Magazine article Variety

Big Man from Brazil

Magazine article Variety

Big Man from Brazil

Article excerpt

WHEN ROBERTO IRINEU MARINHO, now 65, succeeded his father, Roberto Marinho, as CEO and president of Brazil's Globo Group in 2003, he promised to continue his legacy.

But Irineu Marinho, the recipient of the 2014 Inti. Emmy Directorate Award, had a hard act to follow. Starting his career in 1925, the elder Marinho had transformed a two-newspaper publisher into Latin America's biggest media conglom. He established Brazil's first national TV network, Rede Globo, in 1965. In 1991 came Globosat, which now produces and operates 36 pay TV channels; Projac, Latin America's second-biggest studio complex, followed in 1995.

Eleven years into Roberto Irineu Marinho's mandate, the Globo Group has positively thrived. In 2005, the company made $2.3 billion. Per Eleni Marouli at IHS Technology, Globo TV advertising soared to $4.6 billion last year.

According to Marouli, Globo, its main free-to-air TV channel, has lost audience share to Google, Facebook and other online portals over the past decade, but its TV ad revenue share has hardly budged from 77% in 2005 to an estimated 72% this year.

And, when they catch fire, Globo's juggernaut telenovelas can hit stunning ratings highs. In 2012, the finale of "Brazil Avenue," a modern Cinderella tale, emptied streets, drawing 50 million viewers and punching a 56% rating, 84% share.

"Our most extraordinary hits happen when we present the public with latent issues, which haven't clearly surfaced," says Irineu Marinho. …

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