Editors-in-chief, CEOs resign from pro-government media

February 6, 2015

simiOnly a day after Fidesz oligarch Lajos Simicska (pictured) announced that he “is starting a full-scale media war” against the Orbán government if the proposed new 5% advertisement tax passes the burden from RTL television to his media empire, all of the leading figures of Simicska’s media have announced they will resign their positions because of integrity issues.

In a joint statement sent to the press on Friday they announced the following:

As of today, the following managers of Magyar Nemzet, Hír Television, Lánchíd Radio, have resigned their positions out of conscience:

Gábor Liszkay, editor-in-chief, Magyar Nemzet, president, Hír Television

Ottó Gajdics, editor-in-chief, Lánchíd Radio

Gábor Élő, editor-in-chief, Magyar Nemzet Online

Péter Szikszai, deputy CEO, Hír Television

Péter Csermely, deputy editor-in-chief, Magyar Nemzet

Szabolcs Szerető, deputy editor-in-chief, Magyar Nemzet

These private media outlets played a key role in helping Fidesz and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to win national and local elections held in 2010 and 2014.  No further reason has been given for their resignation.

Several weeks ago Orbán reportedly called together the heads of various pro-government media outlets to inform them that the government planned to greatly expand the scope and reach of state media, and thus they should not calculate with the same level of government advertising revenues in the future as over the past five years.

(One suspects that many of the individuals resigning will end up being employed by state-owned media outlets which are in the process of “cleaning house,” i.e. hiring new people even as 170 employees are to be discharged.-ed.)

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