Europe
Regulator fires head of Latvian public television
Last Updated: 2018-12-29 14:57 | Xinhua
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The Latvian mass media regulator on Friday fired Ivars Belte as head of the Baltic country's public television, accusing him of mismanaging taxpayers' money and providing advertising services to commercial clients, local media reported.

The National Electronic Mass Media Council also dismissed Sergejs Nesterovs as the public broadcaster's board member in charge of content development.

The regulator's decision took place with immediate effect on Friday. The broadcaster's board now remains with only one member in charge of finances.

The National Electronic Mass Media Council said it would appoint an acting board member to the public television next week. A tender to pick replacements for the sacked board members will be organized in January 2019.

According to a statement to the press released by the National Electronic Mass Media Council on Friday, the television's management failed to ensure a proper planning and supervision of strategic development projects in 2017 and 2018, resulting in the risk of mismanaging taxpayers' money.

An audit conducted in the public television revealed that the public broadcaster had been providing advertising services to commercial media in breach of its existing strategy, thus causing cross subsidizing risks, the regulator said.

"In this way, taxpayers' money has been used to maximize the profit of commercial media," Aurelia Ieva Druviete, a member of the National Electronic Mass Media Council ensuring the supervision of public television, said on public radio.

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