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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  31 documented relatively little bias at the station, and it was a slant against the state’s governing party, PAN. The family patriarch of Grupo Intermedia, journalist Arnoldo Cabada de la O of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, petitioned President José López Portillo directly for his first broadcast concession in 1979 after he won a public service prize for a news program. During the program, callers offered services and products for the down-and-out. The show made Cabada an institution in Ciudad Juárez, but did not endear him to the owner of Televisa’s local affiliate, where Cabada rented airtime. The journalist and concessionaire argued over the credit and prize money, and Cabada eventually left the station. That is when Cabada approached López Portillo for a concession to open a new station. But even with the president’s blessing, the Communications and Transportation Secretariat blocked him because, son Luis Arnoldo Cabada says, he was not part of a powerful media family. When Cabada told the president, López Portillo personally ordered the secretary to award the concession. Fourteen years after the first concession, Cabada and his sons tried to participate in the Carlos Salinas administration’s privatization of the state-owned network Imnevisión. The Cabadas believed bidding was fixed in the Finance Secretariat, which was in charge of privatizing state-owned enterprises as country moved toward a market-based economy. The family decided to go directly to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat, which oversees the awarding of concessions. Luis Arnoldo Cabada said secretariat officials tried to turn him away even though the official deadline had not passed. I said, “we are Mexicans and have the right,” and I said it in front of the notary and television cameraman I had brought with me. I slept in the Hotel Camino Real with the 140 applications beside me. Andrés Caso, then the assistant secretary, called us and that’s how the Mexicali station was born, as well as another in Piedras Negras, Cuahuila. Only two stations, but we applied for 140.”

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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31
documented relatively little bias at the station, and it was a slant against the state’s governing
party, PAN.
The family patriarch of Grupo Intermedia, journalist Arnoldo Cabada de la O of Ciudad
Juárez, Chihuahua, petitioned President José López Portillo directly for his first broadcast
concession in 1979 after he won a public service prize for a news program. During the program,
callers offered services and products for the down-and-out. The show made Cabada an institution
in Ciudad Juárez, but did not endear him to the owner of Televisa’s local affiliate, where Cabada
rented airtime. The journalist and concessionaire argued over the credit and prize money, and
Cabada eventually left the station. That is when Cabada approached López Portillo for a
concession to open a new station. But even with the president’s blessing, the Communications
and Transportation Secretariat blocked him because, son Luis Arnoldo Cabada says, he was not
part of a powerful media family. When Cabada told the president, López Portillo personally
ordered the secretary to award the concession.
Fourteen years after the first concession, Cabada and his sons tried to participate in the
Carlos Salinas administration’s privatization of the state-owned network Imnevisión. The
Cabadas believed bidding was fixed in the Finance Secretariat, which was in charge of
privatizing state-owned enterprises as country moved toward a market-based economy. The
family decided to go directly to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat, which
oversees the awarding of concessions. Luis Arnoldo Cabada said secretariat officials tried to turn
him away even though the official deadline had not passed.
I said, “we are Mexicans and have the right,” and I said it in front of the notary and
television cameraman I had brought with me. I slept in the Hotel Camino Real with the 140
applications beside me. Andrés Caso, then the assistant secretary, called us and that’s how
the Mexicali station was born, as well as another in Piedras Negras, Cuahuila. Only two
stations, but we applied for 140.”


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