César Mascetti, the iconic Telenoche newscaster from the last decades of the past century, died Tuesday at the age of 80 in his birthplace of San Pedro.
The news was confirmed by the local town hall in a communiqué signed by Mayor Ramón Salazar, former mayor Cecilio Salazar and the entire municipal government reading: "His enormous media track record, his history linked to the San Pedro press via his father’s newspaper El Independiente and his connection with local production via [the] La Campiña [rural tourism establishment] are only some of so many reasons making his figure part of sampedrino history."
Tributes to the broadcaster poured in throughout the week, before he was buried in San Pedro cemetery on Wednesday.
Born on December 9, 1941, César Alberto Mascetti inherited his passion for journalism from his grandfather Alejandro and his father César Snr. Graduating from La Plata University, he began his professional career in San Pedro but by the mid-1960s he was working in Clarín and then La Razón. His television career began in 1971 when he entered Channel 13, where he was to become one of its most emblematic figures, and likewise at the TN television news channel, of which he formed part from its birth in 1993.
He stood out for interviewing such famous names as Salvador Allende, Arturo Umberto Illia, Juan Domingo Perón, Raúl Alfonsín, Carlos Menem, George Harrison, Atahualpa Yupanqui and Jorge Luis Borges, also covering the tragic Uruguayan air crash in the Andes (1972), the returns of Perón to Argentina in 1972 and 1973 and the death of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (1975).
But beyond doubt for many Argentine women, Mascetti will be remembered for the couple he formed with Mónica Cahen D'Anvers in front of and behind the cameras. Throughout a decade they were the face of Telenoche, which won eight Martín Fierro prizes as the best news show, as well as the Martín Fierro de Oro. In 2003, they decided to retire from television.
"When we were already thinking of quitting the tele, a brilliant psychoanalyst with whom we were doing therapy threw out a phrase which ended up sealing our decision: ‘I don’t know about you but I’d like to be alive for my own death.’ That brought down the curtain for us," Mascetti revealed in a La Nación interview, assuring that he had never regretted his decision.
Journalism with Mónica continued to be part of his life in Radio Del Plata until 2015, when he retired definitively to return to San Pedro where, together with Cahen D'Anvers, he opened a rural tourism centre called La Campiña de Mónica y Cesar.
The couple met for the first time in 1971 when he was taking his baby steps in Channel 13 where she was already an established figure. Still married to Iván Mihanovich, the father of her children Vane and Sandra, she initially felt no special chemistry with her colleague.
"He seemed to me an unbearable man," she explained in an interview but several years later when he was already divorced, everything changed.
"He was very good-looking and knew it. Every day there were women at the channel door waiting for him to come out. We met at a Journalists’ Day party one June 7. All I know is that when we left, he got into his car and I into mine and instead of going our separate ways, we went back together and have never separated since."
They celebrated the silver anniversary of living together in 2003 by marrying. According to his widow, the secret of over 40 years of love was their differences.