That's how SRG works
SRG is an association that is open to everyone. This association operates the public, independent media house SRG SSR which produces and broadcasts audiovisual content in four language regions and has 6,000 employees.
How is the SRG organised?
SRG is an association that is open to everyone. This association operates the public, independent media house SRG SSR which produces and broadcasts audiovisual content in four language regions and has 6600 employees (parent company).
What is the purpose of the SRG association?
The SRG association prepares public-service audiovisual offerings in accordance with the Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVG) and the Charter issued by the Federal Council. It consists of four regional subsidiaries: SRG.D, RTSR, Corsi, SRG.R. SRG.D and RTSR are in turn made up of member companies, e.g. Aargau/Solothurn, Ostschweiz, Jura, etc. Some of these are even subdivided into sections.
To fulfil its purpose, the association operates a company consisting of five Enterprise Units: RSI, RTR, RTS, SRF, SWI (international service) and subsidiary companies (technology and production center switzerland ag, SWISS TXT AG and Telvetia S.A.).
What do the members of the SRG association do?
The association tasks the professional SRG company with fulfilling the association's purpose (see "Purpose of SRG association"), namely the preparation of audiovisual offerings. With its four regional subsidiaries, the association anchors SRG firmly in society, stimulates public debate about modern public service and, with its committees and authority, influences the orientation and quality of radio and television schedules as well as other media offerings.
Who takes part in the Delegates' Meeting and what does it do?
The authority of the Delegates' Meeting is laid down in SRG's statutes. In addition to the statutory business that is incumbent upon a general meeting under company law, the Delegates' Meeting approves the appointment of the Director General in response to a proposal from the Board of Directors, and also approves the Board of Directors' proposals on media policy-related changes to the Charter and SRG's annual report on quality and public service. The delegates also elect three of the nine members of SRG's Board of Directors. The Delegates' Meeting issues the compensation regulations for itself and the Board of Directors, and it may decide on applications to the Federal Council concerning the level of the licence fee. It determines how much money the regional subsidiaries are allocated each year. It may also refer proposals for audits of the public service remit and of service quality to the Board of Directors. These are questions on quality and public service that the Board of Directors has to answer within six months. Furthermore, the Delegates' Meeting acknowledges the Organizational Regulations and reports on strategy and strategy implementation. German-speaking Switzerland has 18 delegates, French-speaking Switzerland has nine, Italian-speaking Switzerland has six and Romansh-speaking Switzerland has three. Added to these are five Board Directors who act as delegates although they have not yet been Regional Presidents. The Delegates' Meeting therefore consists of a total of 41 people. It convenes at least twice a year.
Who sits on the Board of Directors and what does it do?
The Board of Directors has two roles: it is the association's management board and it carries out the overall management for the company in accordance with the regulations of company law and the provisions of the RTVG and the Charter. It has a responsibility to the Federal Council to meet the output and service targets set down in law and in the Charter (see also section on "Mandate and legal position"). The Board of Directors oversees business activity and makes decisions concerning strategy, corporate development and key business issues. The Board of Directors delegates the management of SRG and responsibility for programme services to the Director General. The Organizational Regulations lay down who has what authority. The SRG Board of Directors has nine members: the four Regional Presidents of SRG.D, RTSR, CORSI and SRG.R, two members nominated by the Federal Council and three elected by the Delegates' Meeting. The President is elected by the Delegates' Meeting.
What do the Regional Council, Regional Board and Public Council do?
The SRG association consists of four regional companies: SRG.D, RTSR, Corsi and SRG.R. Each regional company has the following three committees: a Regional Council, a Regional Board and a Public Council. The Regional Councils bring the social and cultural concerns of their regions to the table, acknowledge reports from the Enterprise Units on quality, public service and programme service strategies, petition the Regional Boards to review these service concepts, appoint delegates and undertake other tasks.
The Regional Boards head up the regional companies. Under the SRG statutes, they also have a say when service-related matters are discussed by the SRG Board of Directors. They define the service strategies for the Enterprise Unit in question and distribute money among TV channels, radio chains and multimedia, although only within the confines laid down by the Board of Directors. It is also the job of the relevant Regional Board to submit proposals to the Board of Directors concerning the election of Enterprise Unit Directors (RSI, RTR, RTS and SRF) and members of their Executive Boards. The Presidents of the regional companies are ex-officio members of the Delegates' Meeting and the SRG Board of Directors.
Each regional company also has a Public Council that ensures close contact between programme-makers and radio and television audiences, and supports programming work by making observations, proposals and suggestions. In each language region, the Public Councils have set up an Ombudsman's Office. If viewers consider a TV programme to be inappropriate or unlawful, for example, they can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has no power to issue instructions, but will attempt to mediate between the programme makers and dissatisfied viewers. The same applies to radio programmes and online articles. A procedure exists for appealing against the Ombudsman's decision (in other words, under certain circumstances laid down in the RTVG, complaints about programmes can be heard by the Independent Complaints Authority UBI, the Federal Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights).
What do the Director General and the Executive Board of SRG do?
The Director General of SRG is responsible for the entire Enterprise. His/her authority and how this interfaces with that of the Board of Directors is described in the Organizational Regulations. He/she heads up the members of the Executive Board, which comprises the Directors of RSI, RTR, RTS and SRF, the Director of Operations and the Director of Finance.
The SRG Executive Board is the most senior operational management body of the entire Group. It draws up the strategy for the Enterprise and is responsible for implementing it. However, it also concerns itself with a wide variety of other matters, from programming to personnel, from finance to property, and from technology to legal matters. The Executive Board meets around ten times a year in order to deal with this wide range of issues. The SRG General Secretary is always in attendance, although he/she is not entitled to vote.
If the Executive Board is unable to reach agreement on a matter, the ultimate decision rests with the Director General.
What is the purpose of the statutes, Organizational Regulations and Rules of Procedure?
SRG is an association. For a Swiss association to have a legal capacity, the inaugural meeting must issue written statutes. The legal basis for all associations is the law relating to associations as established in the Swiss Code of Civil Law. This is supplemented by specific association statutes that summarize how the association is defined, organized and funded. These statutes are issued by the Delegates' Meeting and approved by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.
However, since SRG is not merely an association but an association organized in accordance with the principles of company law, it not only has statutes but also Organizational Regulations. These Organizational Regulations are based on the statutes and cover e.g. the authority of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board, make more precise statements concerning the tasks of individual committees, and define certain organizational premises such as the fact that decisions made by committees must be minuted in writing. The Organizational Regulations are issued by the Board of Directors.
The Rules of Procedure are an additional set of regulations. The Organizational Regulations stipulate that the Director General has to issue Rules of Procedure. They include how SRG is organized internally, e.g. what authority the Director General has over other members of the Executive Board, and how Board meetings are to be organized.