Media expert and University professor Carmen Sammut has been appointed chairperson of the new Public Broadcasting Services board, the government announced on Wednesday. 

In a statement, the government said the new board was appointed on Wednesday during the annual general meeting. 

Sammut will chair the board while eight members will serve as directors. These are: Maria Brown, Ray Calleja, Jeremy Camilleri, Engelbert Grech, Albert Marshall, Marthese Portelli, Oliver Scicluna and Adriana Zarb Adami.

Recently, Sammut shared her views on the Broadcasting Authority. She told Times of Malta: “The Broadcasting Authority cannot remain a political ping-pong ball. When it celebrates its 60th birthday in the coming year, it is time to give it a rejuvenating makeover… or perhaps a retirement plan in anticipation of reincarnation."

She was reacting to the authority's decision not to broadcast journalists’ questions during a live news conference on TVM.

Minister Carmelo Abela, who is responsible for public broadcasting, said the board will be tasked with carrying out the necessary reforms so that the national broadcaster can continue to improve the quality of its content in the public's interest. 

Sammut takes over the role from Tonio Portughese who was appointed chairman in 2013.

During his Labour leadership campaign, Prime Minister Robert Abela had vowed to carry out reforms at the national broadcaster.

In July, Norma Saliba was appointed head of news, succeeding long-standing news chief Reno Bugeja upon his retirement.

The changes at the broadcaster come after Xarabank, one of the most popular shows in the country, was axed after 23 years on the air. 

Xarabank host Peppi Azzopardi has said that he would not allow anyone “up the line” to use the axing of his show as a way to silence him. 

The prime minister said he had nothing to do with the decision. 

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