Authority plans tender for Class FM’s frequency

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The Media Council of Hungaryʼs National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has refused the request of national commercial radio station Class FM to renew its license. The authority will hold a new tender for the frequency, the NMHH announced yesterday.

If Class FM were to submit the winning bid, it would be able to continue operations, NMHH said.

Class FM’s seven-year license for the frequency expires this November. Under the law, it is entitled to apply once for a further five years, though it is not compelled to do so, the NMHH said, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. Class FM has 2.8 million listeners, according to MTI. 

Sláger Rádió Zrt. announced on May 23 that it had secured ownership of Class FM, one of the country’s largest radio stations, by buying the station’s owner, Advenio Zrt., a move which apparently took the station out of the hands of owners, who were perceived as becoming less friendly to the government.

Before the announcement, Class FM was said to be controlled by Lajos Simicska, the former media oligarch who had a falling out with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just over a year ago. The many media outlets owned by Simicska previously reported pro-government news, but since his split with Fidesz, Simicska’s media have been critical of the government.

When taking over, Michael McNutt, chairman of the board of Sláger, said that Class FM would not change its name or format, adding that his company did not have any political bias. 

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