What is Klubrádió?
Klubrádió is the only one talk & news radio station in Hungary with a scrutinizing attitude towards government and social issues.
In a series of interviews and phone-in programmes, Klubrádió provides presence not only to Hungary's best intellectuals but also to all kinds of civil opinions. It serves as the greatest agora in the country, and the only public meeting point for liberal, leftist and conservative views.
Its fate is going to be the proof of how the country's new Media Council will use its limitless powers provided by the new Media Law.
Here, at Klubrádió, at stake is no less than freedom and pluralism of the media.
Klubrádió's Battle for the Renewal of its 95.3 MHz frequency licence
Klubrádiós licence expired in February, 2011.
The Media Council revealed the rules governing the competition at the end of this July. Their main points: a huge advantage for music and for local news.
The deadline for the bid is 30th August, 2011. The probable date of closing the whole procedure is January, 2012.
Participating in this competition by the rules provided may end in getting silenced in two ways: either we enter the competition with a programme that is sharply different from our quasi-public-service programming, or we stick to our characteristic programming and we will be stripped of our licence altogether.
Klubrádió has now remained the only spot in Hungary's broadcast scene where autonomous cultural events get reported, independent fact-finding can take place, non-governmental or opposition political personalities can have a presence, people can freely phone in, and honest debates can take place with the participation of public figures from all sides of the spectrum.
We fear that the procedure initiated by the Media Council leads to the silencing of Klubrádió.
That would bring diversity of Hungary's radio broadcasting to an end, and also to the deprivation of the daily 200-400 thousand listeners of their favourite programmes.
A press release by Klubrádió, 30 November 2012
Dear Media Council,
Lately you have been entertaining the public with lies and misrepresentations of facts on a daily basis. What is more, you have an enormous staff and you spend huge amounts of public money to support your harmful behavior. In this press release, we would like to react to your latest announcement dated 29 November.
The Media Council has been continuously and reliably providing Klubrádió the opportunity to operate for two years now. In fact, the Media Council allows us to use our frequency by issuing temporary licenses for two-month periods at a time. We only learned on Wednesday that we would be allowed to broadcast next Tuesday. And this has been going on for two years although so far six court judgments have confirmed that we have the right to use a frequency permanently. Your inexplicable behavior causes immense losses to Klubrádió and to its hundreds of thousands of listeners, to the freedom of press and to Hungary.
"(...) the Media Council has reduced the annual fee to HUF 3 million from HUF 11 million for the Kecskemét frequency and to HUF 4.1 million from HUF 8.5 million for the Debrecen frequency of Klubrádió." You are misleading the public again as you have not reduced the HUF 25 million fee of Klubrádiós Budapest frequency in spite of the fact that you did lower the fees for all the commercial stations of the country. You were cynics when you claimed that Klubrádió had been left out of the fee reduction with regard to the temporary status of its frequency rights. Also, you keep the rate of reduction confidential in the other cases, including that of Class FM, which could be HUF 100 million or even more. Another of your pets, Lánchíd Rádió is given frequency after frequency in the country free of charge. Also, Katolikus Rádió, Mária Rádió and Európa Rádió dont have to pay fees either. The help you give us, compared to the help they get, is hypocritical and laughable. Klubrádió and its partners are in a difficult financial situation primarily because of the Media Councils actions.
"The Media Council still considers the owner of Klubrádió a partner (...)" No, you have never treated Klubrádió as a partner. You offended the public when you wanted to waste Klubrádiós frequency through a call for tenders issued for stations with a music profile; when you declared Autórádió Kft., which submitted an atrocious offer, the winner; when you did not allow Klubrádió to use the frequency it had won at a tender; when you ignore final and nonappealable judicial decisions and act as if you were above the law.
Dear Media Council, what you do is detrimental.