RTVE prepares to appoint new director
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 21 October 2014
A month after RTVE's president Leopoldo González Echenique resigned, the corporation is now ready to appoint a successor.
tvepresiFollowing a parliamentary process, it seems likely that José Antonio Sánchez will be named as the public broadcaster's new president.
Sánchez has already been appointed as a member of RTVE's board of directors in anticipation of his move to the presidency, and as the Spanish Parliament is controlled by a single political party – the conservative Partido Popular – it's not likely that there will be any surprises during the appointment process.
José Antonio Sánchez has been working as a journalist for EFE news agency and newspapers ABC and La Razón, and has also collaborated with Cadena Cope and Antena 3.
Sánchez previously held a high position at RTVE, as CEO from 2002 to 2004, and has also been director of Telemadrid since 2011. Indeed, these two positions are the most controversial facts about his career, as Telemadrid has seen quality and audience numbers fall under his direction – during which the public regional network began its privatisation process – and TVE dramatically increased its debt during his period as a CEO.
While the public channel continues to struggle economically, some critics are saying that RTVE is being manipulated by the government. During the past week, 1,500 workers, including Xabier Fortes, VP of RTVE's news council, highlighted in a public statement that the Spanish Government is increasingly controlling information.
In spite of these critics, the appointment will be probably take place tomorrow (Wednesday 22 October) in order to fill the gap left by González Echenique. González Echenique became director in 2012 and also faced strong criticism due to falling audience numbers, increasing debt and continuous complaints about the news coverage by the Telediario team.
Moreover, his period as a director was characterised by huge cuts in funding. After several months struggling to carry out the savings plan and facing a huge debt, Echenique agreed with the Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, to an extra injection of €270 million for the public corporation, but only half arrived, speeding up his resignation.