JRTV ditches two channels

The Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) has undertaken a controversial facelift by ditching two of its three channels in favour of one 24-hour superchannel. The new channel promises to combine a range of programmes to cater for the needs of the whole spectrum of society.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  February 6, 2001

The Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) has undertaken a controversial facelift by ditching two of its three channels in favour of one 24-hour superchannel.

The new channel promises to combine a range of programmes from the previous three channels and claims to cater for the needs of the whole spectrum of society.

The move comes as JRTV battles to restructure the indebted and overstaffed corporation. The latest development will see the amalgamation of JTV's Arabic station Channel 1, the English and French Channel 2 and Channel 3.

However, many viewers in Jordan are expressing their outrage at the changes and are pleading with JTV to switch Channel 2 back on as soon as possible.

Talking to the Jordan Times, JRTVC’s Director Nart Bouran insisted Channel 2 is not being scrapped, though the format is likely to be quite different to what viewers are used to.

"We are not shutting down Channel 2, but rather redirecting its purpose to transmit live sports events which the corporation already pays rights to air, but does not have the time to transmit," said Nart Bouran, Director of JRTVC.

The corporation say that the new Channel 2 would devote at least two hours a day to sport, with the rest of the programming being made up by Parliament sessions and other special one-off events.

The launch of the new superchannel follows reports that JRTVC is around JD5 million in the red and is faced with an overstaffing crisis, dishing out JD10 million of its annual JD12 million budget on salaries for its 3,200 employees.

As well as curbing this spending, JRTV hopes that the new channel will win the Jordanian audience back from satellite channels by delivering better quality programming and a more credible news service.

"The news agenda will be given priority and improved in a move to give people a taste of what is to come,” explained Bouran.

In terms of the existing staff at the station, Bouran said that training would be given to those working on certain programmes in order to produce better quality shows for JTV's audience.

JTVC's new board of directors were brought in last year to ease the corporation's financial situation and plan to air a major part of the superchannel on its satellite channel alongside documentaries which promote Jordan's economic sectors like tourism.

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