As it navigates through bankruptcy, LBI Media, parent company of Estrella TV, canceled its two morning shows – “Primera Edición” and “Buenos Días Familia” and shut down the multiplatform network Fenómeno Studios, resulting in the layoff of about 40 employees.
Both morning shows launched in 2017 and were revamped last year, with the company adding actress Aylín Mujica as a co-host. An inside source reveals management pulled the plug due to poor ratings.
Aiming to reach a millenial audience with digital programming, LBI launched Fenómeno Studios in 2015.
A rerun of “Cierre de Edición” from the previous night now airs in the 7:30-8 am time slot of “Primera Edición,” followed by two novelas from 8 to 10 am.
The company would not confirm the number of layoffs, but a spokesperson said the news of the morning show cancellations, which happened over a week ago, coincided with the “regular hiatus” of several of its shows. That may have initially caused confusion and had some staffers believing other shows, including “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento,” “Noches con Platanito” and “El Mameluco” were also axed. That is not the case.
“El Mameluco” is currently still taping shows, “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” finished the season at the end of May and will return in the fall. “Noches con Platanito” has ceased production, but continues to air new episodes until June 20, when it will be replaced by Colombian telenovela “La Esclava Blanca,” which is currently available on Netflix. The clown-hosted show will be back in September for a new season.
The production crews for those shows are mostly freelancers – about 100 of them – who are scheduled to return starting August to restart production of the shows.