Ximo Rovira He is one of the best known television presenters in the Valencian Community. It reached its highest degree of popularity thanks to the controversy gossip show raffle, which he presented between 1997 and 2004, first only on the Valencian public channel Channel 9. Space was a great audience success and its formula was then copied by private televisions, but it was also the subject of multiple criticisms and became a paradigm of so-called trash television in Spain.
The board of directors of the Valencian Media Corporation, which includes the television À Punt, born in 2016 after the closure of Canal 9 in 2013, rejected last week, by cinco vote a cuatro, that Ximo Rovira, 61, will present the new season of the contest Catch me if you can (Catch me if you can). The interim chairman of the board, Mar Iglesias, explains the reasons and points out some interpretations: “There has never been a veto, and the great professionalism of Ximo Rovira has not been questioned, but we want to avoid the Valencian audiovisual memory that is linked to trash TV and the past of Channel 9. We asked for new faces, faces that do not remind us of the old Channel 9, that have a different air, that refer to the future. And it was considered that his image is associated with trash television and has damaged this new image of the channel, “he told this newspaper on Thursday. The board of directors approved yesterday, Wednesday, that comedian Óscar Tramoyeres presents the space produced by Mediapro, which is also broadcast by other regional channels.
“It’s not the image that is targeted, there is a notoriety behind it and we have a strategic direction for the brand”, insists the journalist and professor at the University of Alicante. And Rovira, underlines what was his partner on Ràdio 9, is a presenter with many more connotations than Màxim Huerta, for example, who remains on the grid and also previously worked on Channel 9.
The fade to black of this channel was decreed by Alberto Fabra, successor to Francisco Camps, José Luis Olivas and Eduardo Zaplana as president of the Generalitat, all from the PP. He made the decision when the Superior Court of Justice ruled void the ERE presented to reduce a workforce of nearly 1,200 workers in a chain involved in multiple scandals of manipulation of information and corruption, with galloping debt of 1,200 million euros.
Image and audience
The choice of Ximo Rovira for catch Me If You Can he came from the competition’s production company replacing Carolina Ferre and received the approval of À Punt’s general management, which is directed by Alfred Costa, and of the content and program departments. “In this case, the image of the network weighs more than the increase in audience. And the board has the power to decide those things, as our law establishes, we do that every week,” says Iglesias. He adds that the body is made up of “professionals from the world of communication, not politicians”, elected by the Valencian courts, under the law creating the new media corporation approved in 2015 with the arrival of the left in government of the Generalitat, formed by the PSPV-PSOE and Compromís, and later joined by Unides Podem.
Rovira describes as “arbitrary” the decision of the council that he considers “worrying”, as well as the fact that the interpretation of Valencian society of what is “audiovisual memory” is assumed. “18 years ago it ended raffle and I have worked for 38 years and I pay all my bills”, says the journalist, who says he feels “great sadness” not to return to what he considers his home as a presenter. “What is the professional criterion that has been followed if an expert production company like Mediapro, the general management of A Punt and its departments endorse my choice and if the council itself also says that I am a great professional?” wonders the journalist who now presents a show on Levante TV. “It’s prejudice, not a professional decision,” he says.
The journalist assures that he has no debt to pay for his work as a host in raffle, which could also be seen in other Spanish channels. “It was a show that did very well and made a lot of money for the network, which shouldn’t have been done on public television, but on private television. But those were other times, with a different conception of television. We were in competition with the programs of [Xavier] Sardá, by Lina Morgan, and we won”. “But all of that was 18 years ago. In short, what I feel is great sadness,” he says.
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