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Media oligarch vows to fight government

History

Lajos Simicska, the media oligarch whose empire has thrived since Fidesz took power in 2010, today publicly broke with the party that his media outlets used to support, hurling vulgarities at the prime minister and vowing to continue publishing his newspaper and putting out his TV news show, even though his top management quit en masse this afternoon.

Simicska said he has already appointed new people for the positions that went vacant when editors and CEOs resigned earlier today, shortly after reports that Simicska promised to wage a "media war" with the government because his advertising taxes were reportedly going to increase five-fold.

Simicska told atlatszo.hu, in a recorded interview posted online, that he has appointed himself as the chairman of Hír TV, and named Gábor Horváth as the editor-in-chief of his flagship daily Magyar Nemzet and Mariann Tóth as the CEO of Magyar Nemzet.

"There will be a paper and TV tomorrow and everything will be operating smoothly. I promise," Simicska said.

Asked whether his media would be critical of the government, Simicska said, "Although the government of (Prime Minister Viktor) Orbán is trying to destroy independent media, our outlets will naturally resist. ... We will not give a f***ing sh** what the Orbán government wants. Therefore, in this sense, we will be critical of the government."

Simicska described Orbán with vulgarities in other interviews he gave today, including one with index.hu.

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