Spanish Stations Stock UpHispanic communities benefit from local news infusions by Telemundo and Univision 11/21/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
While NBC’S owned television stations have received
most of the ink for Comcast-NBCUniversal’s
boffo commitment to local television, the sibling
Telemundo owned station group has been quietly
sharpening its local strategy too.
Earlier this month, local versions of Telemundo’s
Sunday public affairs show Enfoque debuted in markets
including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston and
Dallas. Early November also marked the relaunch of the
station Websites, a system-wide rollout that will conclude
before the year is over and will see the sites offering deeper
and timelier content. Several stations are also launching
new newscasts, such as the weekend program that will
debut on New York flagship WNJU next year.
“It’s all part of our recommitment to localism,” says
Telemundo stations president Ronald Gordon, who calls Comcast a “very willing
partner” in Telemundo’s local efforts.
In August, Telemundo announced it was adding 1,000 hours of local news and
public affairs programming over the next six months, including weekend news in
Dallas and weekday news in Denver.
Comcast pledged its commitment to local broadcast television to the FCC while
negotiating to have its merger with NBCUniversal approved, vowing to bring “thousands
of additional hours of local news and information programming” to viewers
of NBC’s and Telemundo’s stations.
The Telemundo group is adding at least a few dozen staffers, Gordon says, about
90% of them on the news and content side. The extra
1,000 hours of programming, across 14 stations (including
KVEA Los Angeles, KTAZ Phoenix and WSCV
Miami), builds on an existing 5,000.
Spanish-language rival Univision, with 19 full-power
stations across the U.S., is substantially boosting its local
presence as well. Univision’s Atlanta and Raleigh
outlets debuted early evening news this year, while stations
in Dallas and Houston are among the very few
that go live with news at 4 a.m. Nine Univision owned
stations air 5-7 a.m. newscasts, while seven of the markets,
including New York and Los Angeles, extend the
morning block on a TeleFutura sibling.
Earlier this year, Sandra Thomas was named to the
new position of Univision senior director, local and
affiliate news. Former CNN reporter Karl Penhaul joined Univision as a foreign correspondent
in August, with his reportage now ! avoring local newscasts.
Back at Telemundo, the group will further hone its strategy at an NBC news
summit, featuring principals from NBCUniversal’s wide range of news outlets, in
Miami next month. “We’ll look at how to do things more effectively and how to
best leverage our resources,” says Gordon. “We’ll look at ways to strengthen our
entire news operation.”