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Hungary Closes Regional Public Service Stations

The Media Services and Support Trust Fund (MTVA), a cooperation between Hungary’s four public media services — Magyar Rádió, Magyar Televízió, Duna Televízió, and Magyar Távirati Iroda news agency, will close all five of its regional radio studios, which make up the Régió Rádió network, on Dec. 21.

The studios will be leased out, and staff will either be made redundant or employed as correspondents for Kossuth Rádió, the national public talk and news station.

According to István Böröcz, MTVA CEO, the Régió Rádió network experienced a waning audience due to increasing competition from other local private stations.

“There was only slight interest in these programs because the need for a general theme radio station is fulfilled by the various other local stations,” said Böröcz. “In addition, in Hungary, there is no regional identity, and local identity, which stops at the county borders, is mostly limited to the place of residence, hence there was no justification in keeping the regional public service radio broadcasts operational.”

The soon-to-be-available FM and AM frequencies will be used for broadcasting a new nationwide public service magyarnóta (popular Hungarian song or urban folk music) and operetta music station, “Dankó Rádió,” from Dec. 22.

— Henrik Hargitai