Tyrol’s boss has left – reduced additional income for ORF stars: “Eh our line”


Moderations in the political environment and in chambers were banned by the top ORF boss after the whirlwind in Lower Austria. In Tyrol, people take it easy. Events of, for example, the Chamber of Commerce are not affected. We continue to rely mainly on our own employees.

The ORF has faced a lot of criticism in the past. Recently, the former state director in Lower Austria, Robert Ziegler, came under fire. He is accused of possible interventions in favor of the ÖVP. He resigned before the report of the internal committee of inquiry.

Chats with ex-Vice Chancellor turned fatal
Matthias Schrom, a native of Tyrol and editor-in-chief of News, also took off his hat last year. Talks with former Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ), which were about a new direction for the ORF, were his downfall. His resignation was also “voluntary” and before a report was available. Meanwhile, the current debate revolves around GIS fee reform.

Banned by governments, ministries and chambers
Ziegler also moderated events of interest groups close to the ÖVP and the Lower Austrian Chamber of Commerce. A common practice among ORF journalists and moderators to earn extra income. Until recently! Because ORF director general Roland Weißmann banned the “stars” from appearing, which is especially true for federal and state governments, ministries and the Chamber of Commerce and Labor.

The colleagues of ORF Tirol are also affected by this. How do you see the ban there?

The Tyrolean ORF “Stars” are taking the ban calmly
“The instructions of General Manager Roland Weißmann correspond exactly to the line we are following in Tyrol. Secondary jobs that could publicly raise doubts about a lack of independence should be rejected,” says state director Esther Mitterstieler to the “Tiroler Krone “. The journalists and moderators such as Sybille Brunner, Katharina Kramer, Georg Laich, Martin Papst and Co. see it the same way, assures the Tyrolean ORF boss.

Mitterstieler does not give a specific number of how often temperance activities take place outside the home. Instead, she speaks of “sporadically and at irregular intervals”.

“Professional handling of the relationship to politics”
And what is the relationship between ORF Tyrol and the politicians of Tyrol, regarding the Matthias Schrom and Robert Ziegler case? “The relationship corresponds to a professional approach, in which the editorial statute is observed at all times,” assures Mitterstieler.

Incidentally, the secondary activities of ORF Tirol staff would generally not be suspended, but merely “reduced”.

WK resorted to a “handful” of moderators
What does the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce say about this? “We organize more than 200 larger to large events per year. We recently received a handful of support from committed and skilled ORF moderators,” explains Peter Sidon, Head of Marketing and Communications.

Weißmann’s ban will “have no impact on the quality of our events and we will continue to rely primarily on our own employees”. However, Sidon does not disclose the amount of the compensation for the moderation. However, it was “common in the industry”.

Comment “Krone”: late, but still!
There was also a time in Tyrol – we are talking about many years – when it was customary to put the icing on the cake, so to speak, by giving the moderator a corresponding name. Sometimes you even had the feeling that precisely that lady or gentleman was trying to brighten up subjects with a rather weak content. That their reputation should, as it were, serve as a motivation for more visitors.

Preference was given to moderators of the ORF Landesstudio Tyrol, who were known at the time and who were known, appreciated and sometimes even honored (for whatever reason) from programs such as “Tirol today”. Accordingly, of course, the remuneration that these famous faces demanded from television or that people gladly paid them.

The fact that there was actually already a potential for conflict or incompatibility when one of these “ORF stars” candidly staged an event organized by the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce was generously ignored internally and externally. From the editors, who are often very picky and distant in their main task, but also from their bosses at the time – but they may have moderated themselves. The motto was probably: where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge. But just as times have changed (unfortunately in many cases for the worse), this “practice” is now all but obsolete. It is possible that the “ziegler case” was needed first.

Source: Krone


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