Mixed feelings on Gatts harsh PBS remarks
the reform-or-bust statements made by Minister Austin Gatt
have created a state of unease among PBS employees and independent TV
producers, not the same can be said of advertising agencies.
The general feeling in the advertising sector is that government would
not go through with its threat to close down PBS. People in the sector
have described Minister Gatts remarks as a sweeping statement
and are almost certain that for "political reasons" government
would not dismantle the national broadcaster.
On the contrary, it is advertising agencies with audio-visual facilities
that would stand to benefit from the new set up, The Malta Financial
and Business Times was told.
With a more extensive policy to outsource TV productions, it is the
independent production houses that would get a boost.
Preparations for new programmes to kick off in the January schedule
normally start three months before but the uncertainty of the future
of PBS has left TV producers in the dark, at least for the time being.
It is still unclear whether current contracts will be
renewed or terminated and whether new contracts will be signed in time.
Last week the GWU, Ministry officials and company managers met for the
first time to discuss the reforms. But what happens after January is
still unknown and depends heavily on whether agreement is reached on
a new collective agreement and the reduction of around 130 employees.
Meanwhile, speaking yesterday in Parliament, Government Investments
Minister Austin Gatt said that the PBS chief executive officer did not
offer his resignation and neither was he asked to resign. Dr Gatt was
answering a parliamentary question by Labour MP Leo Brincat.