Now Reading
Talking to...Dan Negru : "What is most important for a TV man is humility. Knowing that it's not you that's important, it's the format."

Talking to...Dan Negru : "What is most important for a TV man is humility. Knowing that it's not you that's important, it's the format."

It's media encounters like this that make you happy, inspire you, really challenge you. And there are people like that who, rightly, after all the contributions they have made to the evolution of the field in which they work and all the quality they offer to the public, can be called MAESTRI.

Such a man and such an encounter was with Dan Negruthe so-called, deserving, The king of hearings. It was a real challenge to participate as a contestant on his show, the No. 1 quiz show on Kanal D, The Word Game, where words are superfluous to the whole experience itself. It was a real challenge to do this interview with an inspirational, motivational, realistic, relevant man about the world of television where he has brought and continues to bring innovation and audience to the world.

I invite you to a leisurely reading of an interview for open minds about television, life, quality, human. 


Greetings, esteemed Dan Negru! A joy to meet you again after being a contestant on the show The Game of Words on Kanal D. This time, in an interview I've been longing for. Obviously, every beginning has a beginning. So, speaking of beginnings, how do you see the evolution of television from your launch on TV to the present and what have been the most important milestones that have marked your existence as a TV and human being?

Thanks for the invitation too! My life in television began thanks to a man named Valeriu Lazarov. He totally marked me. He is the mentor who discovered this world of television to me. I always mention his name in any interview because I think the burden of gratitude is very important in any profession. Valeriu Lazarov is one of the most important television people the planet has ever had. He was the general director of television in Spain, he founded Berlusconi's MediaSet trust, that is, he made television at a high level, and in the last years of his life he came to Romania. I had the chance to work with him for many years and he left a deep impression on me. Naturally I had the chance to sit next to some real TV people from our country, like another important man I want to name, Titus Munteanu.

Where is television today? I think that today television in Romania has lost its luster, its shine, its value. And that's because of the people who make television. There are so many cases where television is made on the basis of a pile. Being a TV presenter today means having a dick in the hands of the producer who makes the show. There are cases galore. Twenty years ago, that didn't happen. You can tell that from the presenters who are in the market now and the presenters who were 20 years ago. 20 years ago, let's say, there was Andreea Marin, Mihaela Rădulescu, Andreea Esca, Brenciu, names that built TV, that had memorable TV formats. Today the format beats the man. Because it's all about batteries and gangs. This is also the reason why television has lost a lot of momentum. The audience sees it, feels it.


You've been dubbed the "king of the hearings". What do you think are the most important qualities of a true broadcaster, what would you like to see today, and what is important in delivering audiences?

What is most important for a TV man is humility. Know that it's not you that's important, it's the format. The moment you think you are more important than the format, you have a very big ego and you have destroyed the format. The presenter with the format must form a whole. To be a common body. When that doesn't happen, it's lost. I think that's the most important quality. Modesty. Because television develops egos. And if you don't have character, you start to think you're important when two people want to take your picture. And you think you're important. And then it's all lost.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm very typical. I leave nothing to chance. Everything is written in advance. Everything I do is thought out a day or two or three in advance. I mean I don't improvise. Improvisation in television is poverty. Ideally, you're a man who seems to improvise, but everything is prepared in advance.


You have left your personal mark on every TV station you have worked for both at home and abroad. In your opinion, what are the factors that ensure the longevity of a broadcaster, regardless of the context, in a media industry that is constantly moving and changing?

In some Romanian TV channels, longevity, not for decades, but for a year or two or three, can come from belonging to certain gangs. Television today, as I said before, is about gangs. And if you stick to a certain gang, you can have longevity of a few years. But that doesn't guarantee you notoriety, it doesn't make you a big TV man. But, unfortunately, gang membership has been a feature of Romanian television in recent years. Which has made people go to Netflix, to HBO, to YouTube, to online. Television hasn't come up with anything new, innovative. Look, The Word Game is an innovative show, Kanal D had the courage to do it and won. The world no longer has the courage to innovate. I've always loved innovation. Even those innovations from 20 years ago, when I was taking Mother Nature out of the cake naked. It was an innovation. It had never happened before. Or when we brought kids into prime time with Next Star. Or when we first did pranks 20 years ago on TV. I loved innovation and that's why I loved Kanal D's offer to come up with something new.



Kanal D's "The Game of Words" is once again at the top of the ratings, and is currently the best quiz show in Romania. What attracted you when you started this project, leaving behind an important career at another TV channel, and what are the assets that attract Romanians to general culture shows?

Everyone around me told me at first that I had no chance. I had a steady job, I was earning good money, I was a station brand, I was an icon, I was doing well. But I don't like to rust. And these people, it's to their credit that they took a chance on innovation. On Kanal D 100% I was attracted by the novelty of a smart, clean, intelligent project. In a TV market that remains dirty. As much as we would like to seem, the Romanian TV market is full of dirty reality shows, where all the bad things happen.. The TV market at this time is cluttered with formats called reality humility showhumiliation shows, where you bring in a star and have them humiliate themselves in all sorts of poses. The word game came up with an innovation. It brought smart people to television.

