Anyone who performs studies on television knows that access is essential.
In the case of Puerto Rico, where there is a vacuum of research in the area
of media studies and where most documents and visual materials are in the
relevant.That is precisely why this study would have been impossiblewithout
the unconditional support of my theater friends.
I cannot recount how many times I heard the comforting words (in Span-
ish) ‘‘do not worry, I will get the tape for you’’ (or whatever I was desperately
looking for), or ‘‘so and so is expecting your call.’’ These friends never let
me down. What is more, throughout the seven years of sporadic phone calls
and visits to Puerto Rico and New York City, these teatreros (theater people)
served as personal cheerleaders in addition to offering something that I really
miss from my theater years: relaxing, unpretentious, and witty conversations
filled with laughter.
Two of these ex-colleagues, Judith Pizarro and Deborah Carthy-Deu,
played a crucial role in various stages of my research. Judith opened the
doors to Telemundo-Puerto Rico and Paquito Cordero Teleproducciones.
Also, thanks to Judith, Mi familia’s creative personnel welcomed me as an-
other ‘‘player on the team.’’ Deborah coordinated interviews with several
from shows and contacts inside Puerto Rico’s modeling world. Deborah also
took time from her extremely busy schedule to dig up information and last
minute material unavailable in the United States. I never heard a ‘‘no’’ from
Judith Pizarro or Deborah Carthy-Deu.That is why no words can express my
immense gratitude.
Pablo Cabrera, Tony Chiroldes-Carbia, and Radamés Vega also contrib-
uted to the hunting and research process. Pablo not only offered valuable
firsthand information about television but he also connected me with a net-
work of television professionals. Tony confirmed my worst fears that Leo-
poldo Fernández’s documents might be in a garbage can somewhere in
Hialeah. However, thanks to Tony, I was able to contact individuals who
have impressive private collections of Puerto Rican popular culture. Finally,
Radamés provided the highly guarded—and thus not publishable—Media-
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