UpdateNPO chairman Frederieke Leeflang has asked the Media Authority (CvdM) to investigate a salary proposal that Jeroen Pauw made at BNNVARA in 2019 for the Op1 program. This is the second time that questions have been asked about Pauw’s salary.
After a publication in NRC Handelsblad in 2020, BNR reported on the issue again today. BNR has a confidential e-mail, addressed to BNNVara. In this e-mail, Pauw’s agent not only proposes a presentation contract with the broadcaster, but also a purchase guarantee of half a million from the production company TVBV, where Pauw worked. It would ensure that the talk show host would earn more than is legally allowed for presenters of the public broadcaster (at the time 194 thousand euros). In the end, BNNVara rejected the proposal because it went against the salary rules, but TVBV was still instructed to produce the daily talk show Op1. This contract was concluded via another broadcaster, namely WNL.
Now that questions are being asked for the second time about Jeroen Pauw’s salary, NPO chairman Leeflang is pressing for an investigation by an independent regulator. She has asked the Media Authority to look specifically at this case. The CvdM itself had previously announced that it would investigate the remuneration framework of the NPO.
Pauws’ salary already led to parliamentary questions two years ago, after the publication of NRC. The then minister Slob (media) replied at the time that BNNVara, the NPO and WNL (contract holder of OP1) had acted correctly. Nothing concrete had been recorded about constructions in which presenters were hired through a company, as Pauw did.
Pauw himself emphasizes that he no longer interferes with business negotiations at TVBV. He founded the company in 2000, but hasn’t owned it since 4.5 years. He also no longer owns any shares in the production company. ,,I am very involved with TVBV in terms of content, with devising programs, supervising editorial teams and coaching presenters. I get paid for that.”
At the time, his presentation contract with BNNVara fell below the legal salary standard, he says. “I don’t have a contract with a broadcaster now, but I do have agreements to make a series for BNNVARA.”
A spokesperson for Banijay Benelux, which now includes production company TVBV, believes that it did nothing wrong in 2019 when it made several contract proposals in one e-mail. The spokesperson acknowledges that mentioning the two proposals in two separate emails would have been clearer, because they were separate matters. “The presentation of Jeroen Pauw has never been dependent on any proposal for TVBV”, she emphasizes.
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