|Type||Spanish-language broadcast television network|
|Country||Puerto Rico and U.S.|
(COO, Telemundo Communications Group)
1954 WKAQ-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico)
1984 (in the continental United States)
Telemundo (Spanish pronunciation: ) is an American Spanish language broadcast television network that is owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal. The network broadcasts programs, including several produced by the network itself, aimed at Hispanic and Latino Americans in the U.S., and audiences around the world – featuring a mix of telenovelas, sports, reality television series, news programming, and feature films (both Spanish-dubbed versions of American films and imported films produced in Spanish-speaking countries).
In addition to the broadcast network, Telemundo also operates mun2, a cable and satellite channel specializing in programming geared towards a young Hispanic audience; Telemundo Digital Media, which distributes original programming content across digital and mobile networks, and the telemundo.com and mun2.tv websites; Puerto Rico television station WKAQ-TV, whose signal reaches 99% of all television households in the U.S. territory; and international distribution arm Telemundo Internacional. Telemundo is the second-largest provider of Spanish-language content worldwide, with its programming syndicated to more than 100 countries in over 35 languages.
Telemundo is headquartered in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, Florida, and has 1,900 employees worldwide. The majority of Telemundo shows and programs are filmed at a studio facility operated by the network in Miami. In 2011, 85% of Telemundo's telenovelas were filmed in Miami. The average hour-long primetime drama costs the network $70,000 to produce.
WKAQ-TV launched the Telemundo brand on March 28, 1954. The station was founded by Ángel Ramos – owner of Puerto Rico's main newspaper at the time, El Mundo, and the U.S. territory's first radio station, WKAQ (also known as "Radio El Mundo"). Ramos wanted to maintain a consistent branding for his properties using the mundo theme (Spanish for "world"), and chose to brand WKAQ-TV as "Telemundo" (in effect, "Teleworld" or "World TV"). Ramos had tried to obtain a television station license as early as the mid-1940s, but due to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing freeze for all new American television stations due to World War II, he had to wait until 1954 to obtain the license.
In the beginning, Ramos maintained continuity between his radio and television stations by signing an exclusive deal with the most famous and influential actor/comedian/producer in Puerto Rico, Ramón Rivero – better known as Diplo – whose El Tremendo Hotel, broadcast through WKAQ radio, was the most popular radio program in Puerto Rican broadcasting history. It was Rivero who produced the first comedy/variety television shows for WKAQ-TV, La Taberna India, and then La Farándula Corona on YouTube, shows that catapulted the television station to the top of the ratings.
During the 1970s and 1980s, WKAQ-TV, then branded as "Telemundo Canal 2", was a major producer of soap operas. The station was also known for its "fingers" logo – a bold number "2" with the silhouette of two upright fingers inside the number – and called itself "El canal de los dedos" ("the channel of the fingers"). On April 14, 1983, Ramos sold WKAQ-TV to John Blair & Co.
In 1984, WNJU in Linden, New Jersey (serving the New York City area) and KSTS in San Jose, California formed NetSpan, the second Spanish-language television network in the continental United States. These stations joined KVEA in 1985 in Los Angeles run by general manager and part-owner, Joseph "Joe" Wallach. The next year, KVEA's part-owner, Reliance Group Holdings, acquired the Telemundo brand when it purchased John Blair & Co., which owned WSCV in Ft. Lauderdale/Miami as well as WKAQ-TV. In late 1986, Reliance also purchased WNJU.
In 1987, Saul Steinberg and Henry Silverman of Reliance Capital Group merged all these stations into the Telemundo Group. The new corporation quickly went public, and in 1987 changed NetSpan's name to Telemundo. Later that year, it purchased additional stations in San Francisco, Houston and San Antonio.
Evolution as Telemundo
Between 1988 and 1991, Telemundo acquired television stations in María Elvira Salazar. Lana Montalban, who anchored the program known then as Telemundo HBC, returned to New York City, where she anchored newscasts for Telemundo O&O WNJU for four years. When Salazar decided to take a position as a reporter at Noticiero Univision in Miami, Chilean former Miss Universe Cecilia Bolocco joined Gestoso on the Telemundo newscast. The final incarnation produced in Atlanta was co-anchored by Patricia Janiot.
