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Upfronts 2011: Telemundo "Shifts" Its Strategy to Keep Up With a Changing America - Broadcasting & Cable

Upfronts 2011: Telemundo "Shifts" Its Strategy to Keep Up With a Changing America

New concept looks for new ways to reach audience
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Telemundo
President Don Browne's wants his network to "shift forward" this year.


In advance of the
network's upfront presentation Tuesday evening, Telemundo executives held a
meeting with media members on Tuesday morning at the Hudson Hotel in New York.


The network
compared itself to other broadcast nets, saying that while their ratings are
declining, Telemundo's have never been higher; Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo, boasted
that their ratings are up 31% in total prime for the 18-49 demo. "Our report
card is [an] A++," said Hernandez.


Browne touted that
with the rapid growth of Hispanic population in the United States (said that in five
years one in three people will be Hispanic), the network has no shortage of
demand for Spanish-language programming. Telemundo features over 4,000 hours of
original content each year. Dan Lovinger, EVP of advertising sales & integrated
marketing said that the network wants to make Spanish-language television "a
must-have, instead of a nice-to-have."


When describing
the current cultural landscape in the United States, Browne introduced "The
Shift," a brand new concept the network has adapted to service the heavy growth
in U.S. Hispanic population. With such a heavy influx of Latinos, Hernandez
pointed out that part of this new concept is embracing that both American and
Hispanic influences play a role. "English, Spanish, Spanglish, doesn't matter,"
said Hernandez. "It's about the audience and what they want."


In an effort to
get as antiquated with the younger demographic, Telemundo is launching
"cultural connectors," a community of GenYLA'ers (Young Latino Americans) who
are between the ages of 18-34. The network will use this panel to find out what
is important to young American Latinos, and create original programming to fit
that.  


Telemundo's
programming slate this year aims to reach what Peter Blacker, EVP, digital
media and emerging business, calls the "four passion points:" Novella, Sports,
Music and Community. "Our role is to see how we can address all the shades of
diversity," said Blacker. "[We want to] connect with the full spectrum of
Hispanics." Joshua Mintz, Senior EVP, Telemundo Entertainment said the network
wanted to find programs that "connect with the audience," and have consistency
not only in storytelling but also in production values.


This year the
network will premiere four new telenovelas: Amor de Pelicula (Love...Just
Like in the Movies); Caidas del Cielo (Fallen from Heaven); Fisico o
Quimíca
(Physical or Chemistry); Una Maid en Manhattan (Maid in Manhattan). Telemundo also has
reached a deal with 12-time Emmy Award winner Christina Saralegui to develop,
host and executive produce a weekend variety show that will begin airing by the
end of the year.


The network
announced that it has reached a new multi-year deal with Billboard to continue
broadcasting the Billboard Latin Music Awards. The network will also be
launching its own musical awards show, Premios Billboard de la Musica
Regional Mexicana
.


For sports
programming, along with coverage of next summer's Olympic Games, the network is
producing an online sports channel, that will service content across all digital
platforms including online, mobile and social media.


Telemundo's cable
sister-station mun2 was on hand to announce the launch of brand new, innovative
web site that will be fully integrated with its programming, including its own
singing competition series, El Mas Ching*n and its popular RPMseries. Riding the wave
of popularity for RPM Miami, mun2 announced a new
season, RPM 2. The new website is step 1 for the cable
network's new digital initiatives.


At the beginning
of the presentation, Browne remarked that "this is a new America," and Telemundo's new
strategy is one that attempts to keep up with the ever-changing culture. "The
shift is happening right now," said Lovinger.

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