CARACAS, Venezuela – Globovision, the only opposition television news channel in Venezuela that dared to be critical of late president Hugo Chávez, was sold and its future editorial policy remains in question.
Venezuela's only private broadcast TV network in Caracas and Valencia said it is bringing in new management, which is expected to keep a critical eye on the administration but work more cooperatively with government officials.
The sale was announced on Globovision's website, though it is unclear if all of the sale documents have been signed.
Considering its past as openly embracing opposition leaders, it remains to be seen just how critical of the Chavista government the channel will be moving forward under new ownership.
Leopoldo Castillo is Globovision's main news anchor and will be one of the new managers of the channel and said content will gradually move "toward the center," according to BBC News. Castillo said he hoped the new arrangement would give the channel more access to officials.
Globovision broadcasted live speeches and gatherings from two-time opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles. The channel has been fined by the government for multiple reasons, including promoting hatred and intolerance for political reasons, which the channel dismissed as part of the government's politically motivated intimidation techniques.
Looks like it will not be looking anymore to be such a thorn on the government's side.
“The Globovision that we knew, the Globovision that we have lived with for the past 12 years, is not the one we are going to be seeing. I want to make things perfectly clear; anything else would be deceit” Castillo told reporters.
He said journalist Vladimir Villegas -- half-brother of Information Minister Ernesto Villegas -- was named news director for the channel's new leadership team.
“Some want Globovision to change completely, others no, but I can’t please everybody,” Villegas, an outspoken government critics and human rights defender, told the Venezuelan daily newspaper, in an interview published Monday in El Universal.
Apparently, Villega's politics stood in the way of the new management's moderate approach -- so he decided to not be part of it, declining to serve as news director.
He took to Twitter to announce he will not join the new team due to "differences" with the new policy directive at Globovision because "there was no consensus on programming proposals or about my skills."
Castillo maintained he was confident he could still work with Villegas and the new owner, businessman Juan Domingo Cordero "without compromising my principles or values or changing Globovision's 12 extraordinary years of history."
Outgoing director of Globovision Guillermo Zuloaga led the channel for 18 years and said in a letter to station staff, according to BBC News, that he "had mixed feelings" about the sale.
Zuloaga's son and Globovision vice-president Carlos Zuloaga, said he would be leaving the channel as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.