Both Monserrat Álvarez and Julio César Rodríguez are only reaping what they have sown in one year and four months as the visible faces of With you in the morning.
The Chilevisión morning is already for the fifth month at the top of the rating in the morning block: without going any further this Tuesday they achieved a peak of 17 points in their broadcast, a maximum that was not recorded in the schedule four years ago.
At the same time, there is no day when they are not among the most commented topics on Twitter, and that the social networks do not take videos of both confronting a politician.
On the path that the morning has traveled and the difficulties of carrying it out in the midst of contingencies such as the social outbreak and the pandemic, both speak with La Tercera.
They have been leading the rating of the schedule for more than four months, what do you think these results are due to?
Monserrat Álvarez: It is somehow the result of the work we have been doing. The channel the truth that made a quite visionary decision in the sense that when I and Julio César summoned us to do this morning it was a morning led by journalists, who defined himself as a current morning, citizen, with contingent issues, with information So when the social outburst had already caught us, we continued doing what we had been doing, and we did not have to reformulate anything substantial. I think he caught us with a coherent project and very consistent with what has been demanded of the morning.
Julio César Rodríguez: The Monse’s point is super relevant, because the channel calls us to a shorter program, but it was eminently journalistic, remember that our program lasted until 11, and everything that had to do with the old morning shows in content was did the program that went from 11 to one (Long live the Pipol). Of course the morning needed a transition, we could not get hyper journalistic from the first day. We started doing it and we realized that the other mornings began to follow us, except Mega’s, with more journalistic themes, the themes of the day lasted longer.
Thinking about that beginning of the project, did they come with any kind of prejudice for each other because of how diverse their careers on TV have been?
MA: I know Julio from the radio of the University of Chile, the first radio station where I worked, and he was a panelist for my program, where he spoke about culture and shows. We were located. And when they offered me the snag, obviously part of why I agreed to change the channel was because the project was good and it was essential that my partner be someone I was interested in working with, and with Julio I was interested in working. I’ve been on TV for years, too many years on good projects, on bad projects, so it’s super important to know who you’re going to work with.
JCR: I had a program on the radio with Tamara Acosta called Sin pena y sin gloria, and the story was to go talk to the Monse program. There I met La Monse, but we had little relationship. I was also interested in working with her, so when her name came out I was happy. I had seen it on the morning of the 13th for example, or the program Hello and goodbye (Channel 13), and I feel that for a morning you cannot be a press host as such, because the morning has unforeseen situations, and you have to have exits . And she had those two things, she felt like we could match.
How have they complemented each other since then?
MA: I think it has been a process of getting to know each other, seeing what Julio César is like, and the times that we have had a roll, we have talked about it on the spot, and that is super good.
JCR: What I like most about the work we do is that we are very little involved with us, we do not have any kind of rivalry of any nature, neither with the hairstyle, nor the makeup, nor with the clothes, with the set, and I like that . That is good because you enter the set relaxed, I have worked in programs where the atmosphere is very tense. I have spent them all in the morning, I have been in the morning where it has given me gagging, wadding pain, like the little goats when they do not want to go to school on Mondays.
How have you been managing the program to be in tune with the contingency, thinking that before you were more inclined to the red chronicle and now it is purely political?
MA: The acid test was the theme of the social outbreak, which really caught us with baggage, we had had political panels, sometimes more sometimes less, sometimes loaded with the red chronicle, which does not suit me as much, but always some segment was current.
JCR: We had been doing the red chronicle because it was a transition that we had been doing, but every time we were adding more politics, social issues and citizens and we were bringing up the issue of the red chronicle, because it was what the channel had been doing up to there, and there was They find the body of Fernanda Maciel, and we follow it because there was the tune, you have to be honest.
How do you take people to highlight a confrontational stance in you regarding your interviewees?
MA: (Laughs) It is good and bad, it has flats because the authorities do not always like to go to our program. It is a double-edged sword, let’s say the truth.
