STA, 15 October - Manica Janežič Ambrožič, the TV news programme editor-in-chief at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, stepped down on Friday. She said she had decided to do so because she disagreed with changes to the programme and production plan for TV Slovenija's news programme for next year, RTV Slovenija said in a statement.
The RTV Slovenija management labelled her move as a "complete surprise", and TV Slovenija acting director Valentin Areh urged her not to step down today.
The public broadcaster also said that minor changes to the programme and production plan were necessary because of a lack of staff and a drop in ratings of news shows.
For the time being, Janežič Ambrožič will stay on as acting TV news programme editor.
According to some media reports, most of the changes for 2022 concern the news programme, with some news shows to be cut short and some cancelled.
TV Slovenija's news programmes staff and the Slovenian Journalist Trade Union (SNS) regretted Janežič Ambrožič's resignation.
Both are worried about the planned cut in news programmes, which the SNS believes will take the public broadcaster away from European standards.
TV Slovenija's news staff are aware that some changes are needed but are afraid the planned ones are "too radical", so they expect a "thorough discussion".
The SNS meanwhile understands the reasons which led the editor-in-chief to step down. "Cancelling the morning news, shortening the main daily news Dnevnik, and cancelling the majority of news talk shows takes RTV Slovenija away from the leading public European services and lowers standards for Slovenian viewers."
The union thus urged the management to ensure programmes fully in line with the scope of services set down in the RTV Slovenija law, and called on the National Assembly to provide stable media funding for both public service providers - RTV Slovenija and the STA.
The RTV Slovenija programming council is meeting on Monday to discuss the draft programme and production plan, while Janežič Ambrožič's resignation is also expected to be discussed.