TV works


A weekly magazine, Humo is the successor to Humoradio, first published in 1936 by the French-language Dupuis publishing family as a counterpart to Télémoustique. In 1953, when the public station began broadcasting television programmes as well as radio, Humoradio naturally began to give them some attention. In 1956, the word ‘radio’ was dropped from the title. In 1969, editor-in-chief Karel Anthierens was succeeded by the then 26-year-old Guy Mortier, who left his mark on Humo in the succeeding decades. (According to Trees Verleyen, ‘Humo became Mortier and Mortier became Humo: seldom has a newspaper become so identified with its editor—in-chief and vice versa.’) Among other things, it was to Mortier’s credit that Humo, which was initially averse to popular culture and had denounced the emergence of rock-‘n-roll in the fifties, for example, acquired a more progressive profile. The Humo editorial desk did not take political stances, but the profile of most of the journalists and readers (judging by the results of the annual popularity poll) was very obviously leftist and progressive. The fact that the editorial office sometimes blundered with series of sensational articles of dubious quality did not damage the magazine’s long-term image. With reviewers including Willy Courteaux, Marc Mijlemans and Rudy Vandendaele Humo was the only Flemish weekly periodical that, for decades, regularly critiqued television programmes. Although the public broadcasting company received the occasional lashing, in 1989, the paper took a much fiercer stand against the VTM (Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij), the new and immediately successful Flemish commercial television broadcasting network. This probably contributed to Humo being surpassed in popularity in the early 1990s by the weekly magazine Dag Allemaal (Hello Everyone), launched in 1984. The arrival of VTM and the success of Dag Allemaal forced Humo to take on a more distinctly Flemish profile. In the 1970s and 1980s, when many Flemish viewers who were dissatisfied with Belgian public broadcasting often watched television from the Netherlands, Humo also devoted considerable attention to famous Dutch people. [Roel Vande Winkel]