Official Confirmed Merge of CCTV, CNR and CRI

Reports of the biggest merger to form a new TV-radio group at State level were confirmed Friday at a news briefing by Xu Guangchun, minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

"The blueprint for regrouping and for integrating resources of the radio, film and TV sectors at State level has already been worked out and is now waiting for final go-ahead from the State Council and the Party leaders,'' said Xu, without revealing details of the regrouping plan.

Speculation has been mounting that a TV-radio broadcasting group, the largest of its kind in China -- made up of China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio (CNR) and China Radio International (CRI) -- will be put together this month.

"The media industry is hot in China today. Development in Chinese media industry attracts attention from both industry insiders and Chinese leaders,'' Xu said.

"Bolder reforms in China's radio, film and TV sectors reflect the demands of the growing Chinese media industry itself, the requirement from the Party, and also a positive, or even aggressive response to new, global trends in the media industry.''

Dramatic changes are taking place in the fields of international politics, economy, culture, and science and technology, Xu said.

"China must adjust itself to the new trends and situations by taking advantage of new technologies in such areas as radio, TV, film and the Internet, in a bid to help enrich the cultural life of Chinese people and to inspire people's patriotic enthusiasm, so as to accomplish ambitious goals set by the National People's Congress and the Party,'' Xu explained.

The upcoming regrouping measures will significantly change the Chinese media industry in terms of structure, scale, efficiency and competitive edge, with the birth of several Chinese media giants, Xu said.

So far China has set up five regional radio, film and TV groups in Beijing, Shanghai, and in the provinces of Hunan, Shandong and Jiangsu while reforms in print media are also deepening with the establishment of 16 major newspaper groups across the country, according to Xu.

Xu hinted that the next-step reform will encourage the formation of "gigantic Chinese multimedia, or cross-media groups.''

Also at the news briefing, CCTV President Zhao Huayong announced that two more public TV channels -- one specializing in Peking Opera and other traditional, local operas, another specializing in pop science -- will go on air from Monday morning. "These will cater to the diversified needs of massive Chinese TV audiences,'' he said.

People's Daily Online ---