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The ‘Spanish Oprah’ — Cristina Saralegui — Says Univision Wasn’t Quite Accurate When It Said She Was Retiring. She Claims She Was Fired, Because She Controlled Her Show and ‘Because I am old’

Nov 1, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Cristina Saralegui, called "The Spanish Oprah" and the host of Univision’s "El Show de Cristina," tells the Los Angeles Times that contrary to Univision’s claim she is retiring, the TV network fired her.

According to the article, Saralegui said that Univision told her that they "wanted to give the network a new image. They want new people. I also was the only person in the entire network that had complete creative control over a show. And because of that, and because I’m old, I lost my job."

Though, oddly, the article doesn’t say how old Saralegui is, a Wikipedia entry on her pegs her age at 62.

The article does say that, "This season, the ratings in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic are down 13%, though the show still attracts more than 2 million viewers a week."

Instead of retiring, however, Saralegui says she’ll be back on television in March, although she can’t disclose where or what it is until her Univision contract ends on Dec. 31. "El Show de Cristina" has an estimated audience of 100 million viewers worldwide and started as a daily talk show in 1989, shifting to a weekly format in 2001.

Since getting the boot, she says, "Pretty much every company with the syllable ‘tele’ in it has contacted me. I’m considering doing radio again. I’ve been offered two book deals, which I’m going to do. There are even some magazine offers. But I already have a new job — and much better than the last one."

Saralegui’s final episode on Univison airs today, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, and will include guests such as Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Cuban actor Cesar Evora and Don Francisco of "Sabado Gigante," the story notes.

The article also says that "A Univision spokeswoman declined to make executives available for an interview Friday, opting to release part of the same statement [it had orginally released about Saralegui’s departure]."

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