Learn more about Telemundo
Telemundo is an American television network based in Hialeah, Florida. It is the second largest Spanish language television network in the United States, second only to Univision. NBC Universal is the present parent company of the network.
The origin of Telemundo began in 1985 when KVEA in Los Angeles was purchased by Estrella Communications, whose owners were Reliance Group Holdings, Joe Wallach and Paul Niedermeyer. KVEA became the first full-time independent Spanish language station in Los Angeles. In 1986, Reliance purchased Blair Broadcasting, which included the independent Spanish-language station WSCV in Ft. Lauderdale/Miami and Puerto Rico's WKAQ-TV, known for decades as "Telemundo Canal 2". In late 1986 Reliance also purchased WNJU in New York, also a long-time independent Spanish language station. In 1987 Reliance merged all these stations into a new corporation, Telemundo Group, which also went public that year, and launched the "Telemundo Network". Later in 1987, Telemundo purchased additional stations in San Jose/San Francisco, Houston and San Antonio. Saul Steinberg was the Chairman and Henry Silverman CEO of Telemundo during this time. Although the name Telemundo came from WKAQ, the Puerto Rico station was not integrated into the US network's programming.
Programming was purchased from broadcasters and producers throughout Latin America as well as dubbed American movies and vintage Mexican movies.
Soon afterward, Noticiero Telemundo/HBC with Jorge Gestoso and Lana Montalban began broadcasting out of a warehouse in Hialeah, Florida. The staff of Noticiero Telemundo was made mostly of former SIN (Univision) employees who defected the network when it was announced that Mexican television news anchor Jacobo Zabludosky would be heading north to anchor the newscast. This never happened, as Zabludosky stayed back in Mexico, but the cornerstone of what would become the second Hispanic broadcast network in the United States was laid. A year later Deportes Telemundo, a two-hour sports show, began airing nationally.
The network then decided to outsource their news division in 1988 and hired CNN to produce 2 newscasts under the name of "Noticiero Telemundo CNN". It was anchored by Gestoso, who recently been transferred to Atlanta, and Miami native Maria Elvira Salazar.
Salazar left after her contract expired and returned to Miami to report for Noticiero Univision. In her place, CNN hired Miss Universe 1987, Cecilia Bolocco. Bolocco had no journalism experience, having studied architecture in her native land. A year later, Bolocco was transferred to Miami to anchor a lifestyles program more attuned with her skills, called La Buena Vida.
In 1992, Telemundo went through another management change, this time under former Univision president Joaquin Blaya. Blaya brought in a large number of former Univision executives in hopes of, as one observer put it, "beating his former employer to death with a Piñata stick." Television shows were cancelled or merged. Longtime Telemundo executives were released and in 1993, Telemundo branded themselves with the campaign, Arriba, Telemundo, Arriba.
Bolocco saw her show merged with newsmagazine Ocurrió Así anchored by Enrique Gratas. Contacto, an afternoon women's magazine, was revamped as Club Telemundo. Two of its original anchors were fired. It kept Mexican soap star Rebecca Rambal as main hostess alongside new arrival Pedro Luis Garcia, a radio disc jockey from New York.
Gratas, Bolocco, Rambal and Guerra are no longer with the network; Gratas is now anchoring Noticiero Univision, Ultima Hora and Bolocco went back to her native Chile after starring in a soap opera Morelia and married former Argentine President Carlos Saul Menem, giving birth to the couple's son in 2003. Rambal lives in Los Angeles and Garcia went back to New York to work for WNJU.
In 1993, Telemundo began a trend that has been proven to be moderately successful: producing their own soap operas. The first soap to be produced and bought by the network was "Angelica, mi vida" in 1988. The trend continued with "Marielena", a soap opera written by drama doyenne Delia Fiallo exclusively for the network. "Marielena" was the story of a young woman who falls in love with a married man. The stars of the soap were Mexicans Lucia Méndez and Eduardo Yáñez, and Cuban Zully Montero, who portrayed the older woman married to Yáñez's character. The soap was so popular that it was stretched by 50 extra episodes, bringing in new characters and disposing of others. The trend continued with "Guadalupe" and "Tres Destinos". In no time, Telemundo saw their productions being courted by international markets and syndicators. Their effort was set back, however, when rival and industry leader, Televisa, bought Capitalvision, the production house that had been making the Telemundo soap operas.
