TV Prva fires one of Serbia’s best journalists and cancels one of its most popular shows

September 16, 2019

Suzana Trninić, one of Serbia’s top political journalists, has been fired by television company TV Prva, one of four Serbian commercial television stations that broadcasts nationally.

Trninić, who has appeared on TV Prva since January last year and who previously spent 17 years working for RTV B92, where she was among the authors of the hard talk show Kažiprsta [Index Finger], failed to turn up to work on her new position as a web journalist, which she was assigned to after the cancelling of her own show, Odgovor [The Answer] this June.

“I think it’s very clear what Prva’s new editorial policy is like and that there’s no reason for anyone to be surprised that there’s no place for me there any longer,” said Trninić in a statement for Cenzolovka. Trninić was proclaimed the best journalist in Serbia in 2012 by her colleagues.

Almost simultaneously, Tatjana Vojtehovski, author of the TV Prva show Život priča [Life Stories], announced on Twitter that she’d been told by the company management that her show – also among the channel’s most popular – was also to be cancelled, despite work on a new season having already started.

TV Prva has made no announcements related to these cases, but its owner, Srđan Milovanović, announced for portal Raskrikavanje [Disclosure] that Vojtehovski’s Život priča show hasn’t been cancelled, but rather that negotiations are underway on the terms of continued cooperation. Speaking for the same portal, Vojtehovski denied that any negotiations had been launched with Prva’s management.

Her shows feature so-called ordinary people who are fighting for justice and often find themselves denied that justice precisely by the state or people close to the authorities. Vojtehovski doesn’t publicly hide her personal criticism of the leadership of Alexander Vučič and his Serbian Progressive Party.

Srđan Milovanović, whose brother Zvezdan is commissioner of the Serbian Progressive Party for the City of Niš, spent 180 million euros last December to purchase Prva TV, O2 TV and several other radio and cable channels from Greece’s Antenna Group. Shortly after this acquisition, Ivan Ivanović, host of TV Prva’s extremely popular late night show “An Evening with Ivan Ivanović”, resigned citing his divergence with the new policy of the company.