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The radionovela genre was born in Cuba in 1935 with "El Derecho de Nacer" (The Right to be Born), written by Cuban author Felix Caignet (Martín-Barbero, 1992). This radio soap opera turned out to be a classic and was considered a radio link between all the countries in the continent (Mattelart & Mattelart, 1990). It had all the melodramatic ingredients to reach the audience's emotions. It told the story of a single mother, living in the conservative society of the early twentieth Century Cuba. Her tyrant father did not accept his out of the wedlock grandson. The loyal family maid takes the boy and raises him as her own. At the end, the boy, who becomes a physician, saves his grandfather's life (Fernandes, 1994). This story proved to be a success not only as a radionovela, but also as a telenovela, with several TV adaptations in different countries including Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. More recently, in 2001, Mexico broadcast the latest version of this soap classic.

Following the United States commercial model, local soap factories provided sponsorship for radionovelas. American companies later on acquired these factories. Procter & Gamble became the leading adverting sponsor for radionovelas in Cuba (López, 1998; Ortiz et al., 1991). The American concept of targeting radionovelas to a female audience was also implemented. However, the cultural differences made the Cuban versions favor a more melodramatic and tragic style. The scripts, created to bring about emotions and tears, had the goal to sell products. This strategy paid dividends and, with the help of the advertisers, this formula was diffused to the rest of Latin America. For many years, Havana was the major exporter of artists and radio directors, but above all radionovelas scripts to different countries, including Brazil (Ortiz et al., 1991).

Brazil became familiar with the radionovelas through adaptations from Cuba and Argentina (Mattelart & Matterlart, 1990). Financed by Colgate-Palmolive, an adaptation of a Cuban original, “Em Busca da Felicidade" (In Search for Happiness) aired in Brazil, in 1941. As previously proven to be the magical formula for radionovelas, commercial sponsors targeted primarily the female audience with a melodramatic flavor that was the center of this new genre.

Gessy-Lever and Colgate-Palmolive advertising agencies had their own radio departments. They would function as production companies, with their own staff of writers, translators and actors to create their own successful shows (Ortiz, 1991). The imported Cuban texts gave place to national creation, molding writers to the future televised versions. Famous Brazilian telenovela writers such as Ivani Ribeiro and Janete Clair began working their craft in radio (Mattelart & Mattelart, 1990). Radio sets became more affordable during the 40's, contributing to the popularization of the radionovelas, which proved to be a success among different social classes (Ortiz, 1991). A clear example of the dominance of this genre on the airwaves was Rádio Nacional, which broadcasted a total of 11,756 hours of radionovelas during the period of 1943-1955. Almost half of this radio programming was soaps, with up to 14 novelas a day (Bonavita, 1982).


 



 


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract

CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-25-26-27-28-29-30-31-32-33-34-35-36-37-38-39





Acknowledgements / Dedication -

Abstract


CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER IV - THE STUDY

CHAPTER V - THE RESULTS

CHAPTER VI - CONCLUSION

APPENDIX - MESSAGES STUDIED

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