national radio

national radio
   The first state radio network in Spain, Radio National de España, was set up by Franco in 1937, during the Civil War, to counter the propaganda efforts of broadcasting stations on the Republican side. During the period of his dictatorship, RNE functioned essentially as the mouthpiece of the state, and exercised a virtual monopoly, though particular interest groups such as the National Movement, the vertical syndicates, and the Roman Catholic Church were permitted to operate their own networks. RNE's monopoly was ended by the new democratic government in 1977, but it continued to occupy a commanding position, since excessive competition for space on the airwaves forced the administration to curtail the number of medium-wave networks. In 1988, RNE absorbed Radio Cadena Española, the network which grouped the stations formerly owned by the National Movement and the syndicates. RNE runs two medium-wave channels, Radio 1, mainly broadcasting general interest and current affairs material, and Radio 5, a sports and entertainment channel with local variations. It also has two FM services, Radio 2, mainly offering classical music, and Radio 3, devoted to rock and pop music. Radio 1 commands by far the highest number of listeners, 1.5 million, nearly twice that of Radio 5, and more five times that of Radios 2 and 3 together. Its programmes produced for the home market, and some specially made ones, are broadcast worldwide on its short-wave service, Radio Exterior de España.
   Within Spain, however, RNE's listener base has steadily declined since 1988, from 3.5 million to 2.6 million in 1997, a fall of 25 percent. This contrasts with the other major networks, SER, COPE and Onda Cero, all of which have increased their number of listeners.
   See also: media
   EAMONN RODGERS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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