid Deltenre (EBU Director General)
Supported by the eleven members of the EBU Executive Board:
Jean-Paul PHILIPPOT (President - RTBF)
Claudio CAPPON (Vice-President - RAI)
Cilla BENKÖ (SR)
Petr FEDOROV (RTR)
Faiçal Rachid LARÏCHI (SNRT)
Roger MOSEY (BBC)
Remy PFLIMLIN (FT)
Andrzej SIEZIENIEWSKI (PR)
Themis THEMISTOCLEOUS (CyBC)
Ulrich WILHELM (BR/ARD)
Alexander WRABETZ (ORF)