Bulgarian National TV names new director

By Pavlina Jeleva

    After three days of intense public hearings, the five members of the Council of Electronic Media (www.cem.bg) elected Viara Ankova as Director General of Bulgarian National Television (www.bnt.bg). The vetting process required each candidate to deliver an action plan in writing as well as an oral defense.

    Ankova's presentation was unanimously judged as most convincing, largely because of the emphasis on digitalization, full financial inspection, and audience-focused program changes. Acting head of the information department, Ankova has been working for the BNT since 1991. Her loyalty to Bulgaria's main public channel was judged as a strong point of her professional CV, including specializations with CNN and BBC.

    Ankova will start executing her duties August 1, when Uliana Pramova leaves the position. Currently, the official mandate is for three years, but following a vote on the new media law changes could be possible.

    "If Ankova is able to convince the Council of Electronic Media of the efficiency of her actions by then, we will certainly find a way to keep her in the position," said the president of the Council Georgy Lozanov.

    Lozanov is an active promoter of the future fusion of Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio (www.bnr.bg). "It is still a very rough project that needs to be discussed publicly. It might happen or it might not," Lozanov added.