Fuentes' talk show to avoid controversy

February 11, 1994|By Richard Huff | Richard Huff,New York Daily News

Daisy Fuentes promises her new talk show for CNBC won't wade into the tabloid waters so favored by traditional talk fare.

"You will not see transsexuals who have gotten a sex change to become women and are now lesbians," Ms. Fuentes said the other day.

Not only doesn't she want to make her viewers uncomfortable, she doesn't intend to make her guests feel that way, either. She just wants to find out "what makes them tick." And controversy isn't likely to be part of the mix.

"I don't enjoy controversy," she said. "It's not part of my personality."

Her outgoing personality has certainly served the MTV beauty well so far. Tomorrow night at 8, she'll begin to see how it plays as a talk-show host. (Her MTV fans shouldn't worry; she'll remain there, too, as a veejay.)

CNBC producers took notice of Ms. Fuentes during a recent guest shot on CNBC's "Equal Time," and thought she'd be perfect for her own gig -- and for CNBC, which has just started up several new shows in an effort to broaden its audience.

Ms. Fuentes, a one-time anchor and reporter for Univision, the Spanish-language network, has been at MTV for five years as host of two programs targeted for Hispanics and working on a slew of other MTV shows.

With her new show, she becomes the first woman to be solo host of a regularly slated talk show at CNBC. That fact is not lost on her.

"I don't know if I want to fit in with everybody else," she said. "I don't want to pretend that I'm going to fit in, either."

Ms. Fuentes, who is also under contract as a Revlon model and is co-owner of Gotham's Dish restaurant, isn't intimidated by joining a lineup that includes such stalwarts as Phil Donahue and Dick Cavett, and newer kids Geraldo Rivera and Tim Russert. Indeed, Ms. Fuentes said, after a recent taping, Mr. Donahue came up and welcomed her to the network.

Female rappers Salt-n-Pepa are Ms. Fuentes' guests on her first show. Because of scheduling problems, the interview was taped a week ago. Ms. Fuentes plans on doing the show live most of the time.

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