In 1992, Telemundo went through another management change, as it appointed former Univision president Joaquin Blaya, who left Univison with four other executives from that network. The next year, Telemundo rebranded itself with the campaign "Arriba, Telemundo, Arriba" ("Upwards, Telemundo, Upwards"); around the same time, Telemundo's framed "T" letter logo (which has been used since that point in various design elements) was introduced. In 1993, the network began to produce its own original telenovelas, the first of which were Angélica, mi vida, Marielena, Guadalupe, Señora Tentación and Tres Destinos. Syndicaton distributors soon courted these shows to air on networks in international markets. Telemundo's effort faced an initial setback when Mexico's industry leader, Televisa, bought Capitalvision, the production house that had been producing the telenovelas in conjunction with the network.
In 1994, Telemundo decided to enter into the world of 24-hour news; the network launched Telenoticias in partnership with Argentina's Artear Network, Spain broadcaster Antena 3 and Reuters. The venture was not successful and the service was sold to CBS. Rebranded as "CBS Telenoticias", the network began to be carried across the Americas. CBS Telenoticias later resold to Telemundo, which rebranded the network as Telemundo Internacional.
In 1995, under the direction of Harry Abraham Castillo, the network's executive vice president of programming, Telemundo opened its first network studio on the West Coast. Housed at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, three shows began daily production that year on the lot: La Hora Lunática, hosted by L.A. radio personality Humberto Luna and produced by Jackie Torres; El y Ella, a daily talk show created, hosted and produced by Gigi Graciette; and Dando y Dando, a game show hosted by Rafael Sigler and produced by Gaspar Díaz.
In 1998, Telemundo was bought by a joint venture between Liberty Media, and film and television studio 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. The "Lo mejor de los dos Mundos" ("The Best of Both Worlds") campaign was launched at this time. Several billboards went up in cities such as Miami and San Francisco heralding a "new era" for Telemundo. Former CBS News vice president Joe Peyronnin founded Telemundo's news division in 1999 and served as its executive vice president until 2006.
After Tortoricci's resignation, Telemundo was led by CEO Jim McNamara and COO Alan Sokol. Their programming strategy followed a more traditional approach to Spanish-language television than their predecessors, since the new team incorporated several telenovelas from Colombia and Brazil, and entertainment programs. It was under McNamara that Telemundo incorporated Laura en América, a "conflict talk" show hosted by Peruvian lawyer Laura Bozzo; Betty La Fea ("Ugly Betty", or literally translated as "Betty The Ugly"), starring Ana Maria Orozco; A Oscuras Pero Encendidos, hosted by Paul Bouche; Xica, starring Tais Araujo; the Spanish game show Números Rojos; and the Argentine children's program Agrandaditos. 2009
On April 12, 2002, Telemundo was purchased by NBC (which itself was acquired by Vivendi Universal the following year to become the present-day NBCUniversal) for $2.7 billion. Jim McNamara remained at the helm of the network. Local Telemundo stations in select cities began producing early morning newscasts to become more competitive in their respective markets; the Telemundo "T" logo received an overhaul. Telemundo's main competitor, Univision, continued to beat the network in the ratings, although not in all timeslots.
News programs were created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks: Hoy en el Mundo ("Today in the World"), anchored by Marian de la Fuente and Jose Diaz-Balart, debuted to inform viewers of national and international events. This program and its companion show En la Madrugada ("In Early Morning") were cancelled due to the much heralded arrival of Maria Antonieta Collins from Univision. Cada Dia with Maria Antonieta ("Every Day with Maria Antonieta") replaced these shows in October 2005; Collins continued to host the program along with the much recycled Diaz-Balart – who anchored the network's morning news program Noticiero Telemundo: Madrugada ("Telemundo News: Early Morning"), later to be anchored by Ana Patricia Candiani – as co-host. Cada Dia was cancelled in May 2008, after Collins announced that she would leave Telemundo when her contract expired in August of that year return to news anchoring and as a result of low ratings for the program; it was replaced by a new morning show called ¡Levántate! ("Get Up"), another hybrid news and lifestyle format, which was broadcast out of the studios of WKAQ-TV, and initially produced by Telemundo Puerto Rico. The hybrid program included local participation of the network's Miami owned-and-operated station WSCV from its studios in the suburb of Miramar, Florida, and bureaus located in New York City, Los Angeles and Mexico City. The show was later revamped, dropping the local cut-ins and had its production relocated to Telemundo's headquarters in Hialeah, Florida.
