Geneva / Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The merger of TSR, public television in French-speaking Switzerland, and RSR, public radio, is meeting some resistance from cantonal governments, which insist the two editorial teams must remain separate and independent. Vaud and Geneva, in a joint statement released Monday 23 November, say they would also like to see the traditional roles maintained of Lausanne as a radio centre and Geneva as a television centre. The statement was made in advance of today’s presentation of the merger project to the board of SSR, the parent company.
The project was announced in April 2009, with the need to reduce costs and be better equipped to compete in today’s media world given as the rationale.
The two cantons argue that a joint Internet operation is acceptable, but keeping the editorial departments for radio and television separate and independent is crucial to ensure diversity and balance in news reporting. Le Temps reports that while there is commercial logic to a fusion of radio and television, the fears expressed by politicians of the impact on news reporting could be enough to slow down the project and possibly lead to a watered-down solution where the two share more but do not merge.
SSR is Switzerland’s public media company, with some 70 percent of its operating costs covered by license fees and the rest by commercial activities.
WRS (World Radio Switzerland) in English, based in Geneva, is part of RSR.