Thursday, July 7

Changes in the leadership of COPE




Ábside Media —the media group that encompasses the main Church media, with COPE and Trece TV at the head— is preparing changes that will redefine its leadership starting in July. The current president and CEO, Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, will leave both responsibilities to focus on the economic management of the Episcopal Conference.

in the presidencyfrom now on representative, José Luis Restán will replace himcurrent editorial director of COPE, and the new CEO will be the general director of the chain until now, Javier Visiers.

The decision, formulated in the executive commission of the Episcopal Conference, will have to be ratified next Thursday 30 by the general meeting of shareholders and the board of directors of Ábside Media, as ABC has learned.

The Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) is the largest shareholder of the group, along with other ecclesial institutions such as religious congregations, dioceses and Catholic universities.

The decision implies that Giménez Barriocanal leaves his direct responsibility in Ábside to focus entirely on the deputy secretary for economic affairs of the Episcopal Conference (CEE), a responsibility he has held since 2005. However, that does not completely distance him from the ecclesial media. From now on, the deputy secretary for economic affairs will have a new competence: the representation of the CEE in the media in which it is the majority shareholder, as is the case of Ábside Media.

Of the two positions that Giménez Barriocanal leaves, the presidency will no longer have executive functions and will be assumed by José Luis Restán, who is currently the editorial director of COPE and responsible for religious programming. In this way, it is sought that the presidency of the communicative group has an institutional profile.

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On the other hand, Javier Visiers Lecanda, current CEO of Cadena COPE, will remain as a strong man in the executive section. Visiers will assume direct management of Ábside Media and will report to the majority shareholder, the Episcopal Conference, through the deputy secretary for economic affairs headed by Barriocanal.

Visiers’ career has been linked to the COPE network since 1999, where he began as head of news at the Guadalajara station. In recent years, he has been Giménez Barriocanal’s right-hand man and has risen in various positions of responsibility to the general management of the station, which he reached in January 2021. Now he will be the sole CEO, after the departure of Giménez Bariocanal and the upcoming retirement of Ignacio Armenteros.

Giménez Barriocanal, who is also a professor of Economics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, has simultaneously managed the economic management of the Episcopal Conference and the presidency of COPE (now Ábside Media) since 2010. A stage in which has turned the chain of the bishops into the second most listened to radioclosing ground in each EGM with SER, its main competitor.

His management has been key in the signing of the SER sports team and that of Carlos Herrera, protagonist of the morning slot, the most listened to on the station. During this time, Trece TV has also been redefined, to give it its own entity by bringing together all the diocesan television stations in a single channel. Both on the radio and on television has generated a model that combines general content with religious spaces.

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