Insolvency and reorganisation – options for solving TVR’s financial problems


Interim TVR director Stelian Tanase is interested more in “a large scale restructuring” than in “insolvency.” He claims a new law will stipulate the merger of the public radio station with the public television channel in the next 2-3 years.

The leaders of the ruling coalition along with the leadership of public television channel (TVR) are looking for a solution in order to solve the institution’s financial problems, TVR having debts of RON 800 M. According to political sources quoted by Mediafax, a decision will be taken after the appointment of the new Administrative Board (CA), and filing for insolvency is seen as a possible option. At this moment the public television channel cannot file for insolvency because it needs the modification of the current law on the functioning of the public radio station and public television channel.
Interim TVR director Stelian Tanase stated yesterday at the end of a meeting with Premier Victor Ponta at the Palace of Parliament that an agreement was reached in order for the public television channel, which has serious financial problems, to go through a process of restructuring and reorganisation on the basis of Law 85/2006, namely the insolvency law. TVR’s interim head however pointed out that he would rather be interested in “a large scale restructuring” and “a new organisational chart” and less interested in insolvency. In his opinion, TVR needs “a new organisation chart” that “would make the channel efficient,” comparing the channel to “a Trabant with which we want to overtake cars that were produced this year.” He said an agreement with the authorities has been reached and “the measures agreed enjoy political backing.”
He pointed out that the new law will stipulate the merger with the public radio station – something that will happen in the next 2-3 years – and that before other changes are made the way the television is led has to be modified. Stelian Tanase pointed out as an example that according to the law currently in force the television’s Administrative Board can be politically sacked. “In the future we want to significantly reduce the political side’s decision,” Stelian Tanase said. He gave the BBC as a possible example for reorganisation and also pointed out that institutions such as the Patriarchy, the Romanian Academy, media organisations and artists’ unions could be represented within the Administrative Board.
In what concerns the possibility of hiking the TV tax, he confirmed that such a discussion is “on the agenda,” but not this year. According to Stelian Tanase, the hiking of the tax is out of the question in 2014, considering that this is an electoral year. Stelian Tanase was at Parliament because the nominations for a new Administrative Board were expected yesterday, given the fact that the television channel has functioned solely with an interim director since last December.
Ponta: TVR’s restructuring strategy is backed by government
Premier Victor Ponta stated on Tuesday that interim TVR director Stelian Tanase has the backing of PSD’s parliamentary groups and the public television channel’s restructuring strategy is backed by the government, pointing out that the solution of simply shutting down the channel is not viable.
“After all, the right to information is stipulated in the Constitution and the public television and radio service should stay,” the Premier said, being quoted by Mediafax. He added that the strategy for the public television channel will be established by the director general and by the Administrative Board that will be voted by Parliament next Tuesday and he assured Stelian Tanase that he has the backing of PSD’s Parliamentary groups and of the government in what concerns the strategy for TVR.
“It’s not my business, as a Prime Minister, to establish TVR’s strategy; it’s also the responsibility of those that will be voted by Parliament next week. Strictly concerning the continuation of Mr. Tanase’s activity, yes, he has the backing of our Parliamentary groups, just like he had it in December when he was proposed by PNL and it’s good for him to have a political backing as wide as possible, if not unanimous,” Ponta added.
The Premier pointed out that a long term solution would be the merger of the public television channel with the public radio, but this can happen not sooner than a year from now, considering that at this moment the radio station is in the green, while the public television channel is in the red.
Asked whether he supports the hiking of the TV tax, Ponta said that he does not and it should be eliminated after the merger of the public radio station with the public television channel: “I believe the mandatory payment of a tax by all is outdated.”

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