Same time this year


Last year at this time, the distributor behind Urban Latino
was finalizing station clearances for its new syndicated newsmagazine's fall 2001 debut.

The half-hour weekly series based on the magazine of the same name was set to explore the Latino world of fashion, culture and music, and spotlight its biggest stars. But the show's producer and South Carolina-based Litton Syndication had a falling out, and the series never made it to stations.

It's not dead, though, and it's going to be available to stations this fall.

Executive producer Robert Rose has taken it upon himself to not only develop the show but distribute it as well. He has Cablevision on board: The media giant is co-producing Urban Latino
for its New York-based regional cable channel, Metro TV.

"Cablevision said we will co-produce it if you can create a New York version for us; then we'll let you go out and syndicate the rest of the country on your own, and we will be a partner in it," says Rose, a former Univision executive. "That's exactly what we're doing."

Urban Latino
will debut on Metro TV in April, and Rose is currently selling a national version for weekly syndication to debut in October. He wouldn't comment on any syndication agreements but said deals are pending in many top markets. The national version will expand on interviews and stories that air on Metro TV and add original segments as well.

Univision entertainment reporter Celines Toribio is the show's host, and she will interview well-known and less-well-known Latino musicians, actors and cultural figures.

"There are a lot of Latino viewers in this country, as the census showed, and I think a lot of non-Latinos are going to watch this show," says Rose. "We're not where we were last year at this time, but we're going to get there."