28 August, 2019
Report highlights that most of the Macedonian television, radio and print media outlets are owned by individuals
In order to increase the transparency of media ownership structures, the National Audiovisual Regulatory Authority of the Republic of North Macedonia (the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services) prepared a Media Ownership Report.
The report contains a summary of the legal framework; data on the broadcasters and print media owners; data on changes in the ownership structure of broadcasters and the merger of capital between broadcasters in 2018. The report also presents the activities undertaken by the Agency in 2018, aimed at preventing illegal media concentration.
The data were obtained using official sources – documents on the current status issued by the Central Register, as well as the website of the Central Depository of Securities (data on persons who own more than 5% of shares in the shareholders’ companies owning broadcasters).
According to the data collected, most of the Macedonian television, radio and print media outlets are owned by individuals. Out of 49 television stations, only 14 are owned by legal entities, most of which are television stations that broadcast programme at the state level. More precisely, nine out of a total of 12 state-level television stations, four out of eighteen regional television stations and only one of the nineteen local television stations, are owned by legal entities.
Almost all commercial radio stations that broadcast programmes are owned by one or more individuals. Legal entities are the owners of only six radio stations - one at the state level, two regional, and three local radio stations. Out of 22 print media publishers, 19 are owned by one or more natural persons, while only three publishers are owned by legal entities.
Foreign individuals or legal persons own shares in ten media publishers, i.e. in four television stations (TV Alfa - from Serbia and Hungary, TV Company 21 - from Kosovo, TV Klan - from Albania and TV 24 News - from Austria); one radio station (RA Urban FM - from Finland and China), and five print media publishers (Repro Print and Capital Media Group - from the Virgin Islands, Free Press and Color Media - from Serbia and Independent Balkan News Agency - from Greece).
Additional Background: encouraging transparency of ownership is a key concern for media regulators in Europe. Several regulatory authorities such as in Belgium, Croatia, Germany and Georgia, have developed a freely accessible public register or database or publish regular monitoring reports.