The Chinese Communist Party's propaganda paid a Washington, D.C.-area radio station $4.4 million over the last several years to broadcast Chinese messaging, according to foreign agent disclosure filings.
The Potomac Media Group, headquartered in Virginia, disclosed its contract with the CCP's International Communication Planning Bureau in filings submitted to thee Department of Justice.
The documents, initially reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, reveal that the group's radio station – WCRW – airs content from China Global Television Network, including a series of talk shows that portray China positively.
According to the contract, the CCP's Communication Planning Bureau – a branch of the party's Propaganda Department – can review and verify the information shared during broadcasts. And the media company is also required to provide the CCP with reports on programming metrics and audience feedback.
The $4.4 million in payments cover the time period from July 2019 to August 2021 and account for social media promotion, production of a talk show called The Bridge, and broadcasting China Global Television Network (CGTN) content.
According to the Beacon, WCRW has broadcast material from China Radio International, a state-run organization, for nearly three decades, though this is the first time the station is registering with the DOJ as a foreign agent of China. CGTN was made to register with Justice as a foreign agent in February 2019.