Previous studies that looked at the quality of media cultures that emerged in the process of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have largely missed the role these cultures play in maintaining gender and age inequalities in the media. This ethnography fills this gap. Through the example of one public service broadcaster, Telewizja Polska (TVP), the quality of the post-communist media culture is examined. The article argues that television work in Poland is carried out under the combined pressure from political actors, economic forces and patriarchal ideology, resulting in a weak media autonomy that characterises the CEE region overall. The theoretical framework of field theory is used to demonstrate this link.