CME merges Bulgarian TV management

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Central European Media Enterprises (CME, www.cetv-net.com) plans to merge the news departments of its Bulgarian television channels. CME acquired 100% ownership of terrestrial bTV channel (www.btv.bg) and genre channels, bTV Comedy (www.btv.bg/comedy) and bTV Cinema (www.btv.bg/cinema), for $400 million, following the $187 million purchase of Pro.BG (www.probg.bg) and Ring.bg (www.ring.bg).

    All morning news programmes of Pro.BG will be canceled and only the evening and the weekend transmissions will be retained.

    The head of the bTV information department Liuba Risova will be responsible for the news sections of both bTV and Pro.BG. In a TV interview she announced that the crews of the two TV channels will work in "noble competition" and will "not kill each other". Independent experts suggest the restructuring of Pro.BG will gradually place it under the management of bTV.

    Pro.BG journalists and technical crews. announced they have been asked to take paid leaves starting July 5.

    Risova affirmed that the structural changes will depend on audience ratings. "If a product is good and is followed by a big audience it will stay, if not, it will disappear,"Risova said.