Jiří Hodač is incompetent
In all this row now going on in Czech Television, it seems that one important consideration is in danger of being completely overlooked: namely the professional competence for the post of Director General of Jiri Hodac. The Rada, in appointing him, spoke of his "moralni and profesionalni" competence for the post and pointed to his BBC experience.
I am in a position to know something of the latter. (In the mid 1990s, I was one of the heads on the news and Current Affairs department of BBC World Service and a member of its Editorial Board) and am frankly astonished by the Rada's words. Mr Hodac would never have been appointed to any senior managerial post in the BBC .Why? because he lacks this very professional competence.
Part of the skill of management is an ability to deal with people and to motivate. (see the success of Greg Dyke as BBC D-G in this regard). You will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to find past and present members of the BBC Czech Service who have kind words for Mr Hodac's managerial skills. They would most likely echo the words of Dusan Chmelicek, when Hodac resigned in August after his brief stint as head of Zpravodajstvi at CT: that Mr Hodac, in his opinion, suffered from an inability to communicate with people and get on well with colleagues. Their name for him was "Kapitan Memo" (tj. interní sdělení; dnes bychom řekli Mr. E-mail-pozn. TP).
This is why questions must be asked about the judgment of the Rada in selecting Mr Hodac. After all, the BBC felt unable to appoint Mr Hodac to the post of head of the BBC Czech Service on a permanent basis after my husband, Milos Vavra, stepped down early in 1996. Mr Hodac held the position for several months but apparently was considered not suitable to be confirmed in the job. Doesn't that tell you something......
Of course the real problem in the Czech Republic is a fondness for appointing people to senior positions because of their political loyalty, rather than their competence or suitability.........alas there seems to be too many historical precedents in the country .......
Mary Raineformerly Editor Radio News Features and a member of Editorial Board, BBC World Service 1994/6 and Head of Central talks and Features BBC WS 1990-94