In a profile published last year in El Nuevo Dia, Santarrosa comes off as magnanimous if somewhat full of himself. He began the Comay character with a gossipy marionette known as “La Chácara,” which he attributes to a comedian called Luisito Vigoreaux. Next he appeared on a noontime show on the local Telemundo outlet as “La Condesa del Bochinche.” Finally in 1999, he was offered the 6-7pm slot daily at WAPA, and Super Xclusivo has never looked back.
Over the years he has forged a team of reporters, usually with entertainment journalist chops, and police informers to tip off when well-known personalities have to appear in court. Super Xclusivo also receives many unpublished documents a la Smoking Gun, and now in the social media age, receives many tips through Twitter and Facebook.
Part of Super Xclusivo's formula is how it "makes 'celebrities' out of public figures that can be spoken of or commented on as if they were members of 'la farándula,'" said Professor Silvia Álvarez Curbelo, director of the School of Communications at the Univeristy of Puerto Rico. "It also has relatively low productions costs, with only Santarrosa and Héctor Travieso and reguarly appearing characters."
Rodríguez Cotto feels that the atmosphere of cutbacks and scarcity of journalism jobs on the island have made those with a job “complacent,” and says they don’t have the support of their employers to do serious investigative work. “Many of us who used to work in mainstream media,” says Rodríguez Cotto, who once toiled for El Nuevo Día, “have left for jobs in public relations or alternative websites like Oscar Serrano’s Noticel.”
Super Xclusivo has a garrulous and sometimes raunchy sensibility, punctuated by Comay tag lines and by quick shots of local legends egging her on. “I have word here,” La Comay shrieked a few weeks ago, “that a group of dancers taped a new video for the latest Daddy Yankee album, to be released! They did this on April 23 rd, and THEY STILL HAVEN’T GOT PAID YET!
The show specializes in embarrassing celebrities and ambush journalism, planting reporters in courthouses and waiting for famous figures like ex-MLB star Juan Igor González when they emerge from family court; and an endless array of bloopers where rival journalists and politicians are usually the target.
"The show dismantles or attacks the reputation or character of public figures, often revealing their hypocrisy, cynicism and opportunism," said Álvarez. "In this sense, La Comay assumes a moral posture although using sensationalism and facts to pronounce judgments that she proclaims are those of the people of Puerto Rico."