Controversial TV Barrandov tycoon Jaromír Soukup forms political party

Czech media and advertising tycoon Jaromír Soukup has announced the formation of a party bearing his name with the stated aim of “defending national interests against corrupt politicians and oligarchs”.

Soukup hosts a popular talk show on the private cable channel TV Barrandov, which he took over in 2012. It is now the fourth-largest channel by viewership in the Czech market after TV Nova, ČT1 (the public broadcaster’s first channel) and Prima TV.

Critics say TV Barrandov panders to voters of populist and extreme right-wing parties and politicians. President Miloš Zeman is a regular guest on Soukup’s programme. The connection with Zeman has reportedly secured Mr Soukup cash from China and Russia to finance the station.

Soukup himself helped finance the 2006 electoral campaign of the Green Party, but has since veered to the right of the political spectrum. He ran for the European elections in 2009 without success.

Author: Brian Kenety