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The new clothes of the Greek television

01 August 2010 / 15:08:45  GRReporter
5284 reads

Victoria Mindova


The spread economic crisis in the country and the recession on the market overall quickly and seamlessly changed the daily life of the ordinary Greeks in the last year. Lately most popular in the public domain became expressions such as "laying off" and "saving" which began to be applied both in the public and in the private sectors. Inevitable turned also to be the remodeling of the television programs in Greece, which reduced the budgets of some over expensive shows and started to cut staff to meet the new financial conditions in the country.

When you need to tighten the belt of the finance in one media everybody is in anticipation of the worst. This also happened to the news teams of one of the largest private TV stations in the country which were facing a difficult choice: from the new season you will have a reduced budget – we either lay off employees or reduce wages. "News from Greece (economic, public - social, etc.) are of great interest at the moment, so reducing the staff there is not easy," said a representative of the news team on TV Alpha.

One of the solution to which middle level managers in the television media have reached is the transfer of news reporters to the midday and afternoon lifestyle blocks. People who until yesterday did not at all care about the state's GDP and foreign debt, now beginning to show keen interest for example in whom of the celebrities pays or pays taxes. The programs, in which the major topics concern the life and misfortunes of local or international celebrities, under the pressure of the economic crisis began to change their format and to target financially oriented news such as the fiscal incorrectness of the famous singer of Greek love songs Tolis Voskopoulos. Reports related to the insolvency of different social groups, the burden of reforms in the country or where to go for a cheap holiday are now an integral part of programs like the Bulgarian "To a coffee with Gala" for example. Particular interesting turned out to be also the details related to which "poor citizens" in the outskirts of Athens declared a minimum non-taxable income in their tax return forms, while the tax authorities found using Google Earth, they are owners of over expensive properties with luxurious swimming pools and other extras.

The new economic reality in Greece made the common viewers to shift their attention from topics related to fashion trends in swimwear on the beaches during the summer and to focus over the financial problems of the day. "There is no Greek, who does not have due at least one bank loan or does not have at least one credit card, so it is normal for the public to be interested more and more in the financial situation in the country," commented the 24-years old Dimitra from Athens.

Other notable changes in the television broadcasting in Greece are related to the cutting off the expensive journalists and TV hosts in the coming season. One of the programs that had long life in the television, but starting with the autumn of 2010 it will no longer exists was "It is worth seeing" with Tatiana Stefanidou. Apparently in the talks about the payment both parties have reached to a consensus, which inevitably led to the removal off air of the afternoon talk show. The requested budget did not deserve the result achieved by "It is worth seeing" the show which claimed to be the Greek version of the Oprah show in the U.S., is no longer worth watching.

The production of national television ERT "For our health" was considered nothing short of scandalous after the discovery of the investigative journalist Makis Trendafilopoulos that its budget exceeds € 65,000 at a broadcast, which is shown on air once a week. Most probably it would not cause such a discussion if no news didn’t come just after the adoption of the emergency economic measures in Greece, which cut pensions, salaries and allowances, and the taxes and excise duties increased dramatically.

The concept of the show was built around the gathering of celebrities from the cultural life of the country (performers, composers, singers, directors, etc.) at a huge semi round table with an orchestra. In this lineup for three hours every Friday night "For our health" presented songs and stories of the famous guests who were eating, drinking and throwing flowers at each other in the studio of the show. "I can not believe that the taxes I have been paying are allocated for such a stupidity like this program," said the 38-years old Yannis. According to him the show was pointless and gaudy, which would not be a problem if the production was of a private television. "To watch people eat, drink and sing until the country is going bankrupt seems to me somehow banal," he explains. Another point of view, however, has the 78-years old Kalerga who says she loves to watch this program because it makes her forget about the reality today and to remember her youth years (whenever they were). "Spyros Papadopoulos in "For our health" singing songs that no one plays on the radio or television any more. They remind me of my youth, and that is why I like it," explained the old woman.

Whatever the individual wishes are, however, the reality remains the same. With the economic crisis many television advertisers and sponsors drastically reduced their budgets for advertising. This narrowed the possibilities for creating big-budget productions, as popular as they are, which inevitably changed the nature of the programs on the air. Television even cut drastically the production of the so-successful Greek series and focused on the purchase of foreign ones, which even enjoy greater success than the home production, as is the case with the Turkish series "1001 Nights".


Tags: EconomyMediaTelevisionComment
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