If you tuned in to get the nightly news on Wednesday you may have had to make a double-take, look down on your remote (or if still using the analog set) get up and make sure you had the channel right to your favorite news channel. Why?
In conjunction with the analog shutdown that occurred on Wednesday, the anchors of the two rival television channels, Ignacio Santos of Teletica channel 7 and Jerry Alfaro of Repretel channel 6, decided to switch places.
At 7:30 pm, Repretel fans saw Santos at the anchor desk, while fans of Telenoticias had Jerry Alfaro. Nothing changed in the broadcasts – the intro music, the backdrops and the reports, only the anchors: Santos sitting in the La Uruca station, while rival Alfaro sitting in La Sabana.
The alleged rivalry was set aside, for a few minutes.
It is obvious that the broadcasts had been previously recorded, as the images switched from Santos and Alfaro behind, first the Repretel news desk and then the Telenoticias.
“Muy buenas noches. It is a true honor to be here tonight. Thank you for receiving us at your home,” Santos greeted the audience of channel 6 and his colleague, while the music of Repretel News was playing in the background.
“This is evidence that there are many more things that unite us, than those that can divide us,” Alfaro added while broadcasting from the channel 7 news anchor desk. To this, Ignacio Santos added: “And not only as colleagues. That is a principle that should guide us all as Costa Ricans.”
Then, both anchors referred to the improvements that users will see with analog blackout, to give way to digital television.
The post analog
In an interview with Viva by La Nacion following the broadcast, Santos explained: “It was an agreement between the television stations to do something together with the issue of the analog blackout, so Jerry and I met and we came up with the idea. It was a proposal from us that Jerry thought was very good, and we did it”.
“I have no rivalry with my colleagues because there are more things that unite us than those that separate us. Everyone tries to do the best they can and yes, there is a healthy competition, but that does not reach rivalry. It is a competition in which everyone decides to do things in the best way,” Santos said.
Jerry Alfaro said, on the other hand, that the importance of what will on Costa Rican open television deserved the encounter between him and his colleague on 7.
“The meaning is marked by the historical fact that we are going live tonight (Wednesday’s) with the analog blackout, to welcome you to digital television. That united us to both television stations, in the sense of being able to give the country that message so that people dimension the importance of that change, which is a historical milestone. We, as journalists, are joined by many things, and this should not surprise us, because we are interested in the welfare of our country,” said Alfaro. “Yes we felt a little strange, but, in the end, we managed to coordinate so well, that I felt very comfortable on the Telenoticias set.”
Similar to Santos, Alfaro talked about healthy competition and not rivalry. “I agree that we have a healthy, healthy competition. A competition in which the news consumer benefit (…) People should know that the differences we can have are professional, but that they do not go beyond being simple things that we have always solved, with transparent conversations in an open and forward relationship,” Alfaro concluded.