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'Cristina Show' Ending Its Run on Univision

Television* Its last day is Dec. 14. The decision lets Saralegui expand her prime-time program.

November 29, 2001|DANA CALVO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cristina Saralegui, one of Spanish-language media's most powerful and recognizable women, is closing down "El Show de Cristina" (The Cristina Show), her widely watched afternoon talk show on Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in this country.

"El Show de Cristina" launched Saralegui to fame 12 years ago with its mixture of candor, star interviews and educational campaigns about AIDS and breast cancer. During the last few years, Saralegui was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, founded her own production company and launched her own magazine. This year she was asked to guest-star on NBC's "Passions," a daytime soap opera.

"It's been a great 12 years working with Cristina, but we both agreed it was time to end the daily show," a network spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The final episode of her talk show is scheduled for Dec. 14, although no decision has been made as to who, if anyone, will join Saralegui in front of her studio audience in South Florida. The move enables the Cuban-born mogul to expand her Monday night prime-time show on Univision, "Cristina: Edicion Especial" (Cristina: Special Edition).

Nine of the show's staffers will be placed on other Univision programs, and the remaining 19 will produce Saralegui's weekly show, said Marcos Avila, her husband and manager and one of the executive producers of the afternoon show. He said both condolences and congratulations are in order.

"We're kind of sad, because we've been doing the daily show for 12 years, but that can be a heck of a grind," Avila said. But he added that lawyers are hammering out a deal with Univision to expand Cristina's prime-time specials and her weekly evening show.

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