Roberto Navarro had a meteoric growth as a media entrepreneur in the presidential administration of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner, who subsidized him to set up a multimedia with money from the national official advertising and also from the Buenos Aires government of Axel Kicillof, which this Wednesday will launch El Destape TV, its new television news channel.
Navarro publicly complained in March 2020 that he had an agreement to be subsidized with official advertising from the government of Alberto Fernández, but that "in these first three months the Government did not comply." And he said that this could cause the closure of the news portal, the radio and the program that they transmitted on Youtube.
For that agreement, which after that complaint fulfilled the national government, the multimedia created in 2018 by the businessman and journalist ultra K had an increase in official advertising of 695% in two years, going from receiving $ 55 million in official advertising in 2020, to $ 168 million the following year and $ 437 million in 2022.
The Government has just published the official advertising data for the eight months from May to December of last year, where El Destape received $ 348 million, of which $ 285 million were for its digital platform and $ 63 million for its radio.
To those months, half of what they gave him in the previous eight months was added – to complete the 2022 data – which is the dissemination mechanism used by the Cabinet Office to present its official advertising data.
According to these official figures, El Destape had an evolution in the official advertising it receives from the national government that does not correspond to the criteria established in current regulations: scope of the medium, relevance of the message, geographical area, promotion of pluralism and diversity of voices, gender equity and not having sanctions from the National Communications Agency (ENaCom).
It is that Navarro heads a group of media that have an ultrakirchnerist militancy, very close to Cristina Kirchner, as well as Axel Kicillof, who also gave him another $ 518 million in official advertising of the Buenos Aires government, between February 2020 and August 2022, ranking second among those who received more guidance from the Kicillof management, according to journalist José Crettaz in the newspaper La Nación.
With that money, Navarro launched last December El Destape Mundo, on AM 1070 that was Radio El Mundo. And the previous month it launched its audiovisual platform El Destape sin Fin, with a studio of eight producers, five community managers and twenty cameras, to disseminate all the information of the live transmissions of El Destape Radio on Youtube and all social networks.
Now it is preparing to launch the channel El Destape TV, which is actually its audiovisual platform El Destape Sin Fin, which will begin to broadcast through some cable operators, while ENaCom benefited it and intends that all Pay-TV operators include it in their news channel grids.
The new Sergio Szpolski?
Some media industry specialists wonder if Navarro is not becoming the new Sergio Szpolski of Kirchnerist communication.
Fifteen years ago Szpolski also began to build a multimedia with money from official advertising. But his empire disintegrated between 2015 and 2016, after Cristina Kirchner broke with the sector of the spies managed by Jaime Stiuso -very close to Szpolski-, to which it was added that he stopped being benefited with official guidelines by the change of Government.
Navarro's ascent and Szpolski's descent movements were almost simultaneously.
Sergio Szpolski in the 2015 campaign, candidate for mayor of Tigre of the Front for Victory.
First was the decline of Szpolski, whom Cristina Kirchner promoted as a candidate for mayor of Tigre in the 2015 elections -which he lost-, while asking Cristóbal López and Fabián de Sousa to incorporate that other media entrepreneur K to his multimedia.
Faced with the vacuum generated in this militant communication, an increasingly oiled link appeared with Navarro, who at that time had two programs on C5N and one on Radio 10, of Grupo Indalo, of the Kirchnerist businessmen López and De Sousa; although it lasted a short time, before the "entrepreneurial spirit" of Navarro.
"The government managed to get me fired," Navarro reported in September 2017, when he was kicked out of C5N and Radio 10 after falling out with one of the channel's managers, Federico Maya. He added: "It's a change of era and they're going for more. Everything indicates that what Macri intends to do in the coming times needs the complicity of silence. We are facing a precarious democracy."
A few months later, Navarro began to build his own multimedia, from his news portal, the program that went on to broadcast on YouTube and, with the assumption of Alberto Fernández, Cristina Kirchner and Axel Kicillof, the hundreds of millions of pesos of official advertising.
Navarro had started on TV with El Destape on CN23, Szpolski's news channel. And in 2013 he moved that program to C5N, in a similar path to what Szpolski would later do.
Szpolski sold CN23, the free newspaper El Argentino and 50% of Radio Vorterix (associated with Mario Pergolini) to López and De Sousa, at the beginning of 2016, becoming since then a minority shareholder and one of the directors of Grupo Indalo.
Both Szpolski and Navarro always referenced Hernán Reibel Maier, Cristina Kirchner's spokesman. And both Kirchner businessmen financed themselves with hundreds of millions of pesos from official advertising.
We will have to see if the change of government, at the end of the year, generates a situation similar to what happened with Szpolski or if we are in the presence of a K media entrepreneur who can sustain himself without official subsidies.
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