The Chinese regime has paid almost $4.4 million to a Washington-based radio station to broadcast propaganda to U.S. households, new federal disclosures show.
CGTN, the global arm for China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV, has paid $4.35 million since July 2019 to WCRW, a daytime radio station covering Washington, Virginia, and Maryland, to broadcast its content for 12 hours each day.
Little known to the listeners is that Beijing controls much of what goes on air. An agreement signed this past July—and revealed in a filing with the Justice Department last week—bars the radio station from altering or shortening CGTN’s program content or inserting advertisements without express permission from the Chinese broadcaster. The contract is between WCRW and the International Communication Planning Bureau, a body ultimately overseen by the Chinese regime’s Propaganda Department.
Under the deal, the bureau receives quarterly performance data from the radio network’s owner, Virginia-based Potomac Radio Group, according to the filing, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Such reports include audience feedback and “evaluation from international organizations,” which the contract didn’t specify. The bureau can also appoint a third party to monitor the broadcast effects and conduct evaluations on a periodic basis.
WCRW’s website states that it has broadcast China Radio International, another major state-run Chinese international radio broadcaster, from Washington since 1992.
China Radio International merged with CGTN’s parent company CCTV and another national radio network in 2018 to form the China Media Group, also known as Voice of China. The ICPB sits under the China Media Group.
In 2019, Potomac Radio Group took over WCRW and a Spanish radio station from its former owner New World Radio Group, and “decided to continue the legacy programming on both radio stations,” Brian Lane, the company’s chief financial officer, told The Epoch Times.