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Austria: ORF should save 300 million euros


While the budgets of the public broadcasters are being discussed in Germany, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation is adopting a drastic austerity course. That would affect the sports channel, for example.

Enlarge image

ORF studio in St. Pölten: austerity course ahead

Photo: Ernst Weingartner / CHROMORANGE / IMAGO

In Austria, the public broadcaster ORF is to save around 300 million euros by 2026.

ORF director Roland Weißmann presented a corresponding concept to the board of trustees.

The governing party ÖVP had recently called for such a course several times.

This threatens the end of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO).

The sports channel ORF Sport + would be integrated into the program of ORF 1 and into the digital.

The ORF fee subsidiary GIS should be significantly reduced, it is said.

"The ORF has always saved in the past," said Weißmann after the meeting.

Now you are still at the beginning of a budget process.

Media Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) insists that the fees for users decrease.

For the future financing of the ORF, a device-independent household levy is in the pipeline, as has been established in Germany.

The ORF currently receives around 67 percent of the broadcasting fees - a total of almost one billion euros a year - the rest goes to the federal and state governments.

The station employs around 3,000 people.

debates in Germany

In Germany, too, there has been an increasing number of debates about the budgets of public broadcasters.

ARD in particular was criticized for what happened at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.

Former director Patricia Schlesinger resigned in August and was dismissed without notice after numerous allegations of nepotism were made against her.

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor's office is also investigating.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), for example, had proposed a cap on broadcasting fees and called for a voluntary salary cap for top staff in public broadcasting.

Statements by SWR director Kai Gniffke caused a stir in December: If a linear channel was started in 2023, those affected would "howl and squeak," the SWR director said in a December interview with SPIEGEL.

The trade union Ver.di called this choice of words "repulsive".

Gniffke equates ARD employees with dogs and pigs and dehumanizes them.

The director later showed remorse in his own blog: "Other terms would have been better."


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-02-20

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