Head of the sport department at Czech Television Otakar Černý sent an email to other journalists informing them of terminating the contract with Zuzana Kocumová, former skier and current external ČT commentator for the FIS Nordic World Championships in Liberec because of her reluctance to add the Czech female ending –ová to the foreign skiers’ names.
Otakar Černý said it was his decision to dismiss Kocumová but refused to comment further, though he said that the use of the –ová ending has been recommended to the TV by the Czech language institute and that they adopted it as their internal norm.
Kocumová explained that although she was aware of the ČT preference of using the female ending she could not get used to the idea since she knows the skiers personally under their respective names. She also consulted the institute for the Czech language where they told her pronunciation of the names is acceptable.
She said that the rumour has it somebody complained about her practice and threatened that unless she starts using the –ová ending they will turn to the Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting. Lidové noviny claims Kocumová named the father of Czech hockey player Marek Malík as the complainer. Černý dismisses these allegations saying it was his own decision though dozens complained about the lack of –ová endings.
Kocumová also complained about the way she was notified since nobody told her anything in advance and all she learnt on Thursday was that she has been dismissed and that she needs to return her press accreditation and move out of her room.
The news site iDnes.cz claims that according to their readers’ feedback Kocumová, who had to give up on her profeesional skier career due to injury, was considered one of the best external ČT commentators.