Cuba broadcaster plans to slash personnel at Radio and TV Martí


Radio Martí studio in Miami.

Miami Herald

The U.S. Agency for Global Media, a federal workplace overseeing Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, knowledgeable staff of the Marti stations in Miami this week that some might be laid off quickly.

Employees on the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which manages the Radio and TV Marti stations, realized of the plans in a newsroom-wide video name assembly that its present director, former Univision and Telemundo government Silvia Rosabal, held from her workplace whereas the staff have been current within the station’s principal constructing close to Miami International Airport. They additionally obtained a notification from the company earlier this week that “a reduction in force affecting employees of the OCB is anticipated.”

The U.S. Agency for Global Media confirmed the plans in a press release despatched to the Miami Herald, stating that “a reduction in force will be necessary by the end of November.”

The company stated that “despite years of cutting cuts, additional reductions are required” and that it’s exploring “all options for cost reductions without compromising the ability to achieve its mission, including personnel reductions, to operate within current funding levels.”

The company didn’t say what number of staff might lose their jobs however stated it has been in frequent communication with staff throughout the course of and has tried to “minimize” the affect on the workforce.

“The Office of Cuba Broadcasting remains committed to its mission of promoting freedom and democracy by providing the people of Cuba with objective news and information programming,” the assertion added.

Two staff who requested to not be recognized for worry of retaliation stated that as many as 25 staff might be dismissed. One of the sources stated a listing of the positions that might be eradicated has been circulating internally. The staff stated most of the employees affected are at the moment assigned to TV Martí, together with hosts, producers, editors and videographers.

According to the Agency for Global Media web site there are 117 staff on the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

For a few years, critics of TV Marti have questioned its effectiveness, noting the Cuban authorities jams its sign. In response, the stations have expanded their on-line presence.

During the pandemic, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting quietly eradicated the tv newscast, and hosts and different tv journalists have became multimedia reporters producing audiovisual and radio content material for social media and the station’s web site.

The company didn’t reply questions in regards to the tv operation.

Florida Republicans in Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, criticized the plans to chop station personnel.

Following widespread protests in Cuba on July 11, 2021, “the Biden administration should be lifting the voices of those who advocate for Cuba’s freedom, NOT silencing them through shameful personnel cuts at Radio and TV Martí,” wrote Rubio on Twitter. “Martínoticias is a crucial component of initiatives in support of freedom and democracy in Cuba.”

Díaz-Balart complained that lately the U.S. Agency for Global Media has repeatedly requested a roughly $13 million funds for the stations, down from the $30 million that it used to get up to now, which might result in employees cuts, he stated in a press release.

Díaz-Balart stated he has “yet to receive an explanation as to why USAGM continues to request such an abysmally low number for OCB year after year while fully knowing the consequences.”

The U.S. Agency for Global Media didn’t reply questions on its funds request.

In current years, Congress has been transferring funds from different packages to fill the funds deficit and keep away from cuts. Díaz-Balart didn’t say if that might be the case this 12 months too, however urged the Biden administration and the Agency for Global Media to “abandon this despicable attempt to weaken OCB before they cause irreparable harm, and finally stand with the Cuban people at a time when they need it most.”

An impartial overview commissioned by the company in 2019, in response to criticism after TV Marti aired a controversial report on businessman and philanthropist George Soros, discovered that a few of the news packages failed to fulfill fundamental journalistic requirements. John Lansing, the pinnacle of the company on the time, known as for structural adjustments on the Martí stations.

Nora Gámez Torres is the Cuba/U.S.-Latin American coverage reporter for el Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald. She studied journalism and media and communications in Havana and London. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from City, University of London. Her work has received awards by the Florida Society of News Editors and the Society for Professional Journalists.//Nora Gámez Torres estudió periodismo y comunicación en La Habana y Londres. Tiene un doctorado en sociología y desde el 2014 cubre temas cubanos para el Nuevo Herald y el Miami Herald. También reporta sobre la política de Estados Unidos hacia América Latina. Su trabajo ha sido reconocido con premios de Florida Society of News Editors y Society for Profesional Journalists.

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