Emil Koshlukov

Emil Koshlukov

Director General of BNT

Emil Koshlukov is a public figure with proven leadership and management qualities. He is a journalist, producer, former politician and policymaker, recognized as one of the iconic faces of the Bulgarian transition to democracy.

His professional career in television began in 2005 as an author and host of the political talkshow “Hedgehog”, a prime-time current affair show broadcasted daily. Koshlukov has been the author, host, editor, and producer of shows broadcasted on all national networks as well as on cable televisions. Between 2010 and 2014, he authored and hosted the talk shows “Weekend with TV7” and “The Koshlukov Factor”. These pioneering productions  spearheaded the rise in popularity of tv programs centered around political commentaries and discussions during the weekend morning slots. The high rating of the shows encouraged competitors to follow the example. Emil Koshlukov was the recipient of the most prestigious award for TV journalism in Bulgaria “Journalist of the Year 2012” for objective and competent journalism in a tough media environment.

Between 2011 and 2013. Koshlukov became CEO of the largest production company in the country at the time, creating productions for all major national television stations in various genres – current affairs, sports, politainment, social, lifestyle, and reality shows. With Koshlukov as a CEO, the company enjoyed successful collaborations with all major national television stations. Two of the company’s productions were nominated for TV awards, and “The Koshlukov Factor” ranked second on-air in ratings and market share. Under the leadership of Koshlukov, the production company was recognized for its innovative approach and high-quality productions, positioning itself as a leader on the market.

Emil Koshlukov was appointed Director of CHANNEL 1 one of BNT in 2017 and in 2019 he was elected Director General of BNT.

During his tenure the budget deficit of BNT was reduced from BGN 43 million to BGN 5 million, while the employees’ compensation increased by over 35% on average and in some sectors up to 50%. The rating of the Bulgarian National Television for this period had doubled.

The programming and production of shows, films and newscasts significantly improved as well. Under Koshlukov’s leadership BNT underwent considerable technological upgrades. Numerous digital platforms were created and the mobile phone app reached the highest number of downloads in the Bulgarian media market and is currently being used by over one million people. The large-scale presence in the online space, the breakthrough in digital content and the use of new platforms led to a user base growth of over 200%. As a result, the recognition and brand loyalty of BNT improved and its audience increased substantially. Currently the trust in BNT is the highest among all television networks in the country.

Before turning his career to journalism Emil Koshlukov played an active role in the Bulgarian political life. Shortly after graduating from the English Language High School, he was convicted of anti-communist propaganda and served a four-year sentence as a political prisoner during the totalitarian regime.

In 1989, Koshlukov founded the first Independent Student Organization in still communist Bulgaria and subsequently became Chairman of the Federation of Independent Student Societies (FNSD). He was among the founders of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), the first political opposition to the Bulgarian Communist Party, and participated in the historic National Round Table in 1990.

Emil Koshlukov managed the election campaign of the National Movement for Stability and Progress (NMSP) and in 2001 was elected as a member of the 39th Bulgarian National Assembly. He became Chairman of the Committee on Civil Society Affairs, a member of the Committee on Culture, and participated in the drafting and introduction of more than 70 bills, most of which were passed by the Parliament. Koshlukov was one of the founders and an elected Chairman of the political party New Time. He left the party in 2009.

Emil Koshlukov holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Egyptology from New Bulgarian University. In addition to Bulgarian, he speaks English, Russian and Greek.