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ARGENTINA | 05-02-2024 07:12

Milei hands Cabinet chief control of the media, more power to sister

President Milei increases power of Nicolás Posse and Karina Milei, designating them in charge of public media and communication; All state outlets placed under one-year public trusteeship in second decree.

President Javier Milei has increased the power of two of his closest allies in government, awarding them greater control over state media and communication.

By emergency decree last Friday, Milei transferred the “managing and controlling the media under the responsibility of the Executive Branch” to Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse.

Milei’s sister, Secretary General to the Presidency Karina Milei, was also put in charge of government communication and “institutional relationship with the media.”

According to last Friday’s decree, published in the Official Gazette and amending the Ministries Law, Posse will assume control of “companies of the sector in which the State is a shareholder,” as well as “decision-making power in the guideline of policies related to National Public Media and their implementation.”

The Cabinet chief was granted the power of “managing and controlling the media” that falls under government control as well as “companies of the sector in which the State is a shareholder.”

In the restructuring, Posse was also granted “decision-making power in the guideline of policies related to National Public Media and their implementation” and given the power to “intervene in the definition of the communication and content strategy by channels and platforms for direct communication between the State and citizens.”

The move could be seen as the first true step towards the ultimate privatisation of state media, one of the issues up for congressional debate in Milei’s sweeping omnibus reform bill.

The awarding of new powers to Karina Milei in particular draws the eye. Under the changes, she will take on functions, structures and objectives that until now fell within the scope of Press and Communication Secretary Eduardo Serenellini.

The objectives to be incumbent upon her from now on, the decree writes, will include “deciding on the dissemination of the activities of the National Public Sector and State acts and their institutional relationship with the media.”

In addition, the government official will oversee “the planning, hiring and execution of the official administration’s advertising and the coordination and execution of the official decentralised advertising.”

Despite the apparent stripping away of some of his powers, Serenellini put on a brave face over the weekend, posting a photograph of himself with the President.

“Working from Olivos with the President,” posted Serenellini, accompanied by a photograph of the two together.

 

Trusteeship

The changes were announced prior to another decree published on Monday which declared all state media under public trusteeship for the next year.

The changes affect Educ,ar, Télam, Radio y Televisión Argentina and Contenidos Públicos, which includes TV Pública, Encuentro, Pakapaka, DeporTV and the Contar platform.

The Executive has appointed Diego Martín Chaher as trustee and Diego Sebastián Marías as deputy trustee, reporting to Cabinet Chief Posse. 
Chaher is a former executive of the Grupo América media group. Marías is a former City lawmaker (PRO) and member of the Magistrates’ Council.

"Both are lawyers who know more about media management than programming. The feeling is that they have come to try to reduce it [in size], to make it more efficient," sources at Radio y Television Argentina said.

Milei said the objections of the intervention include “reformulating and readjusting the companies, evaluating or modifying the personnel or approving a new statute, evaluating or modifying the regime of administration of funds, expanding or reducing budget items, modifying hiring and personnel structure, and making a comprehensive audit of the state of the facilities.”

In addition, the intervention will be in charge of "presenting accountability, appointing officials and staff, and being responsible for maintaining the sustainability of the enterprises.”


– TIMES/PERFIL/NA
 

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