Spanish pubcast chief keeps No. 2

Exec has unparalleled experience in skedding

MADRID — Carmen Caffarel, the incoming director general of Radio Television Espanola (RTVE), has retained Juan Menor as director and effective numero dos at Spain’s giant pubcaster, breaking with a hallowed RTVE tradition of a new honcho making sweeping changes.

Most of the RTVE directors appointed under Jose Maria Aznar’s Popular Party, which governed Spain from 1996 through to the March 14 general elections, backed Spain’s ruling party.

Menor’s isn’t known for his political credentials. There are good reasons, however, for maintaining him.

A hard-working exec, with a passion for audience trend analysis, Menor has unparalleled experience in skedding and programming at a time when RTVE’s TV auds are falling to new lows, as auds rise for pay, regional and local TV operators.

RTVE also faces a daunting challenge: broadcasting the May 22 wedding of the heir to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe, to Letizia Ortiz, a former RTVE newscaster.

Whether foreign product suppliers will applaud Menor’s continuation at RTVE is another question.

Menor curried local industry sympathy in October by scything RTVE’s budget for the acquisitions of U.S. movies from e85.8 million ($103.3 million) in 2002 to $49.2 million in 2003.

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