“The budget for the coming year is set, everything will work out. But there is a big question mark over the 2024 budget. A very big one,” said a member of the board of trustees a few hours before the eagerly awaited meeting of the party-political committee at the ORF headquarters on Küniglberg. Before this round of foundation councils, tomorrow, Thursday, from 10 a.m., ORF General Director Roland Weißmann will present the plans for how the fee-based broadcaster could be averted from over-indebtedness: This will require an additional 290 million euros over the next three years – the eXXpress reported. Presumably, these extremely high sums should come from the budget, i.e. be transferred from the taxpayer to the TV station, although they were allowed to increase the fees by 8% anyway – and which pays quite a lot of left-leaning “stars” with a lot of money.
Media insiders are already clearly criticizing the fact that these well-known ORF employees – such as Armin Wolf – repeatedly attack the competitors in the Austrian media industry for receiving earmarked funds, and their own employer – the ORF – not only requests a few hundred thousand euros, but wants an additional 290 million.
“There will also be very little time,” warns a board of trustees, who does not want to be named on this topic: The federal government would have to decide very quickly on converting the GIS fee into a general household fee for financing the ORF. If this were to take longer than until spring, the fee transmitter with its 3,000 employees would have a massive problem: collection of the GIS fee would expire on January 1, 2024, so the millions would have to be transferred to the ORF account flow.
But the ORF’s restrictions could also be an important topic at tomorrow’s foundation board meeting: Many representatives of this body believe that the ORF cannot be allowed to economically crush private media companies with its mass of offers and with its fee financing.
“It would be strange if the Greens, with their well-known destructive attitude in the federal government, prevented the timely decision-making for further funding of their supporters in the ORF editorial offices,” a government insider sees “a massive time problem”.
The eXXpress and exxpressTV will report from tomorrow’s meeting of the board of trustees on the ORF.