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Millions for the salaries of a handful of chiefs and television stars have caused the collapse of Alter TV

20 December 2011 / 16:12:12  GRReporter
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In the last year, GRReporter has paid particular attention to the problems that arose in the Greek media after the beginning of the severe financial crisis. Many of them fired journalists, technicians and administrative staff, arguing that they cannot sustain financially. Alter TV was the first private television, which declared bankruptcy, but it managed to protect itself from its creditors by falling under the regulation of Article 99 of the liquidation code. The television management refuses to pay the salaries of the employees who took drastic actions.

After interrupting the live broadcasts, the staff decided to inform public opinion about the fat salaries of television "stars", which they say are the main reason for the failure of the television. Their letter indicates the huge amounts paid to prominent journalists in the news broadcasts, but also the administrative staff. The text reads, "We send this letter to inform public opinion about how the big party in Alter TV was organized. The real reasons for the failure are not the accusations of one of the owners, George Kouris to the other owner, Costas Yanikos for extra costs such as the payment for the bust increase of a well-known television host, for luxury cars, which were given to members of management, etc.

The causes of evil are elsewhere. In 2009, the "revised" economic lists presented another successful and profitable year with flourishing revenues. All this, of course, had nothing to do with the truth. It was a bubble that did not take long to burst at the expense of all of us employees of Alter."

They point out that in fact, the problem lies in the salaries of the members of management and the management board of the television in the period 2005 - 2009, which they define as "astronomical sums". In 2009 alone, 5,523,430 euro were spent for salaries. In 2009, each member of the board received between 350,000 to 400,000 euro in gross salary. Heads of various departments were also receiving huge amounts of about 93,000 to 420,000 euro.

Far more interesting, however, are the salaries of television "stars". The well-known investigative journalist Makis Triantafilopoulos is on top of the list with an annual salary of 2.6 million euro. In Alter, he hosted the programmes Jungle and Yellow press, in which he often presented denunciatory reports of scandalous stories from the social life in Greece. He introduced the practice of shooting with a hidden camera and got the nickname Tarzan. A few years ago, Makis Triantafilopoulos opened an information portal www.zougla.gr, which is one of the most visited Greek websites.

The news presenter in Alter Nikos Hatzinikolaou received one million per year. In parallel, he is the publisher of one of the largest weekly editions, Real News, the information portal www.real.gr and co-owner of Real FM radio, together with the son of one of the main shareholders in Alter, Andreas Kouris.

Costas Hardavelas received 760,000 euro. He is also a host of two shows, one of which often became a discussion forum about evidence of UFOs. According to various sources, the information page www.newsbomb.gr is his, and he has a weekly radio show in Real FM.

The Greek Miss Marple – the host of the show Light in the Tunnel, which investigated cases of missing people, sometimes with great success, Angeliki Nikolouli, received "only" 610,000 euro per year for four shows per month. According to officials in television, the management even paid her taxes.

One of the most controversial commentators on the news in Alter George Trangas received 300,000 euro for his emotional and often comical remarks. The employees state in the letter that the company Dynamic Communication, which has filed the claim for the protection of the television under Article 99 is his. However, he did not appear to support it, "perhaps because he took his money while we, the employees have not received salaries for many months," they wrote.

"Not to mention the offshore companies that received millions of euro in all these years. Or maybe they have not received any money and all transactions were bogus and prices were artificially inflated? Maybe the heads of Piraeus Bank and Marfin Bank should reply. And if they cannot, perhaps the competent prosecutors should satisfy our curiosity or the economic police, the capital markets commission, the advertising companies, politicians and all who have deliberately closed their eyes during all these years?"
 
Employees are asking how it is possible for a company with capital of 8,000,000 euro to purchase a television programme in the period 2006 - 2009 and in particular, films worth 420 million euro. "And how is it possible for this company to suddenly become a losing company in 2010, unable to pay our salaries? The television was not affected by the economic crisis. Most of the television employees have became a victim of the greed of a few people. No matter how convenient the bankruptcy is, it certainly will not cover the crimes of the management against us," stress the employees and send the message that they will put an end to the story with the collapse of Alter TV.

 

Tags: MediaAlter TVBankruptcyEmployeesUnpaid salariesHuge remunerationTelevision starsMakis TriandafullopoulosNikos Hatzinikolaou
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