In 2004, Telemundo launched Telemundo Television Studios in Miami. The network also began providing English language closed captioning for many of its telenovelas. Under NBC, Telemundo brought greater emphasis to original programming and product placement. The network spent $100 million a year producing its own shows around the middle part of the decade. After it was purchased by NBCUniversal, Telemundo decided to stop importing telenovelas from Latin America and start producing its own. To that end, Telemundo partnered with Colombian production company RTI Colombia and Mexican production company Argos Comunicación. To have its telenovelas – which follow the Mexican model – recognized by the audiences of the U.S. and Latin America, Telemundo hired famous actors and actresses from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Puerto Rico; over time, Telemundo began to also hire American-born Hispanic actors and actresses who fluently speak Spanish. McNamara retired from his position as CEO and was replaced by Don Browne, who had previously served as president and general manager of NBC's Miami O&O WTVJ, in 2005.
In March 2007, NBC Universal announced that it had restructured Telemundo's entertainment division in an effort to narrow Univision's ratings dominance. NBC also announced the intention to sell the original Telemundo station in Puerto Rico (WKAQ-TV) and Los Angeles Spanish independent station KWHY (now a MundoFox affiliate) to finance the acquisition of Oxygen Media. On December 21, 2007, NBCUniversal announced that WKAQ-TV was no longer for sale, indicating that Telemundo Puerto Rico would stay within the NBC family.
On March 18, 2008, Grupo Televisa and NBC Universal announced a 10-year multiplatform agreement that would allow 1,000 hours of Telemundo programming, including news; entertainment; specials and sports, to be broadcast over not only Televisa's free-to-air channels, but also its SKY México service and cable system starting in April of that year, as well as a planned Telemundo cable and satellite channel that would be operated as a joint venture between both companies, which launched in Mexico in August 2009.
On April 23, 2009, Telemundo became the first U.S.-based Spanish-language network to begin airing its primetime programming in high definition (broadcasting in the 1080i resolution format). Initially, Telemundo owned-and-operated television stations in nine markets (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Las Vegas, and Puerto Rico) were to begin airing Telemundo programming in HD. The remaining O&Os were to upgrade their digital signals to high definition over the next twelve months, with the Telemundo-affiliated stations eventually following suit.
In 2010, Comcast announced that it would acquire a 51% majority stake in NBCUniversal for $6.5 billion; the deal was completed on January 28, 2011, with Comcast acquiring control of Telemundo as part of the deal. Emilio Romano was named president of Telemundo in October 2011.
During the first quarter of 2012, Telemundo launched Exitos TV, a digital multicast network featuring primarily scripted series on the digital subchannels of its owned-and-operated stations. On May 14, Telemundo announced that it would launch a new branding campaign that would include a new slogan and on-air identity, including the replacement of its framed "T" logo (a variant of the 1992-era design that had been introduced by the network in 1999), with a new logo featuring two partial red spheres forming the "T", described to "capture the duality of Telemundo’s audience, balancing the strong connection to their Latin roots with their contemporary mindset of living in the U.S." The new logo and graphics package debuted on-air on December 8, 2012.
The majority of Telemundo's programming consists of first-run telenovelas and series, many of which are produced by the network itself, although some shows are produced by outside companies (including Caracol Television and Promofilm). Telemundo's schedule does not incorporate situation comedies, although some comedy series have aired on the network in the past, particularly during the 1990s and early 2000s. Variety shows – a common format in Spanish language television in the U.S. and other countries – also have a limited presence on Telemundo's lineup (La Voz Kids being the only such show appearing on the network as of July 2013). Daytime programming on weekdays features a mix of telenovelas (airing only during the late morning and early afternoon hours), with reality and court series (such as Caso Cerrado and Suelta La Sopa) making up its afternoon programming.
Since 2010, Telemundo has incorporated an off-time scheduling format for its primetime programming (similar to the "Turner Time" format used by TBS from 1981 to 2000), in which programs that air weeknights from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time) start on a three-minute delay – resulting from intentional overruns of the network's 7:00 p.m. program (currently Caso Cerrado: Edićion Especial) into the 8:00 p.m. timeslot. As a result, conventional "top-and-bottom" start times are not restored until the final primetime program of the evening at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific), allowing late local newscasts seen on some Telemundo stations to start at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific (10:00 p.m. Central and Mountain Time).
The network operates a news division, Noticiero Telemundo, which produces a half-hour early evening flagship newscast of the same name that airs Monday through Fridays (a secondary newscast called Noticiero Telemundo Internacional aired until 2011, which aired in place of late local newscasts on Telemundo affiliates that did not operate their own news department or preempted local newscasts on certain holidays at the station's discretion); it also produces the morning news and lifestyle program Un Nuevo Día, the late afternoon newsmagazine series Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste and the Sunday morning talk show Enfoque (the network previously produced weekend editions of Al Rojo Vivo and Noticiero Telemundo until 2007, which were replaced with feature films and reality-based series).
