“Today, I have made the decision to liquidate 17 regional companies of Polish Radio, as a continuation of the earlier process,” announced Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, on the X portal.
The decision by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage concerns stations that are part of Audytorium 17, established in 2001 as a radio agreement coordinating the activities of local Polish Radio stations. This company is owned by 17 Regional Stations of Polish Radio. Under the agreement, these stations exchange programs, reports, and materials.
Audytorium 17 includes: Radio Białystok, Radio Pomorza and Kujaw (Bydgoszcz), Radio Gdańsk, Radio Katowice, Radio Kielce, Radio Koszalin, Radio Kraków, Radio Lublin, Radio Łódź, Radio Olsztyn, Radio Opole, Radio Poznań, Radio Rzeszów, Radio Szczecin, Radio dla Ciebie (Warsaw), Radio Wrocław, Radio Zachód (Zielona Góra).
Last Tuesday, the Sejm adopted a resolution regarding the restoration of legal order and impartiality of public media, as well as the Polish Press Agency, urging the State Treasury to take corrective actions. The following day, the Ministry of Culture announced that Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, as the authority exercising ownership rights of the State Treasury, based on the provisions of the Commercial Companies Code, dismissed the current presidents of the Management Boards of Telewizja Polska S.A., Polskie Radio S.A., and Polska Agencja Prasowa S.A. and their Supervisory Boards on December 19. The Minister appointed new Supervisory Boards for these companies, which, in turn, appointed new Management Boards.
The decision by the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has been criticized by PiS politicians, and President Andrzej Duda also stated that there has been a violation of the Constitution. On Saturday, President Andrzej Duda vetoed the budget-related law for 2024. In his justification, he explained that he disagrees with allocating 3 billion PLN specified in the law for “illegally taken over public media.”
On Wednesday, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, announced that due to the president’s decision to suspend funding for public media, he has decided to put the companies of TVP, Polish Radio, and PAP into liquidation. The liquidation status can be revoked at any time by the owner, as stated in the Ministry’s announcement. Until now, the decisions of the Ministry did not include the regional stations of Polish Radio, which were managed by the former presidents.