Telemundo then turned to producing their own soaps, utilizing the Telemundo facilities in Puerto Rico. Their first in-house production was "Señora Tentación" in 1995, again with Lucia Méndez. "Señora" was not nearly as successful as earlier soaps, and production of the show was plagued by delays, forcing Telemundo to cut the production in almost half. Méndez has not worked for Telemundo nor Televisa since. She has starred in soaps for TV Azteca, but those have never matched the success of "Marielena".
Blaya and his employees incurred astronomical expenses without the much anticipated revenue and were terminated, and Telemundo was left to try to reinvent itself under the leadership of Roland Hernandez in 1995.
In 1998, Telemundo was bought by a partnership between cable's Liberty Media and entertainment conglomerate Sony Pictures Entertainment Helmed by yet another management team under the leadership of former CBS executive Peter Tortoricci, hopes of attracting the bilingual market were explored. Lo mejor de los dos Mundos ("The best of both worlds") campaign was launched. Several billboards went up in cities such as Miami and San Francisco heralding a "new era" for Telemundo.
This new executive team--Tortoricci, Rachel Wells, Alan Sokol and controversial programming executive Nely Galan--decided to get away from the warehouse atmosphere of the production facilities base in working class Hialeah. The network set up new corporate offices at the posh Waterford Complex in Santa Monica, California. At the time it was decided to produce Latino versions of popular American television shows owned by Sony. These included Charlie's Angels, One Day at a Time, and Starsky and Hutch.
The network also tried produced the talk show "Padre Alberto". Father Alberto Cutie, a Miami priest, was selected to host this program, but this venture also failed. Galan's ideas and shows all flopped--in fact, viewers left the network in droves. Local stations lost the little audience share they had, and heads began to roll once again. The Tortoricci team was soon out, and Jim MacNamara, a former Universal Pictures executive born in Panama, was hired to preside over embattled Telemundo.
MacNamara began programming a schedule heavy on telenovelas. Under his leadership, Telemundo bought alternative programming from distributors from Brazil , Colombia and Mexico. His strategy proved successful, and U.S. Hispanics saw a new Telemundo emerging with hits such as "Xica de Silva", a Brazilian soap, and the most popular export from Colombia: "Soy Betty, la Fea". "Pedro el Escamoso" "El Clon", "Terra Nostra", followed, and it seemed for a time that the network was finally able to compete. Local stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York added morning and weekend newscasts to be more competitive. Also under Mc Namara efforts were made to strenthen other genres and dayparts. Two sitcoms were introduced, "Los Beltran" and "Viva Vegas" produced in California, together with Late Night Variety Show "A Oscuras Pero Encendidos" hosted by Paul Bouche which previously aired for 3 years in Univision's Cable Network Galavision and a game show "Numeros Rojos" (a format imported from Spain) became part of the new strategy.
In 2001, Telemundo was purchased by NBC and is now a part of NBC Universal. Jim MacNamara remained at the helm of the network during and after the sale. Their main competitor, Univision, continues to have an upper hand in the ratings wars. However, Telemundo produces more programming than Univision and does not rely strictly on Mexican shows. In contrast, Univision's schedule is heavy on Mexican shows since it is part-owned by Mexican media giant Televisa. After three successful years, NBC officials asked MacNamara to resign, and replaced him with Don Browne, who had been head of NBC affiliate WTVJ in Miami. On February 27, 2006, it was announced to NBC hired Nely Galan yet again to helm a division for the network based on the success of Hispanic soaps for NBC.
In 2004, Telemundo began subtitling their telenovelas into English in the hopes of getting Hispanic Americans that did not speak Spanish to tune in. Subtitles are broadcast by using closed captioning. All of Telemundo's telenovelas are also closed captioned in Spanish. However, in order to activate the captions in English, viewers have to tune the caption to CC3, a closed-caption channel widely available on most newer-model televisions less than five years old, though typically not available on older-model televisions.
The present logo used from 2000.
 Morning Wars
In 1997, after years of showing children's programming in the morning hours, Telemundo started producing its own morning show in hopes of beating Univision's long running hit Despierta América. It began with a Spanish-language version of CBS News This Morning called Esta Mañana. It was anchored by former CBS News morning anchor Jose Diaz-Balart (brother of U.S. Congress Representatives for the state of Florida, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart); Rogelio Mora-Tagle did the news segments, and Mexican hostess Gloria Calzada was brought up from Mexico City. This venture lasted two years before yielding to yet another morning show: De Mañanita.
