Former Spanish government official Miguel Barroso dies at age 70

 January 14, 2024

The political and journalistic communities in Spain this weekend mourned the passing of Miguel Barroso, a former secretary of state for communication, who died Sunday at the age of 70, as El Confidencial reported.

Barroso's death was reportedly the result of a heart attack, according to the El Pais newspaper, as online outlet Publico noted.

Varied career remembered

Barroso, who served in the aforementioned governmental role during the first administration of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, also had a distinguished career as a public relations professional and as a noted journalist, according to the outlet.

As Publico notes, in the roughly one year he served in Zapatero's administration, Barroso helped facilitate massive transformations in the media landscape, particularly with regard to television broadcasting in both the public and private realms.

Specifically, Barroso championed a new statutory governance scheme for RTVE, the state-owned public radio and television corporation.

According to its terms, the state broadcasting enterprise would no longer be dependent on the particular government in control at any given moment and would have its president elected by Parliament going forward.

Further, Barroso was widely praised as the architect of a new era in private television in Spain, with the birth of two new channels occurring during his tenure.

Expansive expertise lauded

Not only will Barroso be remembered for his time in government, but his background also included time spent as the director of communication and director of the cabinet for the Ministry of Education and Science under the government of Felipe Gonzalez, as El Confiencial further noted.

He also served as press chief for Minister Jose Maria Maravall, going on later to direct the communication arm of Fnac Spain.

Toward the latter portion of his career, Barroso was the director of the Casa de America and was later tapped as CEO of global communications and advertising giant Young & Rubicam in Spain.

At the time of his death, Barroso was serving as a member of the Grupo Prisa board of directors.

Aside from his triumphs in the corporate world, Barroso was a prolific writer serving as the co-author of Cronicas Caribes, publishing two novels, and facilitating the translation of multiple works in the areas of sociology, geography, and philosophy.

Family, country left to mourn

According to Publico, Barroso leaves behind three children, two of whom were born out of his first marriage to journalist Charo Izquierdo, and one from his second marriage to Carme, Chacon, former prime minister for defense, who died in 2017.

Given his voluminous contributions to the government as well as the public and private media landscapes in Spain, Barroso will undoubtedly be remembered by legions of his countrymen, and his legacy of public service and communications prowess will assuredly endure.

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