Since January 1, the Italian Alessandro Salem (Palermo, 61 years old) has been in charge of Mediaset España, a communication group that two months ago sealed the merger by absorption with its parent company, Media For Europe (MFE), controlled by the family of the politician and businessman Silvio Berlusconi. This new pan-European giant, with interests in Italy, Spain and Germany, has established its headquarters in the Netherlands. With a long career in commercial television, Salem takes over from the almighty Paolo Vasile as CEO of Mediaset España, a company that has left the Spanish stock market and ceased to exist as an independent company. One of the first controversial decisions of the head of brands such as Telecinco and Cuatro, has been to withdraw from the grid Save me to transfer to the afternoon Ana Rosa Quintana, a communicator whom the left-wing parties place in the figurehead of the media right. Salem assures that this movement does not imply an ideological turn, insists that “there will be no politics” in the evening slot and maintains that the ethical code that prohibits political comments in entertainment formats will be applied to the new space. “It will be a happy and good vibes program,” she promises.
Ask. When he arrived at Mediaset, he opted for respectful, familiar and contemporary television Save me Didn’t fit on that model?
Answer. The television market has become extremely fragmented. I have in mind a general television model where Mediaset can bring the family together in front of the television. Everything can fit there. And of course, it fits Save me, an important program in the history of television. He’s had a super-successful run 14 years in a row and that’s very difficult. Almost impossible. It has that merit. the language of Save me It was adequate to what the public expected. On television there is a rule: you cannot sit back and let things wear out. It is better to try to change as much as possible and take risks. This is how the brand is protected. It is giving him a way out through the front door. Save me He has had a magnificent stage. It’s not trash TV; It is a very well done program.
Q. Is the cancellation due only to format wear? Aren’t there other items?
R. There are no other items. There are no political connotations. Save me It’s a great program, but we have a duty to start changing.
Q. The Telecinco afternoons will be in the hands of Ana Rosa Quintana, who has been with the network for a long time. To what extent is it a new model?
R. When talking about the afternoon slot, the most important thing is to entertain. An afternoon program on free-to-air television like Telecinco does not have to have political connotations, it has to entertain. It is important to recover the variety of content. We have produced a serial, Vengeance is mine that it could go in that slot, then a happy program, which will be Ana Rosa’s, and a contest.
Q. Will there be no politics in the afternoon program? Nor will there be political gatherings?
R. There will be no politics. Absolutely not. No kind of political talk.
Q. What will be the basic pillar of the program?
R. Entertain during the afternoon in a cheerful and lively way. Looking for a good vibes for the people who are at home. Television should be a means to accompany.
Q. the exit of Save me responds to a right-wing of Telecinco? Many observers consider that the morning gathering has been situated in a frontal battle against the Government in which any argument is used, even the most extreme.
R. He doesn’t respond to that. I want to do an entertainment program, neither more nor less. Our job is to entertain, not to do politics. A generalist television like ours is a television for everyone, it has to give a voice to everyone and be as independent as possible, also in the news.
Q. was it addressed to Save me the reform of the ethical code that prohibits talking about politics in entertainment programs?
R. It was addressed to all programs. Also Ana Rosa in the afternoon will have to respect it. Now we are preparing a protocol for reality shows. They are binding rules that must be followed by all producers.
Q. When and how was it communicated to Save me that the program was going to disappear?
R. It was communicated in a normal meeting. It is true that there was a leak, something that can happen in the world of television. There were many rumors before, but the communication was made in an official meeting and only after this meeting did we send the press release.
Q. Is Jorge Javier Vázquez going to take place in the future on Telecinco?
R. Absolutely. It is a talent, like all of [la productora] The TV Factory.
Q. Will they continue to contract with La Fábrica?
R. Absolutely, if they want to work with us.
Q. In such a polarized political and media scenario, where is Mediaset located?
R. I say it with a musical example: in polyphony, where everyone has the right to have a voice.
Q. Is there a shift to the right due to the fact that the current president of Mediaset España, Borja Prado, assumes orientation functions for the information line?
R. The president of Mediaset España manages institutional relations magnificently. We meet every week and talk about television, the country, what’s going on. The news is something else. They do their job as before and will continue to do so. We have to guarantee that journalists work calmly.
Q. Does that mean that the head of the news, Juan Pedro Valentín, is completely autonomous?
R. Absolutely autonomous.
Q. Who do you report to?
R. To me directly. It’s independent. We trust in your professionalism and that of all journalists.
Q. Media For Europe is based in the Netherlands. Where is the last decision line?
R. Nothing changes. MFE is a conglomerate of large European producers and distributors. We join forces to compete in a more balanced way with the American giants. It’s a holding company, the company that will represent us on the stock market as the only listed company. Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España continue to have exactly the same autonomy. No more no less. The idea is to create a large conglomerate and Spain plays a central role there for two reasons: it is a profitable company and it has an expanding market in Latin America and among Spanish-speaking audiences in the US.
Q. Why did you decide to move the headquarters to Amsterdam? Was it for tax reasons?
R. It is not a tax reason, because each company is taxed in its country. It was to have more fluid co-governance mechanisms. And that is guaranteed by Amsterdam.
Q. How is the Mediaset control panel after the departure of Paolo Vasile?
R. It is very clear: I am the CEO of Mediaset España and there is a CEO [Massimo Musolino] who leads the area of management and operations.
Q. Is he the strong man of MFE in Spain?
R. I don’t know if I’m the strong man or the weak man. I’m the one they sent from Italy.
Q. The series about Juan Carlos I, save the kingDid you have any influence on Vasile’s departure?
R. None. The series was made by a production company, but we have not broadcast it. It was given by HBO.
Q. Did Borja Prado convey his discomfort to you about that series?
R. I arrived in November to manage the transition period with the departure of Vasile and I don’t know how it was received. It was not a production for Mediaset, although it was made by Mandarina, a joint production company.
Q. In such a competitive scenario, will you be able to maintain a profit like last year, of 178 million?
R. I will do everything possible. Advertising has had a difficult two months, January and February, but it is recovering. Audience is a component of profitability. We produce audience so that audience is sold to advertising investors.
.Economy and Business in Facebook and Twitteror in our weekly newsletter