István Galambos was appointed the CEO of the Hungarian-owned news agency MTI, and will take over the position on January 1, 2013, according to a December 12 announcement by the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), the body responsible for managing Hungary’s public media.
Galambos replaces Csaba Belénessy, who resigned by a mutual agreement with management and will cease to be CEO of MTI on December 31. As with Hungarian public Television and Radio, MTI has been reduced to a skeleton crew due to massive downsizing. Belénessy, who ran MTI since March 2011, saw the size and importance of MTI steadily reduced, while that of the new MTVA, which was established in 2010 under the new media laws, has grown. MTI’s budget for 2012 was cut to HUF 1.3 billion, from HUF 2.5 billion in 2011. Staff and budget reductions have also coincided with an increase in editorial responsibilities for MTI. The news agency has been charged with handling all news production for the public media and managing the editorial office of Hirado.hu, the common internet portal.
The MTVA oversees the assets of and funding allocations for Hungary’s public media. The body is managed by Hungary’s Media Council, which is responsible for approving the Fund’s annual plan and subsidy policy and for determining the rules governing how MTVA’s assets can be used, managed, and accessed by the public media.