Former Net anchor Karl Stagno Navarra makes switch to One TV

Former Net News anchor will present early evening current affairs discussion programme on Labour’s One TV

Karl Stagno Navarra: the 46-year-old journalist has been working for Bloomberg covering finance and economics in Brussels
Karl Stagno Navarra: the 46-year-old journalist has been working for Bloomberg covering finance and economics in Brussels

A once-familiar face on Net TV is set to make a comeback on Maltese TV. But this time, the buoyant Karl Stagno Navarra is making a political switch, taking to the air on Labour’s One TV to present Pjazza One.

The daily current affairs show has been slotted for the early evening from 6:15pm to 7:30pm, right before One News’s evening bulletin, in a sign that Stagno Navarra, 46, will be taking a central role in Labour’s broadcast schedule as the party enters its last two years in government.

“We will be discussing current affairs, have guests in the studios, and talk about politics, economics, society and social affairs, and even the arts,” Stagno Navarra said, who returns to Maltese television after some 11 years.

Since leaving Net TV, he became one of the first reporters during the launch of newspaper Illum, and later wrote for MaltaToday before joining Al Jazeera on various assignments abroad and in Malta, and finally working for Bloomberg, where he covers EU affairs and finance. He was also recently a government employee at Malta Enterprise, the investment promotion arm.

“I was asked to do it and for me this is quite a challenge after a decade away from Maltese television. I feel I can deliver a real TV show,” Stagno Navarra says.

But it will be a surprise to former viewers of his to see an anchor-man once synonymous with the Nationalist Party, batting for the other side – a sign that Stagno Navarra’s past political loyalties have found new masters.

“It’s no switch. It’s broadcasting on Malta’s most watched TV channel with a viewer loyalty that has been second to none throughout the last 20 years,” he says.

But pricked on the matter, Stagno Navarra is generous with details of his ‘metamorphosis’.

“I militated for the PN as a broadcaster up until 2008, when the leadership adopted an ultra-conservative stand on issues like divorce. I felt it was a mouthpiece for the Catholic Church. For me, joining the EU meant breaking off from that but a faction inside the PN wanted the status quo. To me politics was never a religion but about what’s good for the country and who can deliver it the best.”

Sounds like a pitch for Joseph Muscat. And Stagno Navarra does not shy away from offering plaudits for the prime minister.

“Socially and economically, he has made Malta one of the top European performers. I’m not saying everything’s perfect. My role as a broadcaster even on One TV, which is owned by the Labour Party, is to drive the message that good governance is as important as delivering on electoral promises.

“I feel no compunction about telling the prime minister and his ministers what is right and wrong. It’s my duty as a broadcaster.”

Pjazza One airs on Monday, 26 September, on One TV at 6:15pm.

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