Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Chávez tightens his grip and shuts down 34 radio stations

More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chávez’s drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media. The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.
Chávez supporters say they are waging a “media war” against private news companies and have denounced in recent days what they say is a renewed offensive by privately owned domestic and international media to discredit Venezuela. Diosdado Cabello, the public works minister who also oversees Conatel, said some of the radio stations were shut because they did not have their broadcasting licences renewed and others transferred them illegally to new owners.
Conatel delivered an order to CNB radio in Caracas before dawn for its five stations to stop transmitting by 8 am, the station said on its website. At CNB’s headquarters in downtown Caracas, hundreds of CNB employees and government critics gathered to protest the shutdown. Some later marched to Conatel.CNB said it would continue to broadcast on its Internet site, www.cnb.com.ve.
“This government has turned into a mutilator of rights,” Juan Carlos Caldera, of the opposition political party Primero Justicia, said on Globovision TV. Antonio Ledezma, the opposition mayor of Caracas, called on Venezuelans to protest the move in the streets.
One of the stations to cease operations was Radio Bonita 1520 AM in the city of Guatire, 25 miles (40 km) from Caracas. “Fifteen years after my father died, they tell me (broadcasting) licences can’t be inherited, we’re shocked,” Felix Ali Obelmejia, director of Radio Bonita, told Globovision.
Another 120 radio stations were being investigated for administrative irregularities and the radio frequency of stations being shut down would be transferred to new community broadcasters, Cabello had said.
As part of his drive to remake Venezuela as a socialist country, Chávez has vastly expanded the number of publicly owned television and radio stations since he took office in 1999. Some are directly owned or financed by the government, while others are operated by cooperatives and community groups.
(Source: Reuter/ R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)

Related story at: Venezuela steps up control of television and radio
July 10th, 2009 - 14:54 UTC by Andy Sennitt
Venezuela is taking dozens of radio stations off the air and putting stricter rules on cable and satellite television, a minister said yesterday, as part of President Hugo Chávez’s battle with private media firms.
Disodado Cabello, the public works minister who also oversees Venezuela’s broadcasting watchdog, said 154 FM radio stations will be taken off the air and shifted into public hands in what he called “democratizing the airwaves.” He recently said 86 AM radio stations will also be hit as the government steps up efforts to turn Venezuela into a socialist society.
“The use of the radio-electric spectrum is one of the few areas where the revolution has not been felt,” Mr Cabello said in a presentation to legislators about the need for reform in the sector. President Chávez and his supporters describe their drive to broadcast a pro-government message as a “media war” with private news companies. Venezuela’s media is highly polarized with biased coverage the norm on both government and private networks.
The president has vastly expanded the number of publicly owned television and radio stations since he took office in 1999. Some are directly owned or financed by the government, while others are operated by cooperatives and community groups. In 2007 President Chávez did not renew the concession for a widely watched critical private TV station RCTV.
Mr Cabello also announced plans to apply Venezuelan broadcasting regulations to cable and satellite television stations that produced more than a third of their content in the oil-exporting nation. The new rules for subscription television seemed to be aimed specifically at RCTV, which now broadcasts only on cable. RCTV was Venezuela’s most popular television station, watched by millions because of its soap operas. The station was highly critical of President Chávez and played an active role in a failed coup against him in 2002.
(Source: Reuters)

The following stations were closed down by the government this weekend.
It would seem that the CNB Network, clearly oppositional to the government,
was closed for political reasons. As for the remainder, several other causes are possible.
More closures are expected soon.


* 1130 AM, Erasmo Núñez (renuncia del título por omisión de la solicitud de
transformación según el artículo 210). RADIO AMAZONAS

* 107,5 FM Orbita, Abel Cermeño.


* 970 AM, José Bringa, Barcelona. MUNDIAL 970


* Upata: Canal 7 TV, José David Natera.
* Ciudad Bolívar: 96,9 FM, Ramón Rafael Castro Mata.


* Valencia: 100,1 FM, Nelson Belfort Dividin.
* Puerto Cabello: 98,3 FM, Pedro Ezequiel Listuit.


* CNB 102,3 FM, Rosa Rodríguez de Huescáfore.

Delta Amacuro

* Tucupita: 1270 AM, Socrates Hernandez. RADIO TUCIPITA


* Punto Fijo: CNB 100,1, Nelson Belfort Dividin.
* Punto Fijo: 96,1 FM, Ramón Jesús Mendez (93,7)


* 99,1 FM, Bernando José Donaire.


* 106,3 FM, Rubén Antonio Chirinos.


* 1520 AM, Guillermo Obel Mejías. RADIO BONITA "LA GUAPA"
* Emisora FM, Guillermo Obel Mejías.
* 1550 AM, Monseñor Bernando Heredia (extinción por fallecimiento). RADIO
* 97,1 FM, Monseñor Bernando Heredia.
* 92,1 FM, Gabriel Robinson, Charallave.
* 1230 AM, Radio Barlovento, Caucagua. RADIO BARLOVENTO
* 96,9 FM, Carlos Herci, El Hatillo.

Nueva Esparta (Porlamar)

* 99,1 FM, Arturo Gil Escala.
* 92,9 FM, Ramón Borra Gómez.
* 1140 AM, Sucesión Pedro Sosa Guzmán. RADIO PORLAMAR


* 1170 AM, Ramón Ramírez Meléndez, Acarigua. RADIO ACARIGUA


* 103,3 FM, Luìs Salazar Núñez.
* 600 AM, Luís Salazar Núñez. RADIO SUCRE


* 730 AM, Modesto Marchena. RADIO FRONTERA
Comentario de Dario
* 94,5 FM, Arturo Álvarez Leal.


* Canal 26 UHF, Catia La Mar.
* 106,9 FM, Alcides Delgado.


* 105,1 FM, Guido Briceño.
* 102,1 FM, Luis Guillermo Gouvea.
* 1430 AM, Ciro Ávila Moreno, Ciudad Ojeda. RADIO REGIONAL? LISTED ON 1330 EN EL WRTH 2009.
* 1300 AM, Moisés Portillo, Santa Cruz de Mar. RADIO AMISTAD?

Source: Globovision. Slogans in capital letters have been added by yours truly.
(Henrik Klemetz/playdx)