Mark Laurence Zammit’s former show L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa will be replaced by an entirely new discussion show this autumn, hosted by Quinton Scerri.
PJ Vassallo Mintoff, partner of WE Media, told Lovin Malta that Scerri will be the host of a new TV discussion show called Topik, which will be produced by his media production house and air every Wednesday evening and Friday night.
Popolin, a daily current affairs show which Scerri has hosted over the past year, won’t return to the national broadcaster.
Scerri told Lovin Malta that his show will focus on current affairs but will be less politically oriented than L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa was, and will have a similar concept to Popolin.
He said he has huge respect for Mark Laurence’s work and talents and doesn’t want to give off the impression that he is replacing him.
The discussion show will air on TVMnews+, a new channel which will replace TVM 2 and which will focus on news, sports, current affairs, culture and history programmes, with TVM focusing exclusively on entertainment programmes.
A former ONE journalist, Scerri had a brief tenure as PL Żabbar mayor before joining TVM. He has presented several shows on the national broadcaster, including the morning show TVAM, the satirical current affairs show Skjetti, and most recently Popolin.
Earlier today, Zammit announced he will stop presenting the TVM Wednesday discussion show L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa due to excessive interference from PBS and move on to Times of Malta.
“In recent months, I faced a lot of interference from PBS which didn’t leave me free to work according to my journalistic principles, and was hindering my loyalty towards my audience,” he said.
“I therefore took the decision to stop presenting this programme. My loyalty was, is and remains to the people, and not to political powers.”
However, PBS executive chairman Mark Sammut suggested that Zammit’s departure might have actually stemmed from the presenter’s discomfort with the national broadcaster’s rigid regulations.
Opposition leader Bernard Grech reacted to Zammit’s announcement by saying the PN is considering taking legal action to stop the government “controlling PBS”.
The most recent Broadcasting Authority Audience Survey found that L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa was Malta’s most popular discussion show, with ONE TV’s Pjazza in second place and Popolin in third.
Cover photo: Left: Mark Laurence Zammit, Right: Quinton Scerri
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