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Ukraine’s new public broadcaster names chief

Zurab Alsania has been named as the new director-general of Ukraine’s new unified public broadcaster, Public Broadcasting company of Ukraine (UA:PBC).

He was elected by the broadcaster’s supervisory board from a shortlist of eight candidates.

UA:PC was established at to bring together regional broadcasters, radio and culture into one single entity.

Alsania had earlier played a major role in establishing the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTU), the UA:PBC’s principal predecessor organisation, before resigning last November over disagreements regarding the funding allocated to the broadcaster.

He previously co-founded Objective Media group, launched the Media Port agency alongside a weekly newspaper, the MediaPost, served as director of Kharkiv Regional State Television and Radio and co-founded the Ukrainian internet TV station Hromadske.tv.

UA:PBC operates the only nationwide state-owned TV channel in the country, UA:Pershyi, cultural channel Kultura and a large number of regional channels. It also operates the international channel UA: Pershyi Uktraine.

The broadcaster has been embroiled in a crisis recently over the exclusion of the Russian singer Yuliya Samoylova from the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, after she visited Russian-occupied Crimea. The move led to the EBU threatening to exclude UA:PBC from future events.