TV presenter John Bundy is expected to be made the new CEO of PBS, succeeding Anton Attard, the Times of Malta has learnt.
He is expected to take over at the public broadcaster next week.
Mr Attard was appointed by the previous government in August 2010 after being involved in the Nationalist Party’s election campaign in 2008.
Political pressure was applied by certain members of the Labour Party – including One TV and V18 chairman Jason Micallef – for Mr Attard’s removal soon after the 2013 general election.
Mr Attard had been blamed by Mr Micallef for Malta’s successive failures in the Eurovision song contest, as well as PBS’s excessive spending on the contest.
This paper reported last month that flight and accommodation expenses for Malta’s participation in this year’s contest amounted to what the country would usually spend on the entire competition.
Mr Attard, who led the organisation of Malta’s entry, insisted the expenses were covered by advertising and sponsorships, and that PBS had made an “overall profit”.
Mr Bundy has had stints as a television presenter on both political party stations. He started his professional broadcasting career in 1990, presenting a breakfast show on Smash TV. He went on to present a number of shows on the Nationalist Party’s Net TV from 1998 to 2002. Mr Bundy also had a stint at TVM from 2002 to 2008.
A number of board members denied any knowledge of his appointment
A known PN sympathiser, Mr Bundy surprised many when he moved to the Labour Party’s One TV to present two shows, one of which was axed in 2012. Mr Bundy moved back to TVM following the March 2013 election in a move viewed as a precursor to his appointment to the CEO position.
Mr Bundy himself admitted he was hopeful of landing the role in 2014 but said that was not possible with PBS under the control of Silvio Scerri, who, at the time, was the former home affairs minister’s chief of staff. Mr Bundy was sued by Mr Scerri over allegations that he played a part in the termination of former presenter Norman Vella’s role at PBS in 2013.
Contacted on Thursday, the Justice Ministry, under whose remit PBS falls, remained tight-lipped about Mr Bundy’s appointment.
“Such matters fall within the remit of the board of directors of PBS Ltd. Announcements will be made in due course,” a ministry spokeswoman said.
A number of board members contacted that same day denied any knowledge of Mr Bundy’s appointment and reacted with incredulity when asked about it.
Attempts to contact Mr Bundy yesterday proved futile.