Yesterday , a great Beatles song had special meaning for millions in Argentina. It was the day that our national Argentine host Juan Alberto Badia passed away, leaving the world a legacy of a remarkable career in media.
Badia will best be remembered for joining talent, music, sports and news; combining all in new ways of productions formats, creating original ideas to communicate to audience. He linked the radio and TV universes, giving singers, journalists, writers, philosphers, artists and international figures the opportunity to display to the nation their talents and to express their thoughts on matters of import.
He surrounded himself with the best of the professionals available. And he had the qualities rare in a national personality; dignity and ethics, never letting his ego get in the way of giving his guests the opportunity to display their own styles. His interview technique helped bring out the best in those on his show. And he was as comfortable interviewing the best-known personalities of his time as he was in interviewing emerging talents. He had the uncanny ability of getting to the human side of every topic, asking just the right questions; eliciting from his guests answers that brought new, often uncharted insights.
Badia displayed a passion and enthusiasm for his work. Always with that trademark smile of joy. A smile that made all around him feel comfortable.
These are rare qualities these days. A host who naturally enjoys his work. But always with an eye on details that hadn't before been illuminated.
There were many memorable interviews. Those with Flecha Juventud and Graciela Mancusso come to mind. Introducing a generation to music and interviews that were stamped with his unique approach.
His trademark Badia and Cia TV show which featured bands that performed live and sports interviews will long set the bar for hosts that now follow. Badia was surely aware of this. He referred to Marcelo Tinelli, who follows in his tradition, as his career son. A student who may have even exceeded the very proud master.
Badia was also the creator of Imagen de Radio, a program that used the image of TV to epitomize the spirit of radio. As always by his side through his long and successful career - his sister, Marisa, other relatives and life-long friends.
Bands like Soda Stereo, Alejandro Lerner, Charly Garcia , Andres Calamaro, Fito Paez, Patricia Sosa, Fabiana Cantilo, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Los Pericos, Mercedes Sosa, Leo Gieco, Marilina Ross, Spinetta and more are grateful today for Badia - because he helped launch all of their careers. He, in turn, was inspired by the likes of Joaquin Sabina, Joan Manuel Serrat amd Jorge Fontana.
What made Badia so successful? It was his curiosity about every topic and talent. Whether it was music or his beloved Team River Plate and his interst in other sports like basketball and tennis. Sports figures and intellectuals alike jumped at the chance to be interviewed.
The dark days of Argentina - the days of the dictatorship - were the hardest for Badia. When he was constrained from discussing certain topics. But he remained a supporter, even then, of artists who were forbidden to appear on his show or who were exiled. Still allowing the expression, as best he could, of different ideologies.
It was a challenge. A thin line he was forced to walk. But somehow, he managed where others could not.
His Estudio Pais project will long be remembered as cutting edge - equipping a bus as a radio studio and traveling the nation to bring the stories of people in every region to the rest of the country. His radio studio traveled to Usuahia, Puerto Madryin, Bariloche and Pinamar in search of talent and ideas. Finally settling in Pinamar beach- the place he adored. Where a parade of characters made their way to his microphone.
Throughout it all, he remained both professional and humble. But always with a passion to promote to the nation the music of the Beatles - an ever-present component of his broadcasts.
His greatest professional achievement likely was his interview of Paul McCartney. It was his dream come true. And through that interview, we see the connection between the music of the Beatles and Badia's life.
Badia leaves behind a great family, wonderful friends, and musicians who, near the end, entertained him by singing Let It Be, to give him relief and courage.
Many things can be said about Juan Alberto Badia. But what most stands out is his generosity and passion, his love for life, his ethics and kindness and his undying belief that, in the words of John Lennon, "the world can live as one."
Thank you Juan Alberto Badia. You leave us a blueprint for love and creativity, innovation that never stops and the inspiration to continue to grow and emulate your life.
Transcend is the way to keep on living like he said and will never be forgotten .
I dedicate this specially to your close friend, one of many. Thank you Alejandro Pont lezica for giving and sharing all your best with him.
Premio otorgado por APTRA el 27 de Mayo de 2012.