Hungary’s ORTT head resigns in wake of licence announcement
October 30th, 2009 - 11:12 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The President of Hungary’s National Radio and Television Board (ORTT), László Majtényi, resigned yesterday just 24 hours after the results of the radio frequency tender were announced. Numerous reports suggested that the Socialists and Fidesz [the largest opposition party in Hungary] had agreed to divide the two frequencies used by commercial stations Danubius Rádió and Sláger Rádió since 1997 among themselves. They are the only two terrestrial broadcast radio frequencies receivable throughout Hungary. Both stations are owned by foreign investors.

In resigning, Majtényi said it has become impossible to keep the broadcast media regulator free of party politics.

One of the winners, Advenio, was founded on September 7 with Ft 5 million in capital. It is two-thirds owned by lawyer Zsolt Nyerges, and one-third by Lánchíd Asset Manager, founded by the right-wing Lánchíd Rádió, reported. It has been awarded the frequency used by Danubius.

Sláger’s frequency will be used by the FM1 consortium of the Est Média Group and its subsidiary Rádiocafé 98.6. Advenio will broadcast as Klassz Rádió and Sláger will be succeeded by Neo FM from November 19.

Majtényi said earlier this week that Advenio’s bid had formal irregularities, while other applicants did not present proper business plans.