The network also maintains a sports division called Deportes Telemundo, which broadcasts association football and boxing matches, and produces three weekly sports related programs: the male-oriented Saturday afternoon sports and lifestyle program Ritmo Deportivo (which originally aired on Sundays from its debut in 2002 until September 2013), the weekend evening sports wrap-up program Titulares Telemundo and Thursday and Friday late night show Titulares y Mas.
Telemundo also broadcasts a weekend morning children's program block called "Mi Telemundo", consisting of Spanish-dubbed versions of series produced or broadcast by sister cable network Sprout (including some seen on sister broadcast network NBC's children's block NBC Kids) that comply with the FCC's E/I guidelines. The network regularly airs films, generally in late night and weekend timeslots, featuring a mix of Spanish-dubbed English-language films and imported films natively produced in Spanish (imported films are typically aired during the overnight hours as well as in place of the network's regular schedule on select national holidays). While Telemundo largely programs the schedules of its owned-and-operated stations and affiliates in a sense since these stations air the large majority of its programming, some of the network's affiliates do produce locally-produced programs such as public affairs programs and local newscasts (many Telemundo stations that produce their own newscasts usually air them in early and late evening timeslots, often only on Monday through Fridays, although some of its owned-and-operated stations also air weekday morning newscasts and a few of its O&Os and affiliates carry weekend evening newscasts). On September 4,2014 The network announced that it will debut weekend evening editions of Noticiero Telemundo on Oct 4,2014at 5 E.T./4 C.T.. Anchored by Edgardo Del Villar.
Telemundo provides closed captions in English during its weekday primetime programming from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time); the captions are transmitted over the CC3 caption channel in standard definition and digital caption channel CS2 in high definition. The network produces the translations in-house, and intends them to attract Hispanic viewers who may not be fluent in Spanish as well as other non-Spanish speakers. Programs that include English captions are identified on-air by a special digital on-screen graphic seen at the start of each episode (see right).
Telemundo was the first Spanish-language network in the United States to incorporate English captions during its programming, beginning with the premieres of La Cenicienta and Amor Descarado on September 8, 2003; this generated a small, loyal fan base among English-speaking viewers. Subtitles briefly disappeared without notice starting October 14, 2008, amid budget cuts and as a result of the network's switch from analog to digital broadcasts; the network cited the need to concentrate resources on its core Spanish-speaking audience, but soon reversed its decision due to popular demand. The English captions returned on March 30, 2009. The use of English captions was later adopted by its Univision, which began airing them on its evening programming (primarily with its weeknight telenovelas, along with select weekend primetime series) on January 30, 2012, and (in the same manner as Telemundo) transmits them over the CC3 caption channel; Azteca América also transmits English language captions on certain programs.
Programs that include English-language captions during their original broadcast may also include them in repeat broadcasts airing outside of the network's primetime schedule after the program's original run on the network. Some programs (notably the long-running erotic anthology Decisiones), only include English captions in certain episodes, depending on when they were produced. The programs that use the English captions are primarily telenovelas, though a few shows outside the genre (such as primetime court show Caso Cerrado: Edición Especial) are also transcribed in both languages. Availability of English subtitles is limited to the technical capacity of the local station, cable or satellite provider, or other outlet to pass them on.
- Breaking News - In Landmark Move, Nbc Universal Television Group Signs Development Deal With Galan Entertainment For Production Of Telenovelas In English Across Its Many Networks | Thefutoncritic.Com
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- "Legal corporate english." Telemundo. Retrieved on February 3, 2009.
- Variety http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/how-to-build-a-better-telenovela-1200569561/ .
- "Corporate Information." Telemundo. Retrieved on February 3, 2009.
- "TELEMUNDO - The Museum of Broadcast Communications". Museum.tv. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
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- In an interview in "People En Espanol".
- "Telemundo divisions to be revamped". Variety. March 21, 2007.
- WKAQ-TV "Telenoticias a las 5:00 P.M." in a short message by Don Browne (NBC/Telemundo Network president).
- Comcast, NBC U Merger a Done Deal, Variety, January 29, 2011
- Comcast-NBCU Deal Done: $30B Later, Comcast Is Proud Owner of the Peacock, The Wrap, January 29, 2011
- Comcast Takes Over NBC Universal After Long Review, ABC News, January 29, 2011
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- Official website
- Crossover - Telemundo's bilingual website
- Telemundo International
- Telemundo, from the Museum of Broadcast Communications website
- Club De Noveleras (Bilingual)
- lo mejor de lo mejor (Bilingual)