Exclusively, one day after announcing his return to television with ‘CNN Docufilms with Maria Celeste Arrarás‘, the journalist talks to us about her contract with CNN en Español and with the sincerity that always characterizes her, through thick and thin, she tells us: “It’s like going back to my beginnings “.
As we told you yesterday, the journalist signed a contract with CNN en Español,marking his return just almost a year after being separated from Telemundo, in a wave that had said chain of layoffs in the midst of the crisis due to the pandemic.
The journalist exclusively talks to us about the new program, confesses why he decided to accept, what this step in his career means, what he learned from the past and will not repeat, and above all, Today’s MC sends a message to the one who was suddenly out of work on August 5.
-How do you feel about this return to TV, and from the hand of CNN en Español?
María Celeste Arrarás: Super excited, it is a project that I accepted because I was excited. I think after one has done everything in this industry you have the right to choose with tweezers what reaches you and fills you. This is like going back to my beginnings, because I started on Hispanic television thanks to a documentary I did when I was working in Puerto Rico, about the fall of the Soviet Union and it was the door to the Hispanic market in the United States.
It had a cheesy name, ‘A Puerto Rican in Moscow’, but it was so well done that it won all the national and international awards. They discovered me and brought me first to be the presenter of the local Univision newscast in New York, and that’s how I got in, thanks to the documentary.
It is in my blood to do things much deeper and more thoroughly, the same thing I did with the investigation of Selena’s case, which also marked my career, and it was something that I did because I was passionate about the subject and wanted to get to the bottom … Today many reporters and journalists do not know what it is to spend work and they want everything easy, they don’t go into court to see tens of thousands of documents and out there in a sentence, small print is what gives you the clue. I’m going back to what I liked.
-In August of last year, when you left Telemundo, you assured that you had been approached many proposals, was CNN among them?
María Celeste Arrarás: No, not yet, that came more recently and how good, because when I was no longer on Telemundo I needed a period of physical healing, because what I was putting, in terms of working hours, at that moment was monumentally overwhelming and exhausting… I needed a physical recovery in terms of sleep. Many people ask me if I have had surgery and no, to begin with, I sleep enough hours that a human being needs, and number 2 I am being able to exercise, lose weight, everything that is my human cycle has returned to normal. When you are in you do not realize it, when I came out of that it was like I returned to my normal life and that helps you think more clearly.
At first it started to rain the craziest things you can imagine, but they came from a source of affection. I dedicated myself to playing tennis for like 3 months, and after that I got back to taking work seriously and started with the ‘MC Live’, and other things began to come to me, and what caught my attention the most is the CNN thing for being this project, and because it takes me to my beginnings, I wanted something that had weight, I did not want something sillyBecause I am a journalist with red bones, it is in my blood, and I wanted to do this that led me to study journalism, but with the experience of all these years.
-How is the program going to be?
María Celeste Arrarás: It will be on Sundays at 8 PM Eastern, beginning in September. CNN has a library of spectacular documentaries that is the largest. The program is going to be a variety of things, make documentaries from 0 to 100 and I will be involved in all the investigation, and we are going to have documentaries adapted from English to Spanish that I will present, they are going to see a combination of elements depending on what Sunday it is.
-In this decision you made, out of absolute conviction, did you take time to decide or did you say yes right away?
María Celeste Arrarás: Yes, now. I love this because I see myself doing it with enthusiasm, I have been so and so careful about finances that all my life, I prepared myself with all my contracts as if it were the last, and I saved practically 3/4 of what I earned, always thinking about the day that there was no work, that she was an old woman who needed a nurse. I have always been very afraid of being financially unprotected when I need it most. Because I have such a strong fear, I am always very careful, I really don’t have to work to live, I can live without working, but for me it was important to find something that really motivated me and the adrenaline will wake me up, and it would make me continue with my passion, because I’m not going to get into something to do it halfway, I’ve never done it, I’m not going to do it now.
-As you just said, with your departure from Telemundo you gave time to the human María Celeste, did you learn or are you going to return to work leaving women aside as in the past?
María Celeste Arrarás: The good thing about this project is that it is not the 52 consecutive weeks of the year, but it has seasons, so that gives me the ability to immerse myself in the passion and commitment that I have always had, and then have my time off, and that helps me that I do not have to be sacrificing the passion that I always like to have to give my best, and at the same time health and peace of mind. It allows me to have the best of both worlds.
-Although ‘Al Rojo Vivo’ was not only seen in the United States, but in certain Latin American countries, CNN is a window to the world, what does it mean for you at this point in your career?
María Celeste Arrarás: You always have to diversify, and whenever you can improve, in terms of audience in ‘Al Rojo Vivo’ and in ‘Primer Impacto’, according to the calculations made at that time, it was about 35 million viewerss. But here we are talking about the potential audience of CNN in Spanish is 50 millionYes, it is a very big moment. You do the job the same, but Knowing that other people are going to meet you is exciting, I like that and I like to be on Sunday night because the whole family is together.
-What does the María Celeste of today say to the María Celeste of August 5, who suddenly lost her job when Telemundo decided to remove her from TV?
María Celeste Arrarás: I would say: “As you imagined, everything was going to be fine”… When they took me out of Telemundo, I didn’t expect it, but when it happened I took it with the equanimity that no one can imagine. From the first day I started on television I did it as if it were the last, knowing that in this medium one day you are up and the next you are down and it was so and so clear in terms of savings, of never letting my ego rise, of not waiting for an autograph or applause, It was so clear to me that when that happened I did not suffer, I returned to my home calm.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.