Mexican TV launches 24-hour news network -- Brozo the clown and all
But why the clown?
That was the question I kept asking myself as I watched the launch of a 24-hour news television station here in Mexico.
Foro TV, a product of the Mexican broadcasting conglomerate Televisa, promises to feature some of this country’s leading journalists and commentators, like Hector Aguilar Camin (co-author of "In the Shadow of the Mexican Revolution: Contemporary Mexican History, 1910-1989"), Denise Dresser and Leo Zuckerman.
But it opens the morning news with Brozo the clown. What does it say about the viewing audience -- or Televisa’s perception of us -- that we might want our news from a green-haired, red-nosed jokester?
Actually, Brozo has quite a history in Mexican current events, and it hasn’t always been a laughing matter. The costumed persona of journalist Victor Trujillo is known for an irreverence that often skewered the mighty and powerful. Embattled politicians all the way up to a president’s wife have chosen him to be the recipient of exclusive interviews or campaign promos.
A few years back, Brozo stunned a high-ranking city official who was appearing as a guest on a morning show the clown hosted at the time. Brozo aired a secret videotape showing the man stuffing a briefcase and then his pockets with thousands of dollars in alleged bribe money. The man’s career was toast, and the scandal may have cost his boss, then-Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the presidency in 2006.
Brozo left morning television following the death of his wife in 2004 but is returning now to what he says will be a no-holds-barred format. Foro TV began broadcasting this week on subscription television and is only the second 24-hour news station in Mexico. The other, Milenio TV, opened in 2008. Televisa managers said they hope to distinguish themselves from Milenio with more analysis and debate.
In a recent news conference announcing the launch of Foro TV, Brozo told reporters his show would offer “everything orgasmically informative.”
--Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City
Photo: Team of reporters and analysts for Foro TV. That would be Brozo, back row, second from the right. Credit: Televisa.