The U.S and Hispanic show business industry can be divided in two eras: BC and AC (Before Carlos and After Carlos … Barba). This statement could be considered hyperbolic, but only by those who don’t know Barba. That gap, though, is to be filled in the MIP-TV’s VideoAge April Issue, where he will join the International TV Distribution Hall of Fame roster.
In 1946 BC, when Carlos Barba was 11 years old and still living in his native Havana, Cuba, American composer Irving Berlin came out with the song: “There is No Business Like Show Business.”
Most likely, though, the expression, “This is Show Business! No Show, No Business,” which is often attributed to U.S. producer Dick Wolf, may have come from Barba, possibly forged in 1956 AC (when Wolf was 10 years old) when Barba first entered show business at Havana’s station CMQ-TV.
Indeed, veteran TV distribution executive Cesar Diaz confirmed that Barba told him, “No Show, No Business” in 1991, when Barba became his boss as president of Venevision International in Miami, while Wolf’s quote was reported sometime after 1999.
By 1991 Barba had been an actor a broadcaster, a producer, a content distributor, and a TV ad sales rep. In 1999 and up until today, he became the founder of three Internet-based TV channels, which he still manages at 82 years of age, after six decades in the TV business in Havana, Caracas, San Juan, Miami, New York City, Englewood and Teaneck, New Jersey, before settling back in Miami.
When Barba went solo, he unabashedly sent out Power Point presentations titled “The Midas Touch of Carlos Barba,” to show how he increased the value of the TV properties he had managed. This was done well before one of his favorite people, Donald J. Trump, wrote the book “The Midas Touch,” in 2011.
To Barba, succeeding in show business meant utilizing whatever hype was available. As he told Diaz, who related the story to VideoAge: “In this business you have to make things to appear bigger than they actually are!” But in Barba’s case the reality reflected the hype and vice-versa.