Free to Air Spanish Channels
Once a very popular free Spanish channel, one of the very few still free to air, on the Astra satellite, TeleMadrid has had extreme problems and has been missing for many months.Extreme Over Staffing Levels
According to El Pais, the over bloated number of staff at the station has caused major reshuffles to descend and cut the numbers by up to 80%. Financial audits done back in 2004 pointed at this problem and in 2006 the government had to bail out the company to the tune of 20Million Euro, but nothing was done until last years proposals to cut the enormous budget to half its 2013 level and sack 925 staff members at the company, which is what prompted the strike which has caused the blackout of the station as staff went on strike.
Only the occasional Notice programme or still photo has been broadcast since December last year 2012. Even a visit to former regional premier Ignacio Gonzales by employees at Telemadrid, to hand over a letter of petition to “save the lives of 925 families” has not managed to change the course of the management plan.
TeleMadrid were well known to be pro the regional government and have racked up a massive 260 million euros debt, in part due to the huge numbers of journalists hired who were sympathetic to the party in power. The previous head of the Channel Esperanza Aguirre would try to interfere with presentation of the News , in that if a journalist would disagree with her view she would just hire another, more sympathetic replacement. This carried on until there was gross duplication in all departments.
Will it Come Back
So for the future programming will be reduced to just newscasts, series, movies and two long-running programs Madrileños por el mundo and Madrid directo , these being produced out of house by private companies. Lets hope the remaining staff can start the channel going again