CEO of Postimees Group Andrus Raudsalu says that the editorial board of the newspaper has not been subjected to an internal investigation nor will it in the future, just like the management does not plan to meddle in journalistic content.
Raudsalu told Vikerraadio's Lõpp hea, kõik hea program that there is a line between the board and the editorial desk. "The board does not intervene in the work of the editorial. There has not been an in-house investigation at Postimees nor will there be," he added.
Raudsalu said there were likely several events that led to a number of Postimees journalists quitting but added they were not connected.
"A feeling has been created to suggest the board of Postimees has failed to trust its journalists that in turn caused journalists to suspect they couldn't trust the board," Raudsalu said.
The CEO said that the editorial board hired a person from the outside to do data analysis in April, adding that the person came to see him.
"He found several leads and came to me, saying that there have been exciting stories that have not been published in Postimees. We simply acknowledged it at the time because a journalist cannot be forced to cover something," Raudsalu said, adding that what came later was a misunderstanding.
Former Postimees editor-in-chief Peeter Helme quit over differences with the editorial staff in November. Raudsalu said that in-house documents regarding Helme's departure were leaked to competitors.
"We decided to keep the matter in-house, but the letter still reached our competitors. I then wrote a second letter that was also leaked. In the second letter, I only said it was low that the first one was leaked after we had agreed to keep things to ourselves. After that, rumors of a manhunt at Postimees started circulating, even though there was nothing of the sort," Raudsalu described.
The CEO said that the editorial board would continue working, although the atmosphere is not as good as it could be. "I suppose it will get better over time."
Asked whether he would be willing to step down in the interests of peace, Raudsalu said that is up to the supervisory board.
Raudsalu said that Postimees, currently making a loss, plans to be in the black in four years' time. He added that the group's Lithuanian businesses are making a profit, with those in Latvia are set to break even in two years.
"The biggest change is that the reader will increasingly come to pay for journalistic content. People support it. Postimees' online portal has managed to triple the number of paying readers in just one year," Andrus Raudsalu said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski