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Zim: New FM station breaks state monopoly

25 June 2012, 17:00

Harare - Zimbabwe's first licensed commercial radio station has gone live, ending a 32-year monopoly by the state-controlled broadcaster and meeting some demands to free up the nation's airwaves ahead of proposed elections.

Star FM radio said on Monday it will broadcast hourly news bulletins and 50-second headline summaries. The station is owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers, publishers of newspaper titles loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

The 24-hour station announced a schedule strongly weighted with music programmes. When licensed last year by the Broadcasting Authority appointed by Mugabe, it was billed as Zimbabwe Talk Radio. No reasons were given for the change.

The authority was criticised for licensing a station closely linked to the main Herald daily newspaper.

Two short-lived independent stations were shut down in 2000 over allegations they were operating illegally.


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