By: Nina Žoher / Nova24tv
The general director of RTV Slovenia Andrej Grah Whatmough, the director of Radio Slovenia Mirko Štular and acting Director of Television Slovenia Dr Valentin Areh spoke about the programme-production plan for next year, which is the basic document of the institute and is adopted every year by its Programme Council. “I think the plan is good and this has been recognised by most programme councillors as well. This makes me extremely happy,” explained Whatmough. He also announced that he would appoint Jadranka Rebernik as the new acting editor-in-chief of the TV Slovenia Information Programme instead of Manica Janežič Ambrožič.
According to Andrej Grah Whatmough, the councillors recognised the need for change. “Only in this way will we develop, grow and also enrich our content for our viewers and listeners.” He stressed that the new plan presents a new programming and production challenge. “We will address this in the months ahead.” According to the Director General of RTV, this is an opportunity to stand alongside European public services, get closer to viewers and listeners, and make RTV a respectable public medium.
“I cannot ignore the fact that we are still facing a significant financial challenge. For a long time now, we have been facing the challenge of how to provide a stable source of revenue that will enable the uninterrupted performance of the public service, the public mission.” In the seven months since taking office, he said, a lot of efforts have been focused on some micro measures, which together have the effect of making the term, after the end of ten months, better than forecasted. “On the other hand, we are aware that a dialogue with the founder, i.e., with the state, on how to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations will be necessary,” explained Whatmough, clarifying that most changes await viewers of Television Slovenia.
“It is crucial that we give the cultural programme or cultural content a central place on Television Slovenia. And a varied news programme will be available on another programme.” At the same time, according to the Director General, it is important that the programme plan envisages that the online presence will be further enriched. The October launch of the 365.rtvslo.si website, which succeeded the RTV4D application, will be upgraded with applications on mobile phones, tablets and also on televisions if the financial plan is adopted. He announced that the house would prepare proposals for changes in the legislation governing RTV Slovenia. Namely, they are aware that the law that currently regulates the operation of RTV is outdated and does not provide the necessary flexibility.
According to the director of Radio Slovenia Mirko Štular, in recent years the key commitment of Radio Slovenia is to strengthen public radio. “To some extent, we are already succeeding in this, and we want to keep it in the next year with this programme-production plan. At the same time, we have to ask ourselves where we are at the moment when it comes to listening, ratings, as well as achieving quality production in the public interest.” At the moment, the network of Radio Slovenia is stronger than it used to be. According to all the data they get from the two audience surveys, it is stronger in terms of reach and ratings. “At the moment, it is the most listened network among radio networks in Slovenia. Among the top five most listened to radio programmes are two national programmes. Val 202 is in first place, and the First Programme of Radio Slovenia is in fourth place.”
As for the year 2022, Štular said that their primary focus will be young audiences, the digital portfolio and development, as well as the music content itself. “We want and need to follow the audience, their habits and expectations, and cater to them as much as possible,” he said when announcing developments in digitisation. They want to make the radio user-friendly on all devices to make the experience user-friendly. “This is an umbrella guideline,” he said, adding that they support Slovenian music production in each of the programmes.
Acting director of Television Slovenia Dr Valentin Areh said that television will undergo significant changes. The news programme is in crisis at the expense of falling ratings. Dnevnik and Odmevi alone have lost as many as 250,000 or half of their once loyal viewers since 2003. “A larger share of listeners on Radio Slovenia fills us with hope that we will follow this path on Television Slovenia and increase the number of viewers who watch our programmes.”
According to Areh, the main motive in the changes to the programme-production plan for 2022 was to try to listen to as many viewers as possible, their wishes, their interests and requirements. Namely, citizens, as taxpayers, finance the programme. “We are proud to be inspired by the shows of the most successful European televisions, such as the BBC, ZDF and ORF.”
The length of the show Prvi Dnevnik at 1 pm will be adjusted to 13 minutes, which is how long the show Zeit im Bild at 1 pm on ORF is. The length of Dnevnik will be adjusted to 20 minutes, the same length has the shows Zeit im Bild at 7.30 pm and ZDF Heute at 7 pm. The length of Odmevi will be adjusted to 25 minutes, the same length has the show Zeit im Bild at 10 pm. Newly, there will be cultural news after Dnevnik, the informative show about culture will no longer be pushed to the end of the programme in the late evening hours. The show Slovenska kronika will now also be broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays, which will increase the content intended for local and regional news by ten percent.
More content is promised
The new programme will provide viewers with five hours more education, eight hours more cultural programmes, 65 hours more news, 58 hours more entertainment and 438 hours more sports (mainly thanks to the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Qatar Football Championship). A new evening news block will be introduced on the second RTV programme. Special attention will also be paid to news from around the world and analysis of international events. This will bring 63 percent more news from the world than before. They will also offer news from the fields of health, economy, consumerism, science and technology. They will not disappoint the viewers of the sports programme, says Areh and adds that they are working to buy television rights to broadcast the European Football Championship 2024 and 2028, the World Cup and the matches of the Slovenian national team in qualifications and the League of Nations. “We are negotiating the purchase of rights to broadcast the matches of the Slovenian national basketball and volleyball teams.”
In 2022, there will also be more entertainment shows during peak hours. “During the week and on weekends, we will broadcast new afternoon shows, we will carry out an extended EMA project. Towards the end of 2022, we will start a new show, Podarim dobim. We will increase the number of music shows of various genres. As part of the Plus programme, we will pay special attention to the renovation of the show Dobro jutro, which reaches as much as 30% of viewers, he announced, adding that the cultural and artistic programme will contribute as much as 75% of all shows on TV Slovenia 1 among 8 and 10 pm” According to Areh, viewers will be able to watch the domestic feature series in their own production, Lenin Park and the Dolina rož. Selected titles of documentaries that will be produced in-house, co-produced with Slovenian independent producers or obtained through license acquisitions will also stand out. Recently, they have received the most positive responses to the screening of foreign and domestic documentaries, and the share of viewers is very satisfactory. They will also provide 12 new documentaries in their own production.