I think the whole point of general culture shows is to make them appealing to the mass market, to the general public. For example, there was TVR Cultural. It didn't disappear because the audience is stupid. It disappeared because the moderators there didn't know how to sell culture to the general public. They only knew how to sell culture to 100 people. And only those 100 watched. The point is to know how to sell culture to the many. Joseph Sava did it very well, for example.


How do you personally train your mind gymnastics and how do you define a good mental athlete?

I'm the man who never sits idly by. And I think Romanians, unlike many others, are extremely well trained. The great mass of our population is made up of smart peopleyou know. People who all these many years have read books, watched movies. We're not boulders, as the TV studios thought for years. The Romanian public is not a stupid public.


Being on the other side of the fence as a contestant, do you think there would have been times when you would have been completely blank on this quiz show and how would you have handled them?

I think so. I don't operate under tension. This is a show about tension. I'm good at putting tension on people. Personally, I couldn't resist a Black man who puts such a strain on me.



What do you have in store for us with your new show, Tu urmezi, from autumn on Kanal D? What will be new, what will be challenging?

It's a show in which we're going to do for the first time in Romania a queue for general culture. People in Romania have queued for everything. At Caritas, absolutely everything. And it's the first time we've brought people and they're queuing for general knowledge. It will be the first general knowledge queue. And we'll see who wins.


Feeling the pulse of TV and abroad, what are the main differences between our media industry and theirs?

The public in the Republic of Moldova is much more forgiving. And not so drastic. In Romania the public is very difficult. It's difficult because we've also got them used to changing formats every season. And Romanians get bored of something very quickly. Moldovans are more lenient, they don't change formats, they stick to them. For example, I have been doing a TV format in Moldova for 15 years. It's true, in Romania we did 23 years of Revels or 11 years of Blonde. But that's less common here.


You are also a good family man. In the world you work in, what does it take to stay faithful to one person for so long? What does family mean to you?

I think it's also about education and what you get genetically. For example, my parents lived together all their lives, although my parents were deported to the Bărăgan, my grandparents too. I mean, they had everything to split up. But they stayed together until the end. In the family of Codruta, my wife, it's the same happy situation. It also depends a lot on what baggage you get at home. That's how I grew up at home, and I believe that fidelity, somehow, is inherited.

And family is all that's left, beyond ratings, beyond everything. People watch you on the third day. Because a couple of days they gossip about you, and on the third day they instantly forget you.The only ones keeping you are the ones at home.


See Also

The Romanian press has sometimes described you as "stingy". Have there been times when you have also done philanthropic acts and the value of your own earning is the education you provide at home?

I believe philanthropic acts should remain between you and God. You don't have to beat your chest. It's a delicate subject what you do for others. Grumbling is a delicate subject for me, as a native of the countryside. Perhaps this stinginess is a lesson for some who promote a false opulence. I think it's more important to be than to have. And stinginess is an extreme that can lead you there. In a world where it costs 1,500 euros a night to stay in Mamaia, I'm the cheapskate.



On the other hand, you have a very close relationship with divinity and the church. The proof of this is the recently published book, Dialogue of Hope, with Father Vasile Ioana. here). How do you cultivate your faith and how has divinity really helped you in your life? Why believe in God today?

I don't cultivate my faith. It's something I was born with. The most important thing is to confess this. Now it's really cool to show that you're not a believer. I also caught the 90s in the press when it was cool to be a believer. I've never renounced my faith.

As for how God helps me? The best example is this. You and I are talking now. God gave me the opportunity to talk to you. And why should we believe in God? Wouldn't this life be sad if the light went out and there was nothing afterwards? The role of faith is to find somewhere, in another dimension, another zone, a better energy. I call it God. The man who helps me get to that zone of better energy is called Jesus. Everybody calls this energy something.


Do you have goals that you have not yet reached and what are you doing to achieve them?

Day by day you wish for things. Professionally, in the short term, I want people to watch The Word Game. Personally, I want my children to be healthy. My daughter to do well on her exams. There are big and small things that define life. The joy of life is tomorrow. Those beautiful, small steps.


What do you want from yourself, from life and from others?

From me I wish to make peace with myself. That's all I want. When I get rid of others, I find myself. The hardest part of this life is when you stay with you. Because you're in both camps.

And life... you know why it's beautiful? Because it's short. It has a beginning and an end. And I've always wanted to come out of this game at peace with myself. And if I have a chance of salvation, it would be the supreme achievement we all desire....


What message does Black Dan of the present have for the Dan of the past and Dan of the future?

I wouldn't do it again. For the Negro of 20 years ago, I'd totally change his trajectory. I would do something completely different. To the Black man of 20+ years, I'd say, "What did you do, man! Did you make it or not?" Who we are 20 years from now is the biggest stake for us, the moment when we draw the line and analyze ourselves perfectly after all we have experienced.


Watch The Game of Words from Wednesday to Friday at 10.30 pm on Kanal D and from autumn the new quiz show, Tu urmezi! Train your mind every day!  

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll To Top