New Acting Director General appointed to RTV Slovenia

10th August 2023
The Council of Slovenia’s public broadcaster has dismissed the previous Acting Director General, Andrej Grah Whatmough and appointed Zvezdan Martić in his place.
RTV Slovenia
Building of RTV Slovenia (Television's part). Credit: Pv21/Creative Commons


  • The Acting Director General of RTV Slovenia, Andrej Grah Whatmough has been dismissed by the Council of the public broadcaster.
  • Mr. Grah Whatmough presided over a period of turbulence for the organisation, including strikes, dismissals, programming changes and accusations of political interference.
  • He has been replaced as Acting Director General by long-time employee, Zvezdan Martić.
  • The position of Acting Director General will soon be terminated, and be replaced by a four-person Board, following the passage of reforms earlier this year.
  • Mr. Martić has already been appointed President of the Board, while the final member will be confirmed this month.


The controversial boss of RTV Slovenia (RTV SLO), Andrej Grah Whatmough, has been dismissed from his position as Acting Director General, and been temporarily replaced by long-time employee, Zvezdan Martić.

According to a press release from the public service broadcaster, “Grah Whatmough did not attend the meeting, nor did he respond in any way to the stated reasons for his dismissal.”

The decision to remove and replace Mr. Grah Whatmough was taken by the 17-member Council of RTV SLO, which was only established in May this year, after a package of reforms – designed to provide greater protections to RTV SLO from government interference – came into effect. For example, these reforms provide less scope for the government of the day to install political allies onto the board.

Alongside the establishment of a new Council the reforms will also see a change in how the day-to-day management is run. Instead of a Director General, there will now be a four-person Board, with a President at the helm.

Why did Andrej Grah Whatmough get dismissed?

Andrej Grah Whatmough was appointed as Director General in 2021 under the previous government, headed by the populist former Prime Minister Janez Janša.

Under his stewardship, the public broadcaster was the subject of a raft of scandals, from staff dismissals to programming shakeups. For nearly a year, staff at RTV SLO repeatedly went on strike over what they described as continuous threats to the organisation’s independence. During that time, PMA continued to monitor and report on the ongoing situation.

“The legal mills grind slowly, but I believe the rule of law will prevail in the end.” – Former Acting Director General, Andrej Grah Whatmough.

Mr. Grah Whatmough was also one of several senior executives who went to the Constitutional Court to appeal against the legality of the reforms pushed through by the new government.

Following the Constitutional Court’s eventual dismissal of this appeal, however, Mr. Grah Whatmough became Acting Director General.

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The process of dismissing Mr. Grah Whatmough began on 30 June. According to reports, there were four grounds for dismissal. In one, he was accused of going against the organisation’s financial plan and selling shares in Eutelsat Communications, losing an estimated €2 million.

However, Mr. Grah Whatmough did not respond to the dismissal, meaning the Council was unable to provide his notice to him in person. Therefore, the Council published it instead on the broadcaster’s website. This notice was published on 11 July, and was considered completed on 26 July, in accordance with the law.

At the 5th Extraordinary meeting of the RTV SLO Council on 3 August, Mr. Grah Whatmough was dismissed, with 15 votes.

What happens next?

Responding to his removal, Mr. Grah Whatmough said it was illegal. “The legal mills grind slowly, but I believe the rule of law will prevail in the end,” he told RTV SLO. He claimed the Council did not have the authority to dismiss him. It’s now likely that legal action will follow.

For RTV SLO, however, the process of establishing their new administrative structure continues.

The current Acting Director General, Mr. Martić was also appointed president of the four-person board last month. This board – another product of the reforms – will replace the Director-General position, and instead, be responsible for leading and managing the public service broadcaster.

Mr. Martić will now nominate two board members, to be approved by the Council, while the fourth member will be elected by RTV SLO staff. Employees will select their candidate on 16 August.

The four-year term of this board will begin once the final candidate has been selected, at which point, the Director General position will cease to exist.