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Marinho, Roberto (1905–2003)

Marinho, Roberto (1905–2003)

Roberto Marinho was the owner of the Globo Group. With a net worth of $1 billion, he was the third richest man in Brazil. This fortune was derived primarily from the TV Globo Network, other media, computer and telecommunications firms, as well as real estate and insurance companies (100 companies total in the group). He founded O Globo, one of the four main newspapers in Brazil, and Radio Globo, one of the most popular radio stations in Rio de Janeiro. In 1962, Marinho established TV Globo in joint venture with Time-Life. In 1968, after considerable controversy, that arrangement was found to violate the Brazilian Constitution, and Time-Life was bought out by Marinho, giving him 100 percent ownership of TV Globo. By 1968, TV Globo had the first true network with simulcast programs in Brazil and began a dominance of audience ratings that has continued until today, although competition has grown. TV Globo was favored with military government advertising and infrastructure, such as satellite and microwave links.

The Brazilian managers Marinho hired took advantage of the growing Brazilian advertising market and built up a television production system that has been compared with the old Hollywood studios. TV Globo often produces twelve or more hours of programming a day for itself, including telenovelas (prime-time serials), music, news, comedy, public affairs, and talk shows. The Globo Group has expanded into records (Som Livre), magazines (Globo Rural, comic books), video and film distribution (Globo Video), and direct satellite broadcasting (GloboSat). In 1989 Marinho used his media power to influence the presidential elections, effectively ruining the campaign of the left-wing candidate, Luis Ignácio Lula da Silva.

Marinho also moved into telecommunications and information technologies through joint ventures with NEC of Japan in areas including cellular telephony and a bid for the second generation of Brazilian telecommunications satellites. His charitable foundation, Fundação Roberto Marinho, produced television programs for education and funds historical preservation. Marinho died on 6 August 2003. Despite their former rivalry, President da Silva (elected in 2002) declared three days of mourning in his honor. Marinho's media empire was distributed among his three sons: Roberto Irineu inherited the television division; José Roberto was given the radio interests; and João Roberto inherited the newspaper.

See alsoRadio and Television .


Joseph Straubhaar, "Brazilian Television: The Decline of American Influence," in Communication Research 11 (April 1984): 221-240.

Additional Bibliography

Amorim, Paulo Henrique, and Maria Helena Passos. Plimplim: A pelea de Brizola contra a fraude eleitoral. São Paulo, Brazil: Conrad Livros, 2005.

Bial, Pedro. Roberto Marinho. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 2005.

Machado, Roméro C. Afundação Roberto Marinho. 2 vols. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Tchê, 1988–1992.

                                   Joseph Straubhaar

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