"De Mañanita" was anchored by Pita Ojeda, Luisa Fernanda, Ricky Luis, Max Aub and Fernando del Rincón and Marian De la Fuente. De la Fuente, a Spaniard and the only non-Mexican in the anchor group, came to Telemundo to anchor a 24-hour news service that later disapeared, then very popular in the Spanish television world of the early 1990s. Another competing service broadcast in Latin America was "Canal de Noticias NBC" with former Telemundo Los Angeles anchor Ana Luisa Herrera and former Telemundo Miami anchor Nicolas Kasanzew heading the effort from Charlotte, North Carolina. "CNN en Español", was anchored by Jorge Gestoso, who used to be the Telemundo HBC news anchor from Atlanta.
The service was called Telenoticias. Marian became one of the most popular faces in the broadcast. Her Spanish accent, long thought to be a deterrent, in fact became a winning strategy to De la Fuente and during her time at Telemundo. That, and her big luxurious hairstyles and sexy outfits, became topics of conversation among gossip magazines published in the United States. De la Fuente, in turn, became the face of morning news at Telemundo and covered important events such as the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001. She wrote a book about her experiences as a journalist covering the attacks.
This breakfastcast lasted until summer 2004 when after many host changes, including the exits of Del Rincón who went on to be a co-presenter of Univision's tabloid show, "Primer Impacto", and Luisa Fernanda then shipped to the gossip show "Cotorreando". Behind the scenes, things were more dramatic: a barrage of drama which included the firing and quitting of executive producers. By then, the last original anchor Pita Ojeda also left Telemundo in a dispute with management over wanting to do some outside projects like other network personalities were allowed to do. It was also noted that she was unhappy with the direction of the program which went from three hours to one hour to accommodate a new morning show, called "Hoy en el Mundo". This program was yet anchored by Marian de la Fuente and the now resurfed José Díaz Balart. At the end, both shows "Hoy" (launched after the events of September 11, 2001), and "De Mañanita" were cancelled.
In 2005, Telemundo got a new president, Don Browne whom replaced MacNamara. He hired away María Antonieta Collins from Univision (who had in turn worked for Televisa for many years), a weekend Univision news anchor to helm a new three hour news/features morning show to replace both "Hoy en el Mundo" and "De Mañanita" and relaunch it with the name of "Cada Día con Maria Antonieta".
"Hoy en el Mundo" lead anchor Marian De La Fuente who was asked to join the new morning show as a news reader, but decided to as well leave the network, leaving the news portions to be done by José Díaz Balart.
 Telemundo Network News
In early 1994. After having discrepancies with CNN over news coverage on their newscast, Telemundo decided to launch "Telenoticias". "Telenoticias" was a 24-hour news feed service aimed to viewers in Latin America. The service was to be owned by Reuters, Antena 3 of Spain, and Artear Network from Argentina. A newscast was produced for the U.S audience as well, anchored by Raul Peimbert and Denisse Oller.
Within 2 years, Oller was gone and replaced by Maria Elvira Salazar. Years later the network went through another phase when CBS Network decided to get involved in the Latin news game and bought the network rebranding it "CBS Telenoticias". CBS decided to sell this venture to a group from Mexico named Medcom. Medcom owned various radio ventures but did not know how anything about 24-hour news. .
Due to financial difficulties payroll was not met and executives asked employees to finish the workweek. Finally, Telemundo which was leaving bankruptcy court decided to invest a reportedly 5 million dollars and bought the service from Medcom, rebranding the 24-hour news service, Telemundo Internacional.
By the time this happened both Peimbert and Salazar were gone replaced by Guillermo Dezcalzi and Ana Patricia Candiani. Dezcalzi who was afflicted by a well know drug problem while working at "Canal de Noticias NBC", at the NBC Newschannel headquarters in Charlotte. Descalzi left Telemundo soon after that and Pedro Sevecq who used to have a talk show on the Telemundo Network side saw his dream come true when he was asked to co-anchor the program. The newsprogram went through another metamorphosis when it was reported that Candiani would be fired from the newscast to leave Uruguayan Pedro Sevecq as sole anchor for the network. Candiani would end up as a correspondent for "Cada Dìa", but rejoin Sevec for Telemundo's Sunday newsmagazine Sin Fronteras). In June of 2006 "Sin Fronteras" was cancelled leaving dozens without a job.
