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Changes in public media. Ministry of Culture and National Heritage: the Minister of Culture appointed three liquidators of the regional Polish Radio station

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The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, as a representative of the State Treasury, continuing the process of liquidation of 17 regional companies of Polish Radio, appointed liquidators for Radio Katowice, Radio Łódź and Radio Szczecin – the Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday on the X website.

The announcement announced that the liquidators of three Polish Radio stations were: Ewelina Kosałka-Passia (Radio Katowice), Jacek Grudzień (Radio Łódź) and Robert Muranowski (Radio Szczecin).

Earlier, it was also reported on the website of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage that “representing the State Treasury, the owner of 100 percent of the shares in the Company’s share capital, informs that the District Court in Gdańsk has entered into the National Court Register the opening of the liquidation of the company currently operating under the name Polskie Radio – Regionalna Rozwodnia in Gdańsk Radio Gdańsk SA in liquidation with its registered office in Gdańsk.

Consequences of liquidation

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The decisions made on Wednesday are a consequence of the liquidation of radio stations included in Auditorium 17, announced on December 29, 2023, a radio agreement established in 2001 coordinating the activities of local Polish Radio stations. It is a company whose shareholders are 17 Polish Radio Regional Stations. As part of the agreement, these radio stations exchange programs, reports and materials.

Auditorium 17 includes: Radio Białystok, Radio Pomorza and Kujawy (Bydgoszcz), Radio Gdańsk, Radio Katowice, Radio Kielce, Radio Koszalin, Radio Kraków, Radio Lublin, Radio Łódź, Radio Olsztyn, Radio Opole, Radio Poznań, Radio Rzeszów, Radio Szczecin, Radio dla Nasze (Warsaw), Radio Wrocław, Radio Zachód (Zielona Góra). Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz then stated that putting them into liquidation was the result of an earlier decision regarding the liquidation of public media – the Polish Press Agency, Polish Radio and Polish Television.

Changes in the media

On December 19, 2023, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, decided to dismiss the existing and appoint new supervisory boards of TVP, Polskie Radio and PAP, which changed the companies’ management boards. Tomasz Sygut was announced as the new president of Telewizja Polska. The decision of the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage was criticized by politicians PISwho assessed that it was illegal.

At the same time, the budget-related act includes a provision on the possibility of transferring money from the state budget to public media. In total, it amounted to nearly PLN 3 billion. The act states that the minister responsible for the budget, i.e. the Minister of Finance, “may transfer” such funds, but is not obliged to do so. Finance Minister Andrzej Domański emphasized that the payment was suspended for now.

President Andrzej Duda he ultimately vetoed the budget-related bill, pointing out that “there cannot be consent to this in view of the blatant violation of the constitution and the principles of a democratic state of law.”

Due to the president’s decision to suspend financing of public media, Minister of Culture Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz decided to liquidate TVP, PR and PAP, and later also 17 regional companies of Polish Radio stations.

Main photo source: Leszek Szymański/PAP

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