(Washington, DC--January 6, 2003) RFE/RL's Bulgarian language service and Bulgaria's biggest private television broadcaster, bTV, launched a weekday television news program for the people of this Southeast European country.
The program, called "Blitz", is simulcast on bTV and on RFE/RL's FM frequencies in Bulgaria from 8:10AM-8:30AM EET (6:10AM-6:30AM GMT) Monday through Friday. The program can also be heard on the Bulgarian Service's website, at www.svobodnaevropa.org/RealAudio/bliz.ram
Hosted by RFE/RL Sofia Bureau correspondent Georgi Koritarov, "Blitz" focuses on news important to its Bulgarian viewers and listeners, and features a press review, newsmaker interviews and commentary on daily events. The first guest to appear on the inaugural show was Bulgarian parliament chairman Ognyan Gerdzikov.
With "Blitz", the Bulgarian Service becomes the third RFE/RL language service to develop a regularly-scheduled television program in its target country, following highly successful television ventures by the South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service (TV Liberty, originating in Sarajevo) and the Russian Service (joint venture with Peterburg TV in St. Petersburg).
RFE/RL, a private international communications service funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors, has broadcast in the Bulgarian language since 1951. bTV is Bulgaria's first private national television, and is wholly owned by News Corporation. On the air since 2000, bTV is a leading television channel in Bulgaria with an audience share in 2002 of more than 40 percent.