September 10, 2008

Tuesday night TV in Miami was an absolute classic--and I would submit historic.  I would go so far as saying that it was historic TV programming in ANY LANGUAGE.

Readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of Jaime Bayly.  To be sure, I don't always agree with the political analysis he presents on his show (for example, I don't agree with his opinions of Michelle Obama or Sarah Palin).  I enjoy watching Bayly because of his audacity and his generally libertarian attitude, and certainly because of his unique nature on television--again, English or Spanish.  I'm certainly not privy to what went on between Bayly and his former Telemundo bosses who dumped him a few years ago but I can see clearly why TV in the U.S. is better because of his intelligence, insights and articulate delivery.

For those of you who don't live in Miami, or don't get DirecTV, Bayly had a classic meltdown on Monday night, when he railed incessantly against his bosses at SBS for a lot of reasons, babbling about how upset he was with his contract re-negotiations and the "freezing" studio where his show takes place.  It was, as they say, a sight to be seen.  And what happened next was just as remarkable.  Cynthia Hudson, the GM of the station on which his show airs, Miami's and SBS-owned Mega TV, finally had had enough and threw him off the air (switching to old programming after a commercial break).

If you thought the drama ended there, think again.  The next night, Bayly was back on the air at his regularly-scheduled slot, having one of the most interesting interviews he's ever had: Cynthia Hudson.  It was historic.  Bayly was having a conversation with the very person who had shut him up the night before. 

The conversation between Bayly and Hudson was remarkable and enlightening on several fronts but the very fact that it was happening was amazing.  In the end, Bayly and Hudson made peace but it conjured up images of the unthinkable: David Letterman bitching to Leslie Moonves (CBS head-honcho) about being treated unfairly by the network.  It has never happened and I don't think it ever will.   But the on-air conversation was also remarkable because Hudson took advantage of the time by throwing in some interesting demographic nuggets about Bayly's viewers (cleverly done, by the way).

This was no ratings sweeps month (and I'm sure Hudson wished it had been) because Bayly was the king of Miami TV Tuesday night with a 12.8 rating, beating every program at the 10pm hour in Miami--English or Spanish--except Telemundo's boobs-inspired  "Sin Senos no hay Paraiso."  I don't want to get carried away with ratings but this certainly confirms what I've sensed about Bayly before: he has fans.  And they're passionate.  And I think they had something to do with the fact that Bayly was back on the air and not fired.

Consumers in general, as we know, are moving in all directions when it comes to media consumption and we marketers need to follow them.  Bayly proves once again that's it more than just ratings.  It's about quality and it's about passionate engagement.  It's why I subscribe to the "emotional connection moments" philosophy of media strategizing.  Look for those times and places where emotions run high, and you will find great opportunities to tell your story.  Look for quality TV programming and you will run into Jaime Bayley.


I missed Bayly's "pataleta" on Monday but watched on Tuesday a formidable example of intelligent dialogue between two experienced media professionals--what a treat! I agree with Cynthia in applauding Raul Alarcon for investing in a local outlet and providing a platform for multi-latin talent to flourish.

Thanks for writing about this, Manny. I happen to be in Miami this week and though I missed Jaime Bayly on Monday, caught the Tuesday show. It was amazing. He was brilliant, his usual articulate, fast-thinking, quick come-back self. Cynthia Hudson, by comparison, seemed to stumble over her words. If Spanish language TV carried shows like his on cable, I would watch a lot more Spanish TV. Jaime Bayly does definitely rock!!

I totally agree with you Manny. I consider myself another huge fan of Bayly, and I just love the "cojones" he has to say the things he says. I love his freedom, and more I love this country for letting us enjoy this kind of criticism, and the rush of a real editorial. I still wonder why Telemundo was so coward to fire him... Our Spanish networks have the obligation to show every side, we need more of Bayly or TV shows like it. Think CNN with Lou Dobbs, Fox with Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck among others. Their views not represent "everybody" but it's great to watch them discuss every situation. Sometime you just love them, other times you just hate them, but that's part of the fun, part of our great democracy. Jaime... KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.... KEEP US ALIVE!!!

Manny: I am sorry to have missed the two broadcasts. Just want to say that I am also a long time admirer of Jaime Bayly back from his CBS Telenoticias days. I witnessed some brilliant , dramatic interviews then. Glad to know that he is back on the air after his latest protest, because he definitely does contribute to intelligent programming and entertainment. Mary C. Miqueli

It was that Monday that I erased it from my Tivo but I was able to check it on YouTube. But you are correct the interview with Cynthia Hudson was INCREDIBLE... Jaime is so smart and his interviews are fulfilling, you never know what to expect from him and that is why makes him interesting. I am surprised he had such a wide audience but I am glad I am one of them.

Dude, Bayly is NOT LIBERTARIAN AT ALL! He represents THE WORSE in Latino TV he always has a recist attitude towards non-whites. Refering to Obama as "negrito" and calling her mother "insane" for having had an African husband is not my idea of progressive. He represents the thinking of the Latino THE OLD SCHOOL. You know, the one that still calls Spain "Madre Patria" (jajaja el pais mas racista de Europa y le llaman Madre) and that still thinks the whiter you are the better person you are. It is disgusting to see the tufillo a asco with which he interviews people that are what peruvians call "cholos." Hahahahaha! What intelligence dude? Don't make me laugh cuz it hurts my ribs. Just because he has wrote a couple of books where he exploits the weaknesses and vices of the people closests to him by talking about their perversions on his books DOES NOT make him intelligent. JUSTS MAKES HIM A CHISMOSO. Capote, he ain't. Throughout his career in USA TV all he's been and I am sure he will be is A BIG CHUPAMEDIAS of the cuban exile in Miami.

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