Final Word from Thursday, December 4, 2003

Cutting costs is easy; it's cutting the right costs that makes a good manager. CEO Jiří Janeček of Czech Television told the BBC yesterday that 90% of his problems are financial, yet his annual budget of nearly Kč 5bn is enough to make almost any Czech manager green with envy. Janeček sees cutting out entire shows - some of which are very well done - and raising the users' fee as the inevitable solution. At the same time, he revealed recently that 400 people have had the authority to sign away the station's money. Therein, it seems, is the secret to cutting the right costs. Instead, he risks alienating the very taxpayers who fund him (but have little say in how their TV fees are spent) and playing into the hands of the commercial stations that want to limit his access to advertising revenue. Until Czech TV proves that it's running a lean operation, few well-intentioned souls are going to be willing to throw anymore money at it. licensing

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