When the vast mayority of Telemadrid workers were threatened with layoffs last January they protested untill they saw blue in the face. And when their last day at work inevitably came they started their own channel: Tm-Ex.
Madrid has a strained relationship with its local tv channel Telemadrid. Once glorified for its extremely popular and well-made programs, the company has seen a sharply falling audience share, growing budget inconsistencies and increased criticism for being simply the voice of PP politics during the last 10 years. The dismissal of practically all staff except for the highest positions only seemed the next step in this vacillating trajectory.
But the fired staff had no plans of quietly accepting this last decision and started their own channel to show the city that they are a very capable and pride lot of people. Instead of simply reproducing Partido Popular’s statements like before their aim is now to be the voice of people who so far have gone largely unheard.
With their own cameras, computers, basic software and working from home 90 ex-Telemadrid staff –each contributing 5 euros a month to cover the basic costs- have so far covered the demonstrations of February 23rd, Iberia and Metro, released an interview with Andreu Buenafuente, and published more than 50 other videos in just over two weeks.
The results have surprised even the most optimistic members from Tm-Ex: In just 15 days the webite has received 1.3 million clicks and the videos were watched a total of 105.000 times. But most of all, it has given the volunteers their pride back. Who said Madrid local tv had no future?