Bulgaria’s Council for Electronic Media (CEM), the statutory regulator of the country’s broadcast media, elected council member Maria Stoyanova as its acting head on April 5 after the previous head resigned rather be involved in licensing a controversial television station.
CEM head Georgi Lozanov, who held the post since 2010, resigned on February 25 2016 rather than be party to licensing a television station emanating from the PIK agency, an outlet long seen as close to controversial business person and Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Delyan Peevski.
A succession of weekly meetings of CEM since then failed to vote to accept Lozanov’s resignation and appoint a successor, in part because Lozanov was on leave at the time some of the meetings were held.
The changes at CEM come at a time when there is debate in Parliament and elsewhere about remodelling Bulgaria’s broadcast scene, including through a merger of public broadcasters Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio.
CEM has five members, counting its chairperson. At the April 5 meeting, there were four votes in favour of electing Stoyanova as acting head.
Stoyanova is the official representative in Bulgaria of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual MediaServices (ERGA).
She began her career in 1995 at Darik Radio, a private station set up in January 1993. Three years later, in parallel with her studies at the European Journalism Academy in Austria, she became Darik’s correspondent in that country.
From 2000 to 2001, she worked at the German Bundestag as an assistant to longtime president Rita Süssmuth and former Merkel cabinet minister Dirk Niebel. Stoyanova went on to a public relations post at Volkswagen.
In August 2003, Stoyanova started work at Bulgarian public broadcaster BNT and in February 2004 became its correspondent in Berlin. She spent more than eight years in the post, covering events in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland. Stoyanova authored seven documentaries on foreign policy topics.