Tallinna TV (TTV), a municipality-owned digital TV station which, as its name suggests, broadcasts in the capital but also has transmitters at several other locations including Pärnu, is due to take its Spot on (Estonian: Otse kümnesse) current affairs show from the air in the run-up to the elections. The reason is two of its leading lights, Peeter Ernits and Jakko Väli, are running in the general election in March.
''We will replace Spot on with election-related broadcasts reflecting all party candidates,'' said TTV board member Taavi Pukk.
We will replace the polls with representatives of all the forces participating in the full list, "said Taavi Pukk, member of the board of TTV on Friday.
Peeter Ernits is running for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Jakko Väli for the Estonian Greens.
Another figure linked to the show is former Free Party leader and current Richness of Life candidate Artur Talvik.
In the longer term, ie. after the general election and with the European elections in May, the show's format may also change, Mr Pukk said, to vary speakers, making things more diverse in terms of parties represented.
TTV reforming its image
TTV had made a blanket decision that during an election period, those running must not present shows on its channel. The registration deadline for parties' candidate lists, as well as for individual candidates, was Thursday, 17 January at 18.00 EET. The outdoor poster advertising campaigns must also cease around six weeks before the actual election.
Tallinna TV was set-up by Tallinn City Government whilst the latter was headed up by former mayor, Edgar Savisaar, who has been embroiled in an on-off (currently off, due to health issues) corruption trial at all three levels of the Estonian court system. The channel has been keen to shake off this image more recently, so the recent moves will go some way to presenting a more balanced approach.
Former daily Postimees editor-in-chief Lauri Hussar was forced to step down from his role after revealing he was to run for the Estonia 200 party. Criticisms later arose that Postimees had run Estonia 200's full manifesto exclusively, whilst Mr Hussar was in control.
Socialite Anu Saagim has similarly stepped down from her job as daily Õhtuleht creative director, after announcing she is to run for the Green Party.
The general election is on 3 March.
Editor: Andrew Whyte