Pro-government TV reported to have canceled critical talk shows

BELGRADE, 05.09.2019. – Two talk shows viewed as critical of the authorities have been taken off the air on the pro-government TV Prva, investigative news portals reported.

The shows by experienced journalists Suzana Trninic and Tatjana Vojtehovski were reported to have been cancelled before TV Prva owner Srdjan Milovanovic spoke up to claim that negotiations were underway with Vojtehovski for a new series of her Life Stories (Zivot Prica) talk show. Vojtehovski denied the claim saying that there were no talks with the station managers.

Milovanovic told the Raskrinkavanje portal that the show had not been cancelled and that the conditions for it to continue were being negotiated. He said that Vojtehovski had engaged staff who are not station employees and were paid a lot. “My only demand is for everything to be done within the station, using only our equipment and resources to lower costs and she saw this as an attack on her,” he said.

Vojtehovski told Raskrikavanje that she never even saw Milovanovic, nor spoke to him by phone. She said that she had been told the show was being cancelled at a meeting with managers and added that there was no mention of any production demands. “Milovanovic should know that I am a station employee and that the show was produced in-house,”she said.

The canceling of Vojtehovski’s show comes after TV Prva cancelled a contract with another of its employees, journalist Suzana Trninic who, like Vojtehovski, has years of TV journalism experience and was critical of the authorities.

She told the Cenzolovka investigative portal that she was no longer an employee of the station. “This ending is certainly not a surprise for anyone, including myself,” she said. Trninic was a staff member at TV B92 which was known in the 1990s and later for its critical approach to the authorities before moving to TV Prva after B92 was sold.

No law was broken when her contract was cancelled because she was offered a new job after her show was cancelled. She declined the offer and lost her job.

Trninic said that no explanation had been given for the cancellation of her show titled Answer (odgovor) adding that the show was the reason why she changed stations.

Prva TV and the former B92 which was renamed O2 TV was bought in December 2018 for 180 million Euros by Milovanovic, formerly the owner of the Kopernikus cable operator and brother to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party’s (SNS) top official in the southern city of Nis Zvezdan Milovanovic.

N1 Belgrade, Belgrade, 05/09/2019