On 4 August 2005, SARFT issued the “SARFT Notice concerning Further Strengthening Radio and Television Channel Management” to all provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio and television bureaus (offices), the “Notice” pointed out that, since recent times, the phenomena of covert rental and transfer of radio and television channels and frequencies, timeslots and columns (hereafter jointly named channels) had appeared in some radio stations and television stations, which resulted in the weakening of propaganda editing powers and commercial control, and influenced radio and television propaganda security and operational order. In order to adapt to the requirements of dynamic development, further strengthen radio and television channel management and realistically guarantee the healthy and orderly development of radio and television, the following is notified:
I, According to the provisions of the “Radio and Television Management Regulations” (State Council Decree No. 228), the “Some Provisions concerning Non-Public Capital Entering the Cultural Industries” (GF No. (2005) 10) and other corresponding laws and regulations, radio stations and television stations may not rent out or transfer broadcast timeslots, non-public capital, foreign capital and foreign-backed capital may not in any way be invested into commercial radio and television channel, and may not covertly enter into radio and television channels and propaganda or editorial business through commercial activities.
II, Under the presupposition of closely grasping the power to appoint main leading cadres, the power to make policy decisions on major matters, the power to control asset deployment and the power of final adjudication over propaganda content, radio stations and television stations may divest the programming production business in music, science and technology, sports, entertainment, etc., and their advertising agency business, and establish companies to operate them. Radio stations and television stations establishing commercial programme production and advertising agency companies, shall put cash up for this, and may not use channel resources, business, brands, etc., to put up capital or establish companies under collaborative conditions. With SARFT approval, and under the presupposition that radio stations or television stations hold 51% of shares or more, the above programming production companies and commercial advertising agency companies may attract non-public capital to invest in shares, but the investing side may not participate in propaganda and editorial business.
III, Radio stations and television stations must completely grasp the propaganda and editorial power over channel orientation, column setup, organizational arrangement, investigation of broadcast, etc., and the power to make commercial policies in advertising pricing, timeslot arrangement, investigation of announcements, etc. On the basis of grasping programme planning (including categories, styles and content) and the power to lead production business, radio stations and television stations cooperate with social organs through cooperation, entrustment and other methods to produce radio and television programmes other than current affairs, news and similar special subjects or column programmes. Radio and television advertising agency enterprises may put forward opinions concerning concrete advertising broadcast time arrangements, but may not at the same time provide radio and television programmes corresponding to the advertising timeslots they act as agents for to broadcasting organs, they may not participate or influence radio and television propaganda and editing business in any way.
IV, All levels’ radio and television departments must complete inspection and standardization work according to the requirements of this Notice. Where non-public capital, foreign capital or foreign-backed capital participates in cooperative channel running, the contract must be terminated, and the aftermath matters appropriately handled; cases of commerce in violation of regulations and covertly entering propaganda and editorial business covertly through programme, advertising agency and other methods, must be rectified and standardized; where no contract or agreement has been signed, matters must be ceased without exception. Before 15 October, all levels’ radio stations and television stations are required to conduct self-examination and self-rectification according to this Notice, provincial-level administrative radio and television departments are responsible for examination and inspection work, those not conform to requirements must be supervised in completing rectification. Radio stations and television stations that do not complete self-examination and self-rectification, reform and standardization work on time, must be given the punishment of a warning according to the Central Propaganda Department and SARFT “Opinions concerning Establishing a Warning System for Radio and Television Broadcasting Organs Violating Discipline and Violating Regulations”; where circumstances are grave and have not been rectified according to requirements, they will be punished with cancelation of the channel according to the provisions of the “Radio and Televisions Management Regulations”.
V, Strengthening management over radio and television channels, has a strong political nature and policy nature with regards to the Party’s control over the core resources of the media, and our country’s ideological security, it must be given high regard with a firm attitude, and must be careful and meticulous, paying attention to method. All levels’ administrative radio and television departments, radio stations and television stations must further strengthen a political consciousness, a consciousness of the larger picture, a sense of responsibility, a sense of the battlefield, make this work into a serious political task, and realistically grasp it well. Before the end of October, all provincial-level radio administrative radio and television departments will report the examination and rectification situation to SARFT, SARFT will conduct examination on a nationwide scope.
All localities are requested to timely report relevant situations and problems encountered in inspection and rectification work to SARFT.