Marko Kaljuveer, longtime face of sports on ETV and other ERR channels, was sacked Tuesday, and an ERR board member stepped down as well.
Kaljuveer was faulted by ERR management for not cultivating good relations with some sports associations in the country, while catering too heavily to mass-market viewer interests. ERR director Margus Allikmaa said on uudised.err.ee that the main reason for letting the popular Kaljuveer go was that ERR management favored covering a more balanced and broader menu of sports.
Kaljuveer took a personal stand in favor of ERR acquiring the rights to this year's World Cup games to be shown on television - a popular event but but at a costly price tag for the public network. That controversy exploded late last year as the broadcasting budget for 2014 was being sorted out. Kaljuveer won that battle - in the end, a special earmark was found in Parliament for World Cup, which also indirectly benefited Sochi Olympic coverage - but lost the war.
News of Kaljuveer's imminent sacking reportedly led supervisory board member Hanno Tomberg to step down. He will vacate his board post on June 1. ERR management downplayed a direct connection, while according to the tabloid Õhtuleht, Tomberg had previously vowed he would resign if ever Kaljuveer was laid off.