JCRI mean, we haven’t had anyone from the government for weeks, they won’t even explain the projects to our program. But hey, they miss it because what we are going through is always better for them. We ask the questions that we have to ask, each in his own style with the Monse. We ask what we think is necessary to ask, because finally when the screen is divided into four and there are two government and two opposition politicians, for example, you know that the political class is represented with the interests of each, and there is no table a man from Lo Prado, an ordinary citizen, so my downside is saying “here are four authorities but I put myself on the feet of people who are not represented in the program”, and there we put their teeth into it. We are sometimes criticized because we are punctual, we are not punctual, what happens is that we are in that role.
MA: In this sense, we could say that our program is not a morning, in how it addresses the interviewees. What often happens is that perhaps the authorities feel that going to a morning is going to explain only, and we are interested in them explaining but we are interested in them answering the questions. Here is also an interview, where I am interested in confronting each interviewee with their contradictions and inconsistencies in their approach.
And how do you manage the balance on the screen when summoning your guests?
JCR: To set the tone I at least do not get into anything, because we managed to maintain independence. I read who goes to the program the next day. Suddenly in the guideline of course we propose, but we never cut the cake to achieve independence from what happens on the set.
MA: But we do recommend, “I do not interview this rooster because he is a good interviewee”, we also do it, but it is only to recommend.
This same of the choice of guests has drawn criticism, for example that the morning have more figures linked to the political right, do they perceive it that way?
MA: That is not true in our panel, it is a criticism that has been totally unfair, and it is not even unfair, it is a criticism that has no basis in reality. Because editorial concern is sometimes even too much because we have binomial logic in our heads, we must leave the binomial logic. In the period of the social outbreak it was super important for me to have social leaders and not only traditional politicians. Sometimes you can see a panel that suddenly one of the guests left and the right was less represented, and in a while more you put another person, but that type of calculation is a bit fancy, and judging things in appearance. But the balances are something that is decided journalistically, because for the politicians the panel will always be unbalanced.
How do you see the future of the morning? Do you think they will continue along this same line focused on contingency?
MA: I think that the mornings evolve a little according to what the countries evolve. Of course, at some point the company was asked for company and fun, and today what people are talking about is the contingency, the coronavirus, the AFP. The mornings are a bit of a reflection of social conversations, so the truth is that this morning moment will last as long as these discussions occupy our daily conversations. That’s why I laugh that this year and the next are very current years, of political discussion, so there is a lot of content to continue on this path. But you have to also watch as TV what are the demands of content that the public is having regarding this, and for that reason I think that it is not a formula that is eternal for the morning, but I do believe that it is a formula that will last quite a long time given the contingency.
Monserrat Álvarez also referred to the controversy that involves José Miguel Viñuela, marginalized from the morning Pleasure Mega after cutting the hair of a cameraman and who today is plunged into the space of competition in a deep crisis.
What do you think about what happened with José Miguel Viñuela?
I find it regrettable in every way, a somewhat unfortunate situation in all its parts, for the people, for the program, for José Miguel Viñuela, I really think that the issue from the side you look at is regrettable and I think it also shows the importance of being careful in these times.
What did you think of the team’s reaction, which has been questioned these days for letting Viñuela assume only responsibility?
I have no idea to think about that because the morning we do is so different, more journalistic, so the truth is that I do not have that experience in on-air entertainment programs with games and things like that, I do not know how it works. We are a team that is quite coordinated, we still have an important margin of editorial freedom, JC and I, but there is also an editorial framework that is scratched and that we also have by our own criteria, so it is super different, I really do not I know what could have happened there.
How do you see the situation of the animators these days? Do you think they are more exposed to the fact that their careers are so impacted by a questioned fact?
Yes, I think it is a permanent risk that every public figure has, subject to public scrutiny and that the repercussion of public and private acts is very important to keep in mind, it is a more demanding standard for public figures.
“It has to do with a global thing that is social networks and all that, but in Chile with the social situation, the outbreak and the pandemic, in some way we are experiencing a very interesting but also very polarized level of public discussion, so one also somehow falls into the dynamics of polarization before the public, then suddenly there are things, words that are misunderstood, one day they destroy you because you are a communist, another because you defend the police, but it is super strong, so it is also a mix because I think you also learn to be careful, but you have to be free enough to ask independently. In that delicate balance I at least try to maintain myself. ”
Rodríguez, meanwhile, was concise in his impression regarding the Viñuela case. “I am missing too much information to comment on that,” he said.