The interim president of Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE), Elena Sánchez, has promised the trade unions that she will reduce the contracting of external production companies and give priority to the Corporation’s own professionals. This is one of the most criticised issues in recent years by the staff, who regret that the management has to resort to million-dollar contracts.
Since his appointment, Sánchez has justified this to the lack of staff which, in his opinion, has prevented the use of internal resources to develop audiovisual projects. An obstacle that may have its days numbered, if the competitive examinations – the first since 2007, with 1,082 permanent staff positions – are held in the coming months to cover retirement departures, as planned.
To ensure a viable model backed internally, Sánchez has signed an initial protocol with UGT and the Independent Communication and Broadcasting Union (SI) – which represent the social majority of the Corporation – and the Intercentres Committee, which includes “the main lines for the recovery of in-house production in the current audiovisual environment”, with the aim of “improving the quality of content” and resulting in “a gradual decrease in the levels of outsourcing in those areas where it is possible”.
This document, to which this newspaper has had access, sets out the commitment to produce in-house: La Hora de La 1 -which until now it co-produced with Teseeo-; an afternoon programme from Monday to Friday; a cultural magazine to be broadcast on La 2 from Monday to Thursday from October; a weekly programme of reports on the objectives of digitalisation, with the support of European Next Generation funds; and the competition El Cazador from the first quarter of 2024 -currently produced by Mediacrest-, among others.
Against a backdrop of internal tension over this issue, Sánchez has agreed with employee representatives to give them a greater say and offer them greater transparency on contracting.
Specifically, the interim president has signed a commitment to “inform them of the conditions of any contract relating to the external or mixed production of current affairs programmes“, as well as to create, as of 1 October, an Evaluation Committee for external and mixed production, made up of management and employee representatives, to analyse the achievement of specific objectives in each of the projects and to study new programmes that could be taken on internally.
According to the signed protocol, the proposals regarding the content plan must be approved by RTVE’s Board of Directors.