26 October 2005

The Web
Business Today

No head of news yet

Karl Schembri

Public Broadcasting Services is still officially without a news manager despite the announcement of the internal appointment of Sylvana Cristina more than a week ago.
Until yesterday, Cristina was still working as head of programmes at the national radio and TV station, as she is still negotiating the new contract with her employer.
The PBS hot seat of news manager has been vacant for more than 18 months during Investments Minister Austin Gatt’s turbulent restructuring process.
Cristina’s name was announced more than a week ago by Gatt’s ministry but PBS sources say she is still discussing her work contract and new conditions of work before assenting to the decision.
She was chosen after the Office of the Prime Minister directed Gatt to scrap the outside recruitment process as it was “compromised” when Times journalist Vanessa Macdonald was about to be appointed despite her fourth placing on the interviewing board’s short list.
Sources said Cristina was cautious in her acceptance of the decision to appoint her and negotiations are still ongoing. For Gatt’s ministry, this is an internal appointment, but Cristina’s new role means assuming legal responsibility for the PBS new editorial content on television and radio, apart from a different work schedule and increased daily pressure.
Cristina’s colleagues say she is willing to take the job but the new responsibilities are prompting her to scrutinise carefully her new conditions before assenting to the decision taken by her boss.

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