CT back on air, but watchdog chairman complains about news blackout

By: Rob Cameron.

The chairman of the country's media watchdog, the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting, has said Czech Television has not fully complied with Thursday's ruling which called on the station to immediately resume all broadcasts, including news programmes. Mr Hodac shut down both of Czech Television's channels on Wednesday evening as he and the rebel journalists fought for control of the station's output. Czech Television is now back on the air, but regular news broadcasts are still replaced with a message from Mr Hodac, saying the disruption is due to the presence of unauthorised persons in the news building. The rebel journalists continue to broadcast news bulletins by cable and satellite.

The company which sells airtime for Czech Television said on Friday that the dispute was costing the station millions of crowns in lost advertising revenues. Michael Richter, director of the Arbo Media company, estimated that Czech Television had lost some 12 million crowns during the 24-hour shut down of the station alone. Firms which commissioned adverts have said they will demand compensation.