CNT turns the page

Newspaper mogul to run Brazilian web

RIO DE JANEIRO — Central Nacional de Televisao, the smallest of the six commercial webs in Brazil, will relaunch in March as a news and entertainment web.

Entrepreneur Nelson Tanure’s media group, which includes Rio daily Jornal do Brasil and business daily Gazeta Mercantil, will oversee CNT programming for the next five years.

The family-run web has been in crisis since the death of founder and prexy Jose Carlos Martinez in a 2003 plane crash. He was the brains behind the business, programming a full range of entertainment from newscasts to variety shows.

His heirs have kept the web ticking, but, without Martinez Sr.’s expertise, the range of content has shrunk, and now about 80% of the sked is devoted to home shopping and religious programming in blocks bought by local groups.

Ratings have fallen so low that ratings agency Ibope no longer calculates them separately.

Tanure approached the Martinez family and proposed a deal. He will run programming and ad sales while the Martinezes keep technical transmission tasks. No financials for the deal were revealed.

Tanure has moved the net’s central production from Curitiba, in Southern Brazil, to Rio, and hired execs and talents.

According to the net’s new programming director Izabella Faya, it will be renamed either Rede JB or TV JB to profit from the Jornal do Brasil brand.

The new sked will focus on news to make the most of the expertise of Tanure’s group, plus entertainment shows for the youth audience.

“We believe youngsters are the true orphans of Brazilian free-to-air television, and most of them do not have access to pay TV. Our shows will be heavily focused on interactivity, using Internet tools such as YouTube and MSN,” Faya says.

New programming will feature youth show hosts Leo Almeida and Luiza Sarmento, hired away from pubcaster TVE, as well as Clodovil Hernandes, an experienced host who recently was elected federal representative.

Faya says the net also is negotiating with Boris Casoy, one of the most prominent anchorman in Brazil, who did not renew his agreement with No. 3 net TV Record.

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