Corporate news 11.3.2024 18:22

STA director resigns after two and a half years on the job

Ljubljana, 11 March - Igor Kadunc tendered his resignation as director of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) during a session of the supervisory board on Monday, citing personal reasons. Kadunc, 73, came to the agency at the end of October 2021 amid a severe financial crisis and has managed to turn the tide. His last day at work should be 13 May.

Outgoing STA director Igor Kadunc.
Photo: STA
File photo

Kadunc started his term at the STA as acting director on 31 October 2021 following Bojan Veselinovič's resignation in September 2021 amid a lengthy financing dispute with the Janez Janša government. He received a full-fledged five-year term on 1 January 2022.

"I had a privilege to lead great co-workers for a good two years and fight for them and thus for the STA. I'm convinced that the workers and the supervisors will manage to find a new director who will not only continue but also upgrade my work," Kadunc said upon his resignation.

When he took over at the STA as the only candidate for the job, returning to employment after he retired at the end of his term as director general of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, Kadunc said he knew the agency was in for a tough period and he was convinced he could help it.

He immediately started making efforts to secure stable financing as the agency was on the brink of liquidity after almost a year of problems with public service funding, and would not have made it without EUR 480,000 in donations collected in a special campaign started by journalist organisations.

Kadunc managed to conclude contracts for public service for 2021 and 2022. "And with the new government showing understanding, we managed to raise the amount of public funds significantly in 2023 after almost a decade, by 12%, and then by 5.5% for this year," said the outgoing director.

The agency has also increased income from its commercial projects and rebuilt the team of journalists after many left during the financing crisis.

Among the key projects ahead, he highlighted adopting a strategy until 2027, preparing a basis for changes to the STA Act which are being drafted by the government, and the the Court of Audit finalising its audit of STA operations.

The STA has around 90 full-time staff, and has under Kadunc managed to launch a video service while taking over and developing The Slovenia Times, a news portal in English.

It has been admitted to the Association of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) and co-founded the European Newsroom in Brussels, a joint project of European news agencies.

The supervisory board decided to publish a call for applications for a new director on Tuesday, and "deeply thanked" Kadunc for "his incredible contribution" to the STA when it was faced with big financial uncertainty.

"Kadunc's dedication, enriched by his wealth of experience and expertise, played a key role not only in ensuring the stability of finances and staff, but also had a significant impact on paving the way for STA' further growth and development," said chief supervisor Peter Ribarič.