Front Page (Primera página)

The birth of a great period in the most turbulent years of the Spanish 20th century.

Front Page are Juan Luis Cebrián’s memoirs, the first managing director and co-founder of El País newspaper. It is also the detailed story of the turbulent and bloody years that took Spain from a dictatorship into democracy.

Born in Madrid in 1944 in a family of journalists, and graduated in Literature and Journalism at the age of 19, Cebrián stepped into the main newsrooms of the time. He started working as editor-in-chief of the Pueblo newspaper and then, at the early age of 20, Cebrián became subdirector of the Informaciones and Cuadernos para el diálogo newspapers. He also worked for a short period in the news programmes of RTVE (Spanish National TV) as news service manager. He was the first director of the daily newspaper El País, co-founded with Jesús Polanco. El País rapidly became one of the main newspapers in Spain, and the bestselling one in the country.

The constant rivalry for the power over the newspaper gave way to several confrontations, like ex-vice-president Manuel Fraga’s disappointment because El País was “not such a liberal newspaper”; or the conspiracies of the national counselor of the Fracoist Movement and Spanish ambassador, José María de Areilza, for feeling “cheated” with regards to the intended target of El País.

Cebrián also gives room to his work as CEO of the Prisa group, the largest media group of informative, cultural and educational content in Spain and Latin-America even today.

These were very intense years in Cebrián’s life. He suffered the terrorist attack to El País newsroom; he played a main role as repository of messages and threats during the kidnapping of Antonio María de Oriol y Urquijo and General Villaescusa –in the middle of the conspiracy of the extreme-right wing against the democrats–, and as intermediary in the kidnapping of deputy Javier Rupérez at the hands of the ETA terrorist goup.

Front Page perfectly reflects the tension on the streets in the middle of a turbulent political transition, the undercover confrontation for the control over El País, and the 1983 coup d’etat that threatened with bringing democracy down and bringing a totalitarian government back to Spain.


RELEVANT DATA: Front Page are the definite memoirs of Juan Luis Cebrián, one of the main figures in Spanish journalism at national and international level. The work starred the headlines of all the national media.

Among the many journalistic awards given to Cebrián, there are the New York World Press Review Award to the International Director of the Year, the Spanish National Journalism Award, the F. D. Roosevelt Four Freedom Foundation Medal to the Freedom of Expression, the Medal of Honour of the University of Missouri, the  International Trento Award of Journalism and Communication, and the Joaquín Chamorro Award to the Freedom of Expression.

The Order of Bernardo O’Higgins granted Cebrián the distinction of Grand Officer, the highest distinction the Chilean government gives to the most important foreign citizens for their contribution to strengthen ties between two countries (Spain and Chile). In Washington, the Eisenhower Fellows Spanish Association also awarded Cebrián with the First Amendment Award for his work in support of press freedom.


Critics say about Front Page:

“A brilliant approximation to the period we lived in our history”.- Amazon

“Highly recommended if you want to have an overview of the Spanish politics”.- Amazon


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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