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The Canal 2 Studio Shut Down. The Local Administration: ‘We are done with them. Good-bye!’

01 August 2019
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The local television station – Canal 2 Nisporeni, launched about 10 months before the parliamentary elections of February 2019, shut down. Lilian Zbirnea, Head of the Culture and Tourism Unit of Nisporeni District Council, on the premises of which Canal 2 Nisporeni was renting its studio, confirmed for Media-azi.md that the editorial team had left the building. Oleg Cristal, the political adviser of the Democrats’ former leader – Vladimir Plahotniuc, and owner, by documents, of Channel 2 TV, did not answer our messages.
Lilian Zbirnea specified for Media-azi.md that the office where the local TV station had its headquarters is already being used by somebody else and that the local public authorities had terminated the rental agreement with Canal 2 Nisporeni.
‘They are no longer here. We are done with them. Good-bye! (...) All their tools and equipment were removed. The office is being used by somebody else. Now some young people use it.’ said Lilian Zbirnea.
The owner of Canal 2, Oleg Cristal, did not make any comments about this information as he answered neither the calls nor the messages of the Media-azi.md reporter.
Ruslan Grabari, project manager when Canal 2 Nisporeni was launched, told Media-azi.md he was no longer responsible for the studio and that he had no idea about how things developed. In April 2018, shortly after the local station was launched, when asked by Media-azi.md whether the studio had been established for purposes related to the parliamentary elections, the journalist denied it.
‘Once the elections are over, you’ll see we’ll still be around. We won’t shut down after elections. This is really a coincidence only. We had plans. We have been thinking about it for a couple of years. And when we found the equipment, we opened.’, Ruslan Grabari told us then.
The last news published on Canal 2 Nisproreni website (which appears in a separate section on Canal 2 website) and on the Facebook page of the local station is from July 10.
Remember that Media-azi.md wrote in April 2018 that this TV station affiliated with the Democratic Party opened a local studio in the town of Nisporeni.
In fact, in its opening coverage filmed in front of its headquarters, there was also a board with the names of Canal 2, Team Media company and Noroc TV and Vocea Basarabiei TV channels. The management of Vocea Basarabiei radio and TV stations announced, via a communication published on its website, that the editorial offices of these media outlets were to take a ‘short vacation’ starting 8 July 2019. The press wrote later that these stations have actually stopped their activity.
The Executive Director of the Association of Independent Press (API), Petru Macovei, told Media-azi.md previously that the local station Canal 2 Nisporeni was opened in order to provide informational support and promote the candidate that the Democrats nominated for parliamentary elections as part of which 51 MPs were to be elected in single-member constituencies.
Remember that the former president of the PD, Vlad Plahotniuc, participated and won in the parliamentary elections of 24 February 2019 in the Nisporeni constituency. At the beginning of June (7 and 8), MPs of the PSRM and the ACUM bloc united into a new parliamentary majority, without the Democrats. Recently, V. Plahotniuc announced on its personal Facebook page that he had renounced his MP mandate.
Plahotniuc owned four television channels until May 2017. Publika TV, Prime TV, Canal 2 and Canal 3, and three radio stations – Publika FM, Muz FM and Maestro FM. Subsequently, after the legal provisions regarding the transparency of the media ownership and the limitation of the number of broadcast licenses entered into force, the company General Media Group SRL, that the aforementioned stations were part of, transferred the broadcast rights of Canal 2 and Canal 3 to Telestar SRL, administrator and founder of which is Oleg Cristal.