We will not compete with private televisions for advertising promised reporters the new head of the Greek national broadcaster ERT Lambis Tagmatarhis. However, he denied state media to refrain entirely from the advertising market, but vowed that it will not take the breath out of its colleagues from the private sector. "I will not attract private television ads undercutting prices in difficult times like today. It doesn’t matter that this will reduce the additional revenue of the organization from 30 million euros, for example, to only 10 million euros," explained the new media boss of ERT the noble intentions of the financial management.
ERT has enjoyed a steady flow from Greek households that pay consistently every two months fee for national radio and television along with their electricity bill. The revenues from the mandatory fee reach the net amount of about 300 million euro and additional subsidies for the organization are provided in the state budget apart from them while its employees have civil servant status. According to remarks made by the Deputy Minister of Culture Tilemahos Hitiris, sooner or later, however, ERT will have to withdraw completely from the advertising market on the recommendation of the European Commission. "We will have to earn only from the state fee," admitted the new head sadly.
"We have taken the responsibility to open doors to new ideas and new people to take risks and to provide new ideas." It became clear at the same time that ERT1 – the main national television – will have the new-old host Elli Stai from January on. She is familiar to television viewers since 1989 when she began her career in the national media. 20 years later, after having passed through the news broadcasts of the private televisions MEGA, ANT1, Star TV, Alpha TV, Elli Stai returns in the main news block of ERT. According to press information, the salary of the top journalist will not exceed € 4,000, which is the limit on monthly salaries of civil servants under the new legislation.
ERT manages seven public television stations - three national and four satellite frequencies that are known for years for their rich production and not very high audience. According to a publication in Vima, two detailed inspections of ERT finances revealed a series of malpractices such as undeclared commercials, programs without a clear budget and joint productions with uncertain costs.
The new administration declared its intention to tighten the budget control and to take decisions in complete transparency. Information on public productions will be announced in the media web site as far as this does not violate the confidentiality clauses. Lambis Tagmatarhis promised that the state media will strengthen its information blocks, broadcasts for culture and entertainment.