Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy was fired from Belsat after 17 years

Luc Williams

“On Monday TVP SA liquidator Daniel Gorgosz at a personal meeting, he proposed to the director and the founder Belsat TV Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guza, after 17 years of managing the station, termination of the contract by mutual consent of the parties. In a personal interview, he did not raise any objections to the director's work. Romaszewska-Guza nor to the current operation of the canal. He justified the decision with the need for a +new opening+ in the event of a reduction in the station's budget in 2024 (from the planned PLN 75 million to PLN 40 million, i.e. by approximately 47%). At the same time, he proposed very favorable financial conditions for terminating the contract,” it was written on the Belsat website. TVP reports that Romaszewska-Guza's duties will be taken over by her current deputy and one of the station's founders. Aleksy Dzikawicki.

No consent for a golden parachute

On Tuesday, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy wrote on social media: “I have just been dismissed after 17 years from Belsat and after 32 years from TVP. I was initially offered dismissal from Belsat (and TVP) at my own request and with a golden parachute (i.e. on extremely favorable terms). ).I didn't agree to it.”

Recently, Romaszewska-Guzy protested against the haircut Belsat budget – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated PLN 40 million for this station for 2024. February 9 in an open letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski the Belsat team appealed to keep the station in its current form. The text was signed by 170 colleagues. Previously, the channel's authorities made several attempts to contact the Ministry of Diplomacy and the authorities of TVP SA “We started broadcasting as a Belarusian-language satellite television, and over the course of 17 years we have grown into one of the largest media of this type broadcasting from the territory EU and FOR THIS to almost the entire territory of the former USSR. It is also your – Polish – effective soft power tool; Your success and our life's work. A work for which 17 of our colleagues are currently paying for with their freedom and health while staying in Lukashenko prisons,” wrote the Belsat team.

More than a crime. This is a mistake

“I was also told that the station's budget is to be cut by 47 percent and this is a decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The station is to be divided, i.e. Russian-language programs will probably be transferred to TVP World. In my opinion, this is a big mistake and a fundamental breach of the concept that has been created over the years. Belsat made sense and served Poland as a station facing east in the current difficult and even dangerous international situation. Not as a worse, but a younger and MANY TIMES poorer clone of some one Deutsche Welle” – Romaszewska-Guzy noted in the entry.

She assessed that “we are talking about differences between… Voice of Americaan American promotional station THIGHS and Radio FreeEurope /Radio Liberty built MAINLY to support the freedom aspirations of nations.” “Biełsat was/is such a station on a smaller scale, achieving considerable success,” she added. “In my opinion, demolishing such a unique work and the only TVP channel founded from the bottom up and operating primarily with the involvement of its employees – is more than a crime. This is a mistake,” she emphasized.

Forceful termination of the contract?

“As for me, no one made me the head of the Belsat channel, and no one will bribe me out of there or shut me up with contracts that will gag me in exchange for a golden parachute.” A work to which almost 18 years of life have been devoted, which is good for Poland and its neighbors, is not sold for the convenience of subsequent, very transient, management boards (?) of TVP,” she wrote. “16 of my colleagues are based in Belarus, including one full-time employee of TVP and one of my close friends and colleagues, and should I surrender??” wrote Romaszewska, referring to the fact that Belsat journalists are sent to Belarusian prisons. “I can always be fired, suspended, removed – by force. And that's exactly what's happening,” she said.

She recalled that “exactly in March 15 years ago, Mr. Farfał (since 2006 vice-president of TVP, acting president of TVP in 2008-200 – PAP) fired me last time.”

TVP: It's about a new model of foreign channels

TVP emphasizes that “Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy is no longer the director of TV Bielsat. The current management of Telewizja Polska in liquidation thanked her for many years of cooperation. Romaszewska-Guzy's duties will be taken over by her current deputy and one of the founders of the station, Aleksy Dzikawicki” – wrote in a statement sent by PAP via Information CenterPolish Television SA in liquidation

It was explained that “the changes result from work on the new model of TVP foreign channels, which are financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They assume synergy, use and development of the achievements of each antenna,” it added.

“In recent years, the budget of TV Bielsat increased from PLN 30 million in 2018 to PLN 90 million planned for 2024. The increase in financing resulted, among others, from the plans to separate the channel from TVP structures, which would make it easier to obtain external funds. However, this process was not carried out . The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not approved funding this year at the level planned by the antenna. The station is taken over by a Belarusian, which also meets the expectations of the Belarusian opposition circles. Aleksy Dzikawicki knows the team perfectly and, importantly, understands the need to cooperate with other public television channels,” it was written .

The first dismissal failed

Agnieszka Romaszewska has worked at TVP since 1992. She was the head of reporters and deputy head of “The newsTVP. Then she held the positions of a national reporter at TVP, publisher of “Wiadomości”, and, among others, published a Catholic news magazineTimes“. In 2009, she organized and launched Belsat Television, which was first a channel with independent information for the Belarusian society.

Agnieszka Romaszewska was already dismissed from the position of editor-in-chief of Belsat in March 2009 by the acting president of TVP PeterFarfała. This decision was criticized by many journalists and the public at the time – after a week, Romaszewska was reinstated as the director of Belsat. (PAP)

Author: Anna Kruszyńska


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