New York -- LBI Media-owned Estrella TV network spared no expense to throw its first upfront presentation ever, by throwing a lavish lunch at New York City's Gotham Hall and showcasing most of its top talent.
At hand to open the presentation was comedian Cheech Marin, who did not read his lines from a prepared script, saying he had recently been diagnosed with CSS (Can't See S*&@) That opening set the tone of the presentation, which included less humorous remarks by president and founder Lenard Liberman, who has pitched his network as an "alternative to Univision and Telemundo."
Liberman took the opportunity onstage to highlight some recent ratings wins, which have placed the nationally distributed network already behind only Univision, Telemundo, Telefutura and Galavision. Liberman, who in 1987 co-founded Liberman Broadcasting with his father José in Southern California, also aspired to debunk some myths about U.S. Latinos, including: "Hispanics only watch telenovelas." To that end, Estrella TV, in a major differentiator among Spanish-language networks, does not carry one single telenovela, instead focusing on variety shows, game shows and music.
Among other announcements: Former Univision news anchor Enrique Gratas came onstage to announce the upcoming launch of El momento con Enrique Gratas, an investigative reporting weekly show slated for the fall. Also premiering this fall, late-night entry Esta noche con Héctor Suárez and reality show Quiero Triunfar, among others.
Burbank-based Liberman Broadcasting, which owns a group of 30 radio and television stations in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, San Diego and Phoenix, offers a variety of programming targeting mostly Mexican-Americans, featuring some of Mexico's longtime comedians.