Report: HírTV to drop Fidesz-friendly news

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Following the report that a government reorganization will create an all-news station, private government-friendly news station HírTV will adopt a "mainstream" stance that includes news more critical of the government, online daily atv.hu reported today.

HírTV is owned by Lajos Simicska, an associate of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been receiving many government contracts. Atlatszo.hu reports that Simicska's "construction firm Közgép ... on its own and in consortia was awarded contracts to the value of HUF 93 billion" in 2014.

But as Átlatszo notes: "The relationship between the two (Simicska and Orbán) has recently soured to the extent that there are signs of open conflict in the media."

According to atv.hu, HírTV has begun airing "mixed" news, sometimes even being critical of the current Fidesz government. Now HírTV's coverage can be expected to be even more critical, atv.hu reports.

There has been speculation that the recently announced reorganization of state-owned public TV channel M1 as a solely news television was intended as a way of competing with HírTV.

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