September 22, 2020

By Joe Schramm, Schramm Marketing Group

The 18th Annual Hispanic Television Summit kicked off Monday with a virtual ceremony celebrating the leadership within the Hispanic television industry.

The Hispanic TV and Video Awards ceremony was hosted by Univision’s Pamela Silva, host of Primer Impacto and Luis Sandoval, the West Coast correspondent for Despierta America.

[Julio Vaqueiro, anchor of Telemundo's 'Noticias Telemundo Edición Especial']
 Julio Vaqueiro, anchor of Telemundo's 'Noticias Telemundo Edición Especial' (Image credit: Telemundo
)

The CultureX Leadership Award was the first award presented and it went to Mexican-born Julio Vaqueiro, the anchor of Noticias Telemundo Edición Especial. The experienced Emmy-winning journalist recently shared that he credits his youthful appearance for his first job in television. 

“The station was looking for someone young, and thought I was much younger than I was,” said Vaqueiro. “Lucky for me I still don’t look my real age.”  

Vaquiero was recognized with the award for his leadership in covering major breaking stories of importance to Latino audiences, like the on-going strife at the U.S.-Mexico border, and for his many exclusive one-on-one interviews with many U.S. candidates, and world leaders. When asked who was on his wish list, he added, “I would still like to interview the Pope.”

Two businesses were recognized with the corporate leadership award. Charter was recognized for their ongoing commitment to serving Hispanic customers, and Castalia was honored for over 20 years of distributing a variety of Spanish language programming services to Latino audiences and especially for the creation of Mexicanal, the channel they created for serving the special interests of Mexican viewers in the U.S.

[Tom Montemagno, executive VP of programming acquisition for Charter]
Tom Montemagno, executive VP of programming acquisition for Charter (Image credit: Charter)

Tom Montemagno, the executive VP of programming acquisition for Charter, accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues. Charter provides its services in 20 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets making its programming and internet available to 10 million Hispanic households. The award recognized the company for their efforts to continue to provide information and entertainment to their Latino customers, as noted by the recent addition to their line-up of five new channels targeting Latinos.

In his comments, Montemagno mentioned that the company takes serving diverse customers seriously as reflected by 47% of their workforce. He closed by acknowledging Charter’s Multicultural Marketing division for “helping the entire company to better understand our Hispanic communities.”

[Catalia founder and president Luis-Torres Bohl]
Catalia founder and president Luis-Torres Bohl (Image credit: Catalia)

Catalia’s award was accepted by their founder and president, Luis-Torres Bohl. The company, which negotiates the distribution of networks targeting Hispanics and Native Americans, was recognized for their many years of service to cable and satellite, and now connected TV providers. One of the networks, Mexicanal, was started 15 years ago by Torres-Bohl, specifically to fill the gap of providing traditional Mexican television content to the many Mexican residents in the U.S.  

Bohl mentioned, “I founded the business to make a difference in the lives of the many Latinos in the U.S. who crave something familiar.” He stressed the importance of television to Latinos and to each other is key to better understanding of diversity in our country.

Two additional awards recognized executive leadership. Karina Dobarro of Horizon Media was honored for her outstanding career and commitment to media investments within Hispanic television. She mentioned that she assures her clients that they are well-served to consider investing in programming specifically targeted to Latino audiences.

[Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Sports]
Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Sports (Image credit: Univision)

A second executive recognized for his many years of leadership in Hispanic television was Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Sports. He was lauded for leading the dynamic team of sports reporting at Univision and for positioning the sports brand, TUDN, as the home of soccer in the U.S. through the acquisition of exclusive Spanish-language media rights to many of the most popular teams and properties. Under his leadership, TUDN has become the country’s most-watched Spanish-language sports network. 

The Rafael Eli Pioneer in Hispanic Television Award was introduced by a tribute video narrated by talk show legend, Cristina Saralegui which honored the life of the late Rafael Eli, a co-producer of the Hispanic Television Summit. The first class of this award was presented in three categories: media, creative and talent, and were presented to Gene Bryan of Hispanic Media Sales, the creative team at agency d’exposito and Partners, and Andres Cantor, Telemundo’s voice of soccer.    

The Award for Outstanding Achievement closed the ceremony and was presented by Isaac Lee, founder of Exile Content to his business associate Diego Luna. Luna is the popular actor, director, producer who most recently starred in Netflix’s popular series, Narcos: Mexico. 

The Hispanic Television Summit continues through Thursday.

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