Hungarian State Television announced today that CEO László Zsolt Szabó had submitted his resignation. Deputy CEO Dr. Vaszily Miklós will serve as acting CEO until Hungary’s Media Council chooses Szabó’s successor.
Although no reason was offered for his departure, many suspect it is related to the calamitous launch in March of M1, a 24-hour news channel modeled on CNN. Plagued with technical glitches from beginning to end, the maiden broadcast of Hungary’s first 24-hour news channel proved an unmitigated disaster, and viewership plummeted accordingly.
In all fairness to Szabó, he had been given the unenviable task of producing a 24-hour news program on a shoestring budget, with unpaid interns taking the place of experienced technicians and producers, many of whom were given the ax in the months leading up to the fateful broadcast.