Robert Zaal, the current head of Dutch media group RTV North Holland has been named as the new director of Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
He will be responsible for leading the implementation of RNW’s new direction, focussed on free speech. As of 2013, RNW will operate primarily in Africa and the Arab world, but also in countries such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico.
Announcing the appointment, the chairman of RNW's Supervisory Board Bernard Bot said, “after the most turbulent and painful period in RNW’s history, the organisation is now almost ready to embark on its new future. Robert Zaal has extensive experience in the areas of free speech, media and management. He’s the right person in the right place.”
Zaal said he was pleased with the step. “It’s an honour to be able to contribute to promoting free speech around the world. This is more than just a regular job for me. It will be a challenge, together with the new editor-in-chief, to steer RNW in this new phase. There’s a good plan for RNW 3.0 and we will implement it in a serious and business-like fashion.”
RNW’s current director, Jan Hoek, remains responsible for activities related to the winding down of the old organisation. Zaal will take over on November 1st.
The 48-year-old Zaal is married and has three children.