The public broadcasting service Radio Television Serbia (RTS) is a large company with around 3,000 employees who work on 4 television channels, 4 radio stations and a website. Within RTS, there is also the music records house PGP RTS, section for musical production of RTS with a symphony orchestra, jazz band and children’s choir “Kolibri”. Viewers around the world can access the “Planeta” multimedia platform, through which they can follow all programs produced by RTS.
The Law on the Public Broadcasting Services - which regulates RTS’ management, finances and editorial policy – was adopted in 2014. This law regulates the financing of RTS. The subscription fee (220 dinars, a monthly fee which is charged alongside electricity bills), accounts for 46% of the company’s total revenues, state subsidies (around 3.1 billion dinars annually) account for 28% of total revenues, while 22% are revenues from marketing.
The management of the public broadcaster is composed of the Director and nine members of the Management Council, while the fifteen members of the Program Council have an advisory role. The appointment of the members of the Program Council and Management Council have been mired in controversy over the last few years, as many of the members of both these bodies are tied to the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).
RTS traces its roots back to 1924 when Radio Belgrade was founded, while Radio Television Belgrade (RTB) – the first television station – began broadcasting in 1958. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, the editorial boards of televisions Belgrade, Pristina and Novi Sad formed the national Radio Television Serbia. During the 1990s, RTS became a symbol of the propaganda of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime. The RTS building was hit during the NATO bombing in 1999, when 16 employees were killed, later being set on fire by demonstrators during the mass 5th October 2000 demonstrations which ended in the overthrow of Milosevic.
Following the democratic changes of the same year, the newly elected government adopted a Law on Radio-diffusion (2002) and appointed a new management. The process of transformation from a tightly controlled state television to a public media service would last until the adoption of the Law on Public Media Services in 2015.
Although the RTS’ program has been transformed in terms of the quality of content (with the broadcasting of digital content through RTS Digital), while much has also been done to improve financial sustainability (the compulsory television subscription fee was introduced in 2005), this broadcasting house is still dogged by a poor reputation. Dissatisfaction of ordinary citizens with the RTS’ reporting has become one of the focal points of the protests being held in Belgrade since the beginning of December 2018.
Public Broadcasting Service
TV production and broadcasting
Other TV Outlets
Other Radio Outlets
Radio Belgrade 2
Radio Belgrade 3
Music production of RTS (RTS Symphony Orchestra, RTS Choir, RTS Big Band, RTS Children's Choir, Kolibri Choir, Folk Orchestra, Folk Ensemble
RTS Research center for public oppinion, program and audiance
Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)
101.3 Mio USD / 10.656 Mio RSD
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
21 Mio USD / 2.251 Mio RSD
Advertising (in % of total funding)
1. Vladimir Vuletić - President of the Managing Council
Once known to the public as a critic of Vucic’s regime and member of the opposition Social democratic Party (SDS). Active in the academic community, works as sociology professor at the Philosophy Faculty in Belgrade, President of the Managing Council of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade and a columnist of the daily newspaper Politika. His appointment to the RTS Managing Council was mired in controversies, such as the one relating to the fact that the NGO which nominated him was founded by his departmental colleagues, as well as that the same NGO was deleted from the official registry shortly thereafter. Following his election to the position of President of the Managing Council of RTS, Vuletic was expelled from the SDS.
2. Zorica Šujica
A painter, she is known to the public for her participation in the reality program Big Brother, something that was referred to as being unacceptable by the media during the process of her appointment to the RTS Managing Council.
3. Branko Radun
Employed in the IT department of the Subotica General Hospital since the middle of December 2018. Known to the public as a pro-government political analyst. He began his career in NIS Petrol, as a guard in the 1990s. He then worked as a journalist in the media sector of NIS, then the state oil company. He is the editor of the website Vidovdan and occasionally writes for the magazine Pečat and website Novi Telegraf.
4. Miroslav M. Nikolić
Works with the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as a lawyer representing the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, representing the Catholic Church as well. He was nominated to the position by Serbia’s religious communities.
5. Simona Mitrović Dunjić
Appointed to the Managing Council of RTS while working as a media advisor in the office of Tomislav Nikolic.
The Indepenent Journalists’s Association of Serbia (NUNS) and the Independent Society of Vojvodina Journalists (NDNV) described her as a notorious journalist during the Milosevic era. During the 1990s, she worked as the managing editor of the main news program on TV Novi Sad and the deputy to RTS Director Dragoljub Milanovic, who is considered responsible for the deaths of 16 workers of RTS during the NATO bombing in 1999. Djurdjevac remained in RTS during 2000, moving in 2000 to TV Jesenjin. Djurdjevac was an active member of the Serbian Radical Party led by Vojislav Seselj.
Since 2009, she has been a member of the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications (RATEL) and has worked on media analyses of election campaigns and reality programs. It was from this position that she was appointed to the RTS Managing Council.
7. Zoran Panović
Long-serving journalist of the daily newspaper Danas, as well as its managing editor from 2009 to 2016, now working as an independent commentator. He is the author of the television program Pres i ja which is broadcast on Radio-Television Vojvodina. He works as the program coordinator of the investigative-publishing center Demostat.
