Ideas del Sur building in Colegiales. Photo via nexofin.com

Earlier this week, Argentina’s entertainment sector was shocked when Ideas del Sur, the production company Marcelo Tinelli founded in 1996, fired 27 people that used to work very closely with the former main shareholder, and one of the biggest names in Argentine television.

Most of the now former employees had been part of the company from the beginning. The list includes María Calatayud, head of press, producer Marcelo “Bala” Valencia, editor Luis Barros and Sol Calabró, who has reportedly dated the famous showman. Even Alejandro Ripoll, ShowMatch’s legendary director, had to deny he was included in the namelist. Tinelli’s right-hand man and Ideas del Sur’s Commercial Manager, Claudio Salomone, resigned as a gesture of solidarity with his colleagues.

The unexpected turn of the events comes after almost a year of tension between Cristóbal López, head of Indalo Group, the current owner of Ideas del Sur, and Tinelli, who has reported become detached from the company since last April.

The feud began last year, when López and his associated partner, Fabián De Sousa, rejected Tinelli’s budget for the 2016 ShowMatch season. Everything got worse earlier this year, when López, who was very close to Cristina Kirchner, was reported by the collecting tax agency (AFIP) as being millions of dollars in debt.

A few weeks ago, Tinelli promised that he would be back on El Trece’s airwaves by May 2017, as his contract states that he will be ShowMatch’s general producer until 2018.