In Venezuala RCTV (Radio Caracas Television), one of the country’s most popular broadcasters, has ceased transmissions, following a refusal by president Hugo Chavez to renew its license. Protests in the street by angry viewers did not manage to change the president’s decision. Instead Teves, a new government-backed educational station took its place, initially broadcasting eight hours a day.
RCTV lost its license on account of its anti-Chavez stance, particularly during a failed coup in 2002. It is not clear what will happen to RCTV and its staff of around 3,000. The broadcaster will be able to continue to broadcast on cable, but this will cut its potential audience by three quarters.
Following the closure of RCTV Chavez has also warned Globovision, another commercial broadcaster, that it is about to lose its license because of its political stance against him. The current license runs till 2014. (Story updated May 31st)