NPO: research salary proposal Jeroen Pauw and realization Op1

MediaJul 14 ’22 11:04AuthorBNR Web Editors

NPO chairman Frederieke Leeflang asks the Media Authority to investigate a salary proposal that Jeroen Pauw made at BNNVARA in 2019. In a confidential e-mail in the possession of the BNR podcast Koster & Van Dijk, Pauw’s agent proposed, in addition to a presentation contract, also to provide a purchase guarantee to the production company TVBV, where Pauw was director at the time. When the broadcaster rejected this proposal, because it goes against the salary rules of the NPO, TVBV received the production order for the daily talk show Op1 from the same NPO via broadcaster WNL.

NRC previously reported extensively on this issue. What is new is that podcast makers Koster & Van Dijk have the controversial salary proposal in their hands. This piece was so confidential that it was sent to the private email address of the then BNNVARA director Gert-Jan Hox.

Podcast | Koster and Van Dijk

In the piece, Jeroen Pauw’s business partner, also on behalf of the presenter, is to continue with the Pauw program in 2020. In addition, the presenter would receive a full minister’s salary, as laid down in the Top Income Standards Act, but also a purchase guarantee for his production company worth 500,000 euros.

This piece was so confidential that it was sent to the private email address of the then BNNVARA director Gert-Jan Hox. BNR/Koster & Van Dijk

The NPO obliges broadcasters to make every effort to prevent evasion of the salary ceiling for presenters at the public broadcaster. Sources confirm to BNR that for that reason BNNVARA director Gert-Jan Hox informed Jeroen Pauw that he could not respond to the business proposal of the popular presenter, in which he would receive a top salary and a purchase guarantee for his company.

Also read | Top official puts whistleblower NPO in the cold, MPs want an explanation

Jeroen Pauw then announced that he would stop with his daily talk show. NPO director Frans Klein then asked broadcaster WNL to instruct Pauw’s company, TVBV, to take on the production of the successor, Op1.

This is to the dismay of BNNVARA, which said it could produce the program itself ‘more efficiently’. KRO-NCRV also refused to cooperate, because according to this broadcaster, TVBV had too much say over the content.

big deal

Jeroen Pauw and his business partner Peter Adrichem deny in a reaction that their proposal was rejected due to a violation of the rules. They also emphasize that in the case of the presentation contract and the purchase guarantee there were completely ‘separate matters’. They also point out that the proposed ‘deal’ did not go through. ‘Big deal? So no, no deal’, says Jeroen Pauw.

Peter Adrichem of TVBV says about the email in which he made the confidential proposal to the broadcaster: ‘This is an email with a number of proposals from me, as a business representative of TVBV, to the director of BNNVARA. I make these proposals as a representative of a commercial company in a phase of the negotiation. Sometimes I ask 100 and I get 10, sometimes I ask 100 and I get 80. To give you an idea, none of these proposals made it. In that sense it is literally about nothing.’ By the way, Jeroen Pauw’s presentation has never been dependent on any appointment whatsoever for the TVBV company.

Also read | ‘Interrogation Jeroen Pauw, Humberto Tan under oath about salary structures’

Koster and Van Dijk presented their findings, including Jeroen Pauw’s business proposal, in full to chairman of the board Frederieke Leeflang.

In a response, she says that she has asked the Commissariat to conduct a formal investigation into the course of events: ‘I believe that the case you are now submitting to me is best assessed by an independent supervisor. That is why I have decided to ask the Media Authority to also pay attention to the case you presented to me in the recently announced investigation. I think this is the right way to get the clarity you requested; I will submit it to the supervisor who is authorized to investigate this.’

Sensational

PVV MP Martin Bosma speaks of a sensational revelation. ‘I find this revelation sensational, I have been working on the file for 15 years. It has been discussed in the House for 15 years, and we ‘know’ that it is the case, these are persistent rumours. It is bizarre that this is done via private e-mails, there is no legal objection to that, but it does indicate that things are happening here that should not see the light of day’.

The sensational is just the word ‘purchase guarantee† I’ve never seen that before, no one has ever been able to confirm that. And now it’s there.’

circumvent law

According to Bosman, there is no legal objection to the construction that presenters deploy their production companies themselves, ‘except that there is the WNT, the Top Income Standards Act, that those presenters are also paid according to the Balkenende standard when they present. But it has been rumored for a long time that something is being made up with those presenters to circumvent the WNT’.

This purchase guarantee is the stumbling block for Bosma. ‘So you are director of a company, Jeroen Pauw is director and was a major shareholder of TVBV, which has since been taken over by Endemol, and so he is told: ‘Then we will also purchase a certain amount of programs from you’. And that simply benefits the shareholders and/or the directors’.

shadowy

‘It is very shady and now it appears that there are indeed two flows of money. So now it has emerged for the first time that this is how it works. And it may be about a proposal that was rejected, but apparently this is how people communicate in Hilversum.’

Sun King Frans Klein

A name that keeps coming back is that of television boss Frans Klein of the NPO, who can apparently overrule the rejection of BNN/VARA by still awarding Op1 to TVBV. According to Bosma, this indicates two things: ‘That Frans Klein is incredibly powerful in Hilversum, he is simply the sun king of the Media Park. He is on the board of the NPO, but he just decides what is on television in Hilversum and who is not, which presenter and what not, what time and what not. His thumb goes up or his thumb goes down. It’s crucial. It illustrates that those broadcasting associations no longer represent anything’.