8. Nenad Janković
Over the last few years, he has worked at the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications (RATEL), first as an independent media analyst, then as the deputy director and general secretary of REM. In the mid-1990s he worked as a journalist and editor in several media in the town of Kragujevac – Kanal 9, Kragujevacka Televizija and the second channel of Radio Kragujevac.
1.Milivoje Pavlović – President of the Program Council
Holds a PhD in literature. Pavlovic was appointed Minister of Information twice, in 1991 and 1994. He was the Managing Director of Radio Beograd from 1994 to 2001. He has been working as a professor and dean at the Faculty for Culture and the Media at Megatrend University since 2002. He was a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), while after the democratic changes of 2000 he was a candidate of the Democratic Socialist Party of Milorad Vucelic. Following the general elections of 2012, which brought the SNS to power, the Belgrade City Council entrusted him with the position of President of the Managing Council of Belgrade television Studio B. He remained President of the Council until 2015, when the television station was privatized. During the 1970s and 1980s he worked as a journalist and editor at the weekly Rad. Pavlovic was active in alternative literary circles.
2. Aleksandar Zagorac
Manager of security by vocation and member of the media team in the cabinet of former Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic. Zagorac was on the list of candidates for the Managing Council of RTS.
3. Ivona Katić
Nominated to the Council from the a position on the media team in the cabinet of the then President of the Republic, Tomislav Nikolic. She was nominated by the Institute for Political Studies.
4. Ivan Karl
A film critics, editor of the film program on RTS from 2007 to 2013, selector at the Belgrade Film Festival FEST and editor of the film program of SBB. Karl was appointed to the position of Secretary for Culture in the City of Belgrade during 2018. Aside from this, he works as a columnist on the website of the Public Broadcaster Radio Television Vojvodina and president of the Supervisory Board of MTS Antena TV, the television service founded by the public company Emisiona tehnika i veze and the majority state-owned company Telekom Srbija.
5. Marija Maksimovic
Founder of the non-profit Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Skills, editor of the online magazine Women and Wine, columnist in the Vojvodjanski Magazin, and member of the Program Council of RTV from 2012 to 2015.
Has a legal background by training.
Serbian ambassador at the OSCE.
Documentary film director.
9. Balša Đogo
Producer and assistant director best known for the films Bicemo prvaci sveta and Montevideo, bog te video.
10. Maja Radovic
Teacher at the Primary School Jovan Miodragovic in Belgrade.
Other members: Borka Popovic, Predrag Obradovic, Vladan Terzic, Snezana Cvetkovic and Jovanka Todorović Savovic.
Other Influential People
Although he reached the age of retirement (65 years) in January 2019, Bujosevic will nevertheless remain in the job of General Director of RTS, thanks to a decision of the Managing Committee, which extended his term for six months.
Bujosevic has been the General Director of RTS since 2015. Over the last few months, he has been a target of criticism by the opposition and protesting citizens, who have been demonstrating every Saturday since December in Belgrade under the slogan ‘1 of 5 million’. The protesting citizens and opposition see Bujosevic as one of those responsible for the fact that the RTS is not reporting on the protests, the protesters’ demands for the government to be removed, as well as for the fact that opposition leaders rarely appear in political debates on the public broadcaster.
Paradoxically, the current Director is author of the book ‘5th October – 24 Hour Coup’, which describes the last day of the demonstrations on the streets of Belgrade leading to the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, and has a renowned career as a journalist behind him.
Through the amendments to the Law on the Temporary Determination of the Manner of Charging the Tax for the Public Media Service which the Serbian Parliament adopted towards the end of 2018, the amount of the subscription fee was increased to 220 dinars from the former 150. This measure has been in force since 1 January 2019.
Two members of the Managing Council were changed during 2018.
In late 2017, Zoran Panovic, the long-seving journalist and editor of the daily newspaper Danas and Nebojsa Krstic, the marketing expert often associated with the ruling SNS, were nominated to the Managing Council.
However, Krstic resigned from this position during August 2018 with the explanation that he was unhappy with the fact that as a member of the Managing Council he could not intervene in the editorial policies of this media house. Krstic was replaced with the journalist Nenad Jankovic in February 2019.
A month later, Dragan Karadzic left the Managing Council and moved to the position of Managing Editor of TV O2. Karadzic was a candidate for the positon of RTS director during the previous selection process in 2015. An opening for the vacated seat on the Council was advertised on 13th April 2019, yet there is still no information regarding who has been chosen to this post. The Managing Council is made up of nine members, while at present there are only 8.
The financial reports refer to 2017, the last year for which they are available.
RTS signed a contract for rebroadcasting content in the country and abroad with state-owned Telekom Srbija during 2018. This company offered a price ten times higher than the one which United Media paid for these services, the company which had a contract with RTS until 1 March 2018. The United Group owns the cable operator SBB and the platform Net TV, through which many people in the diaspora follow the Serbian media. Viewers from the diaspora who follow Serbian channels through Net TV were in this way left without RTS channels. While United Media claims that Telekom Srbija offered a price which is not economically viable, RTS argues that any price that someone is willing to pay is viable. Aside from this, RTS signed a protocol on cooperation with Telekom Srbija during 2018 regarding cooperation on the joint production of scientific and serial programing.