Changes to Amsterdam’s public TV & radio ahead?

Written by on 03/11/2018

Are there changes ahead for Amsterdam’s publicly funded local TV and radio channels? A new city broadcaster, C-Amsterdam, wants to take care of the local news service on radio and TV from next year. However it’s also possible that they may come up with a joint proposal with the current providers.

At the end of January 2019, the current service agreement with the Publiek Omroep Amsterdam (POA) will expire. This is the right to broadcast local radio and television channels, and provide a local news service. Het Parool newspaper reports that, for the first time, a second candidate, C- Amsterdam, has also registered to provide this service, which will run from 2019 until 2024.

According to its founders, C-Amsterdam will stand for connection, creation, city and content, and it’s an initiative from documentary maker, Mildred Roethof and her business partner, Anne-Mieke Semmeling. They believe that the current media offering of the POA does not accurately represent Amsterdam. “We do not want to talk about people, but with people, and show them how beautiful and culturally diverse our city is,” Semmeling says. C-Amsterdam would scale back the number of television channels from three (AT5 and Salto 1 & 2) to one, and reduce the number of publicly funded Amsterdam radio stations to three (C-Amsterdam Radio, Funx Amsterdam, and one open access radio station).

The city council have urged C-Amsterdam to seek cooperation with AT5 and Salto. Currently, AT5 provides the local news service on TV and online (on behalf of POA), while Salto manages public access programming on several radio and TV channels. The POA receives an annual subsidy of €3.6m for this.

The Commissariaat van de Media will decide who receives the concession after advice from the Alderman responsible for media, Touria Meliani. The two candidates have been given until 1 November to see if they can jointly submit an application. If the POA and C-Amsterdam do not make a joint application, Meliani will make a choice between them, after which it will be put to the municipal council for consideration. The alderman has asked the Commissariaat for postponement on the decision until 19 March 2019.


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