Klára Brachtlová: A True Champion for Democratic Values
If you could influence millions of people, what message would you send them? Klára Brachtlová knows exactly what she would say. As the former co-CEO of TV Nova, the largest broadcaster in the Czech Republic, she had a great deal of influence. Now, as the Chief of External Affairs for Nova’s parent company, CME, Klára is transitioning into a new role that will allow her to expand her message across all six countries represented by CME – The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
“My passion is to speak about democratic values,” she said. “I want to make a future for my kids so they can live in freedom and travel and do what they want.”
Klára says that TV Nova is aligned with democratic European values, and the war in Ukraine has made educating viewers about the potential consequences of current events even more critical.
“The Ukraine conflict is so close to our borders,” she explained, “and it has such a huge impact on our mindsets. We’ve lived in peace practically our whole lives. Now we really have to be focused on democracy. We have to fight for democracy and our freedom -- for our kids.”
In her role as former co-CEO, Klára had established relationships with media partners and some of the Czech representatives of the European Union. Her new position at CME was created so Klára could expand this initiative to all six countries represented by CME.
“It’s a completely new role and very exciting for me,” she said.
The transition to CME is a process, and Klára still devotes the majority of her time to TV Nova. Part of that time includes teaching her values and TV Nova’s goals to the students of the CME Content Academy. The academy develops talented newcomers into the scriptwriters, showrunners, and TV producers of tomorrow. TV Nova and TV Markíza created CME together with The Television Institute, to train students in the television industry and give them the opportunity to work long-term for the two broadcasters.
“I am really happy to be involved,” she said. “I’m very happy to work together with our young people. It’s a generation with a unique experience: Covid and the Ukraine war. I think they deserve our attention.”
Klára says the academy is unique for two reasons: Students spend 50% of their time getting practical experience with the best in the industry, and the academy is open to anyone 18 or over regardless of education.
“There are so many talents who don’t have a traditional education,” she said. “You may think you lost your chance at some point, but now you can reinvent yourself with us.”
Klára is impressed with the 14 students from the first two Academy classes.
“They are so unique,” she said. “Each has a special talent and a special direction. Every person who goes through our training will be a good addition to the Czech and Slovak markets.”
Klára feels that her passion for democratic values is really a passion for people: for educating them – as with the academy -- helping them and creating a strong community. During her time as co-CEO of TV Nova, Klára’s charitable work for the broadcaster was equally impressive. Their charity arm helped more than 200,000 individuals last year, some of whose stories were broadcast. Klára’s dedication to creating a solid community and helping those in need has made a positive impact in her community through her charitable work.
“Many people don’t have the comfort of good health, being rich, or a good education,” Klára said. “I want to be a part of helping them. We are a profitable company and I think it’s an obligation to give back.”
That also includes helping women rise to more leadership positions. Klára has recently been recognized as one of the most powerful women in the Czech Republic, an honor that she hopes will inspire other women.
“It’s very healthy to the organization when there’s a good balance of males and females in management,” she said. “There are so many talented women on the market. I want to be an inspiration. You can have a career and children.”
In fact, Klára has been building her career while raising two sons, 21 and 19, and a 10-year-old daughter. She started in finance at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), then moved to TV Nova and worked her way up on the financial side.
“Sometimes it’s a huge mess,” she laughed, “but I think my kids like it. I have the full support of my husband, my parents, and my husband’s parents.”
Balancing her career and family life has not been easy, but Klára is grateful for the support of her loved ones. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can inspire other working mothers to pursue their dreams while still being there for their children. Klára's strong work ethic and commitment to her values have led her to great success in both her personal and professional life, and she continues to make a positive impact in her community through her charitable work and commitment to promoting democratic values.
Author Andrea Bisconti