Ownership structure in the Macedonian media is problematic. Currently there is no media in this country that is on commercial basis. Formerly it was A1, say experts in the country. For Stole Naumov, journalist and former member of the Broadcasting Council, the ownership structure of the media is unfavorable.
“There should be transparent media ownership. Not everyone who wishes, to have its own media. The situation is similar with the banks. Not everyone can own a bank. To prevent concentration of media ownership in the same persons, they must insist on media owners to be journalists”, says Naumov.
He adds that big bosses can finance media, on the other hand they may have their interests that are contrary to the public interest. Media ownership is problematic for one of the bards of the Macedonian journalism Aleksandar Chomovski.
“I think journalists need to be media owners if we want quality journalism in them. While I was editor in chief of A1 I told Velija to transfer part of the ownership to some journalists, for greater loyalty, greater freedom and greater protection for him against politicians as an owner. He did not listen to me”, says Chomovski.
For Aco Kabranov, it is very important who owners of TV stations are.
“I no longer believe in the intentions of a businessman that he wants to make a TV station that will work commercially. Television is not their core business, but support for other businesses to receive benefits from the government. This government is especially generous to owners of television stations that are willing to give media houses to the authorities”, says Kabranov.
Ownership structure of the national terrestrial TV stations in Macedonia
TV station Majority shareholders Minority shareholders Sitel Monteko (100%) Kanal 5 Vanja Gavrilovski (100%) Telma Makpetrol (100%) Alfa Alfa Skop Lcc (100%) Alsat М ВЕВЕ Group Lcc (99%) Ferik Velija (1%)
Source: Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services
Regarding the ownership in Macedonian TV stations, we asked Zoran Trajchevski, director of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services for a statement, but after several promises in the past 20 days, he did not give us his comment.
TV stations in the region are owned by foreign media moguls
Unlike Macedonia, almost all national TV stations in the region have attracted foreign companies from media industry that provide enough finances independence in informing.
In Croatia, Nova TV is owned by Central European Media Enterprise, a company from the Netherlands whose core business is to manage media in Eastern Europe. Shares of this company are high on the New York and Prague stock exchange. The revenue of the company is around a billion Euros a year and it has 5,000 employees. The second channel in Croatia is owned by RTL Group (74%), while the remaining equity is owned by the home company Agrokor.
Owners of media in Croatia
Media Owner Majority shareholders Nova TV Central European Media Enterprise Foreign (Netherlands) RTL RTL group + Agrokor Foreign
In Slovenia, the owner of the first commercial TV station in former Yugoslavia, Kanal A and the most popular POP TV is Central European Media Enterprise, the same company that owns the most popular Croatian television.
Owners of media in Slovenia
Media Owner Majority shareholders POP TV Central European Media Enterprise Foreign (Netherlands) Kanal A Central European Media Enterprise Foreign
In Bulgaria, three major European and global media companies are owners of national terrestrial TV stations. News 7 is owned by the US satellite network CNN, while Central European Media Enterprise from Holland (owner of the most viewed television stations in Croatia and Slovenia) owns BTV. Owner of Nova TV in Bulgaria is Modern Times Group from Sweden.
Owners of Bulgarian commercial TV stations
Media Owner Majority shareholders TV7 CNN Foreign BTV Central European Media Enterprise Foreign Nova Modern Times Group Foreign
In Serbia the situation with TV stations is even more interesting, because there as the owner of the most-viewed media was once world famous Fox television group of American tycoon Rupert Murdoch. In 2006 for concession on national level it won over the biggest media owners in the Balkans, Central European Media Enterprise and RTL. But later the situation of the media market became complicated, by passing a law under which a majority shareholder in the TV station must not be a foreign person. After this Rupert Murdoch sold its stake to a Cypriot company. Of other Serbian TV stations B92 is owned by a Greek company, while Pink TV is with a home, Serbian capital.
Owners of media in Serbia
|Prva TV||“Nova Broadcasting” + “Warraner Limited”||Serbian|
The other two national TV stations in Serbia, Happy TV and TV Avala have little impact on the Serbian market.