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Romania: TV chief summoned over PM interview that didn't air

Associated Press Associated Press 28/11/2016

BUCHAREST, Romania — The Romanian Parliament summoned the head of the country's public television company on Monday to explain why an interview with the prime minister was not broadcast as advertised, amid criticism that it wasn't aired for political reasons.

Gigel Stirbu, who chairs parliament's Committee for Culture, Arts and Mass Information Means, said TVR chief executive Irina Radu was invited to clarify why the interview with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos didn't air Sunday.

The broadcaster, which is not supposed to show political bias, said the pre-recorded interview would be shown after next month's parliamentary elections, noting that Ciolos is supported by the Liberal Party.

"This is not censorship," Radu said after the hearing, responding to accusations of censorship. "If we'd have aired 10 minutes and cut 30, that would have been censorship."

Radu said station managers had "talked about showing it another time, and we don't understand why people have to ask, when are we showing it, why are we showing it, why aren't we showing it."

The broadcaster's ethics committee said it would "analyze the circumstances" which led to the interview not being broadcast.

Radu was approved as TVR's chief executive in May due to political support from the Social Democratic Party, the favorite to win a majority in the Dec. 11 vote.

Liberal Party leader Alina Gorghiu accused the station's managers of being "loyal" to the Social Democratic Party.

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