Chongqing to drop “red” TV

The China Times (华夏时报) reported today that Chongqing Satellite TV, which suspended commercial advertising one year ago as part of Bo Xilai’s populist campaign of red culture, will re-introduce advertising on April 2. [Read our coverage of this issue last year here and here].

On March 15, the same day Bo Xilai’s removal as Chongqing’s top leader was announced, a brief advertisement for a liquor brand was broadcast following the 30-minute official local newscast, “Chongqing Central News Daily” (重庆新闻联播). This commercial, the first appearing on Chongqing Satellite TV since the station’s “red” makeover a year ago, drove speculation that a change was in the offing. But an official about turn on advertising or “red” programming was never confirmed by the station.

Today the China Times cited a representative from the chief editor’s office at Chongqing Satellite TV as saying employees at the network had been under strict instructions not to talk about the pending makeover.

Despite these supposed restrictions, however, the China Times noted that employees seemed quite willing to talk about the changes.

“Although Chongqing Satellite TV has officially been very secretive about the re-design, many current and former employees confirmed the guesses being made outside to the reporter from this paper.”

The “complete re-design” of Chongqing Satellite TV will reportedly take place on April 2, with the re-introduction of commercial advertising and a whole new line-up of entertainment programming.

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