Planet TV is sinking further and further. In the past, some Slovenian media outlets have reported that Planet TV is close to 70 million euros in losses. Last year, the media outlet was put in the hands of the governing forces. One of the newcomers was Roland Žel from Damir Črnčec’s circle, who took up his position as the managing director of TSmedia, which also owns Siol.net and Planet TV media outlets, on September 1st, 2019.
Besides Vida Žurga, Roland Žel is the key person of Črnčec’s network at the state-owned Telekom. Žel, a complete amateur int the field of media, took on the position of managing director of TSmedia, which also owns Siol.net and Planet TV. TSmedia has received 164,632.41 euros of taxpayers’ money since September 2019, when Žel took on the position of managing director of the company. Žel’s future is comfortable and secure, as he is guaranteed a job at the Ministry of Defence if he decides to leave the position of TSmedia’s director. Meanwhile, state-owned Telekom is searching for a buyer for a third of the overindebted Planet TV’s shares.
Some time ago, we asked the Ministry of Defence if Žel really has a guaranteed job there. In their response, they explained to us that, prior to his employment with TSmedia, he requested a suspension of rights and obligations arising from his employment at the Ministry of Defence. »Based on the first paragraph of Article 152. b of the Civil Servants Act, the Ministry of Defence reached an agreement with Roland Žel on the suspension of rights and obligations arising from employment.«
The obligations and rights, arising from his employment, are suspended until August 31st, 2023.
A rather unusual part of the contractual clause is, that Žel’s obligations and rights, arising from his employment are suspended for the duration of his term as the director of the subsidiaries TSmedia and Antena TV SL, or no longer than until August 31st, 2023. »Mr. Žel committed to returning to his work at the Ministry of Defence the day after the suspension of the obligations and rights, arising from his employment, ends. The Ministry of Defence will allow him to return to a position, comparable to the position he held before the suspension began, after it ends,« the Ministry wrote in their answer.
Media empire Planet TV is collapsing in on itself
In 2012, state-owned Telekom established the Planet TV television, besides the already existing Siol.net. Despite hefty financial contributions and extensive television production of licensed reality shows, live broadcasts of the Champion’s League, and domestic series production, they were not able to become one of the most-watched TV stations, as RTV Slovenia, POP TV, and Kanal A continue their reign. Planet TV even tried to establish its own news programme, which is still far from successful. Despite their efforts, the changes in their editorial policy, and replacements of the news anchors, they remain far behind the most-watched news programmes in Slovenia.
Telekom is selling a third of Planet TV’s shares, and if they can not find a buyer, they risk bankruptcy
As reported by RTV Slovenia, at their last meeting, Telekom’s supervisors decided to sell a third of Planet TV’s shares, for which they expect five million euros. If the shares are not bought, Planet TV will go bankrupt. Črnčec’s media squire, Roland Žel, has only proved that knowing the media is not the same as knowing military equipment at the Ministry of Defence. Perhaps, he will be rescued by Damir Črnčec, who had already proven himself in the field of lobbying, when he brought his new partner for his media rule to Planet TV.