Televisa shelves its tabloid news show

MEXICO CITY — Televisa is following TV Azteca’s lead and is pulling its own tabloid news show off the air.

Anchor Jacobo Zabludovsy announced last week during the nightly news that broadcasts of “Fuera de la Ley” (Outside the Law) would end Nov. 21.

Zabludovsy said the show did not fit in with Televisa’s news philosophy. Televisa has not yet issued a formal statement.

Televisa’s decision came on the heels of TV Azteca’s announcement that it would pull one of its most popular programs, “Ciudad Desnuda” (Naked City), off the air (Daily Variety, Nov. 6) .

Both shows borrowed their format and style from U.S. police and crime shows in the U.S.

Azteca said its decision was in response to pressure from social groups who objected to the shows’ portrayal of violent content, and denied that the government forced their hand.

Government officials, including President Ernesto Zedillo, politicians and social commentators recently have criticized broadcasters for graphic and sensationalistic crime coverage that they claim promotes more crime.

Azteca news director Sergio Sarmiento told a news conference last week that the decision to ax this show does not mean the news department will pull back from its aggressive coverage of crime and police issues.

However, in a newspaper column Friday, Sarmiento blasted Mexico’s upper-to-middle classes — in which he included Mexico’s politicians — for not wanting to see the country’s reality of crime and poverty.

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