It should be noted that the name "Telenoticias" originated with the newscast of WKAQ-TV, Telemundo Puerto Rico, where it is used since 1954 to the present.
 Primetime Schedule
Movies shows are in red;Reality/Game Shows are in green; Primetime Talk Shows are in blue; Telenovelas are in purple.
|7:00 PM||7:30 PM||8:00 PM||8:30 PM||9:00 PM||9:30 PM||10:00 PM||10:30 PM|
|Sunday||Movie||Vas o No Vas||Various Programing||Que Hay de Nuevo: Con Monica Noguera|
|Monday||La Viuda de Blanco||Marina||Amor Mio||Amores||Decisiones|
 2005 And Beyond
The network was the first Spanish language broadcaster to broadcast NBA Games with La NBA/WNBA en Telemundo until 2005 when those rights went to ABC/Disney owned ESPN Deportes.
The network produces more than 50 percent of its content in the United States. Much of the rest of the shows are imported from Mexico and other Latin American countries such as Brazil and Colombia. Mexican TV broadcaster TV Azteca has been the main provider of Mexican telenovelas produced by Argos Comunicación. Now separated from TV Azteca (because Azteca launched a U.S. network, Azteca America), Argos has produced telenovelas directly for Telemundo, such as the hit Gitanas.
Telemundo also brought the Olympics to Hispanic viewers as well. Overhyped by the new management, as the salvation of the network Telemundo saw modest results after the Athens Olympics. Because of this failure, Telemundo broadcasted minimum coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy as part of its Deportes Telemundo reports.
Deportes Telemundo continues to broadcast monthly boxing matches, as well as futbol (soccer) including the Mexico vs. USA battles, and the weekend sportscast Titulares Telemundo at 11pm (or after local news on certain Telemundo stations).
On January 9, 2006, Telemundo launched a new afternoon block with the arrival of Mexican soap star Laura León known as "La Tesorito", and her talk show Señora León. The show is taped in Peru and broadcasted to the U.S. Also added to the schedule on this date was a pseudo-dating game show from Los Angeles called 12 Corázonès, complete with an astrologer and a former singer. The afternoon talk show hosted by Laura Leon has reportedly ceased production due to low ratings, and is scheduled to be replaced by an afternoon novela and a one hour afternoon game show.
On April 5, 2006, Mexican production company Grupo Xtra and Telemundo announced the creation of two new companies: the production company Estudios Mexicanos Telemundo, which will produce content in Mexico for exhibition in Mexico, Spanish-speaking markets in the United States and Latin America, and Palmas 26, which was created to identify strategic growth opportunities in the Mexican television industry.
On June 13, 2006, Telemundo entered a new long-term production deal with game show and reality TV producer Nostromo America. The producer will develop alongside with the network's upcoming game shows such as "El Gran Show", which supposedly will be a Saturday variety show . Mangement now want to compete directly with Univision's longtime Saturday variety show [[Sabado Gigante]. As of December 2006. the much heralded program has not seen the light of day. Telemundo also made a deal with Emedol to produce a new edition of "Vas o No Vas", the Spanish-language version of sister network NBC's Deal or no Deal, originally shown and produced by Televisa's XEW-TV. It was also announced that Telemundo would no longer air the controversial talk show "Laura" which moves to Mexican TV Network Televisa in the fall of 2006.
Telemundo's parent company NBC-Universal announced a restructuring plan called "NBCU 2.0" which called for major cuts at all NBCU properties including Telemundo. Telemundo's O&Os in San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, and San Antonio will see their local news replaced by a "Regional" newscast produced out of a new Dallas production center.
Telemundo also faced some problems with the show "Quinceanera", taping was stopped at Telemundo's Mexico City Studio when a local judge ordered the embargo of studio equipment owned by the production company Nostromo America. Nineteen police officers and nine Azteca lawyers appeared on site in order to seize equipment and halt the filming,TV Azteca claims they have an exclusivity agreement with host Alan Tacher that prevents him from appearing on other networks. TV Azteca filed papers to demand Alan Tracher be removed as host of the show, Telemundo has countered saying that Telemundo has become a victim of harassment and interference by Azteca to prevent the production of QUINCEANERA.
Telemundo plans to move production to its Hialeah studios.
 See also
 External links
- Official Site limited version Yahoo.com site in Spanish
- Telemundo, from the Museum of Broadcast Communications website
- NBC Universal's media village website