Arriba y Abajo 5-29-2016

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WEduardoSunolho? Eduardo Suñol

–Where? NBC Telemundo

– New Position? VP News Digital

–Before? Senior Executive Producer

-Importance?  Will Strengthen Digital News 0peration

 

 


MadelineBosakewichWho? Madeline Bosakewich

–Where? IBT Media
– New Position? VP of Sales
–Before? Zoomin.TV Publisher Relations and Televisa Publishing
-Report to? Mitchell Caplan, Chief Marketing Officer
-Importance?  Will  create a Global Sales Strategy

Latinos Outgrew Sábado Gigante’s Racism and Misogyny

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Saturday nights for Latinos are usually family nights, and the variety show Sábado Gigante – the Miami-based Spanish-language hybrid of Benny Hill, Saturday Night Live and The Price is Right, which aired across the Americas for 53 years – has long been a big part of that. I didn’t watch the show of my own volition too much after immigrating to the US as a child (I was a nerd who preferred to read books), but it was often on at home following the family meal on Saturday evenings; if we had friends and family over at our apartment on Saturday night, spending time with them meant watching the show. If I happened to be at a friend’s house on a Saturday night, watching the show was a big part of our entertainment.

Dom Francisco’s show was a place on television for Latinos to see themselves represented. And some times we were in the worst ways possible.
Dom Francisco’s show was a place on television for Latinos to see themselves represented. And some times we were in the worst ways possible.

Sábado Gigante always gave America’s diverse Latinos a shared pop culture vernacular; for immigrant families, it gave us something to connect to with family back home. As long as they had televisions and understood Spanish, a grandmother living in El Salvador, a cousin living in the Dominican Republic, and an uncle living in Paraguay could all share a common reference point with family members living in the US and Canada – much like strangers use Twitter now to talk about Scandal or Game of Thrones.

And, for second generation Latinos who discreetly agonize over our Spanish language attrition. Spanish might be the first language we learned growing up in Latin America, or the first language we learned being born in the US, but many Latinos do most of our formal learning in English – and it influences our understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of our mother tongue. Sábado Gigante’s skits and segments are so over-the-top that it doesn’t matter whether we’ve lost our ability to conjugate verbs into the subjunctive mood, for instance – we will still get the basics and other family members can fill us in on any nuances we missed.

With an audience of about two million people, the 3-hour Univision show (which will come to an end this fall) has remarkably soothed generational, geographical and linguistic divides. Latino families in the US and throughout the Americas still gather around the television screen to watch it, as generations did before us, and many are mourning its end. When Latinos in the US say they’ll miss Sábado Gigante, they sometimes mean they’ll miss the way that it allowed them to connect with other Latinos, and the anxiety over losing the bond that only Sábado Gigante makes possible – and made possible for so long – is predictable.

But coupled with a certain willing silence over the show’s problematic themes, sketches and host, that melancholy illustrates how Latino misogyny and racism is perpetuated in the US. Sábado Gigante and its host are representative of some of the worst supposed Latino culture, and both should have been rejected ages ago.

Sábado Gigante’s host, Mario Kreutzberger – better known as Don Francisco – has become synonymous with Sábado Gigante for more than half a century. Those of us who grew up watching Don Francisco also grew up having to accept his persistent objectification of women to enjoy (or endure) his show. Although I didn’t have the words to articulate it as a child, seeing the way Don Francisco treats women made me cringe – and still does. One of the Sábado Gigante’s best-known segments, for instance, is Miss Colita (roughly translated, it means Miss Ass); a pageant in which women parade around the stage in thongs while Don Francisco comments and audience members vote for their favorite buttocks. Miss Colita contestants willingly sign up for the segment – but also have to cope with Don Francisco’s constant ogling and groping.

But it’s not just Miss Colita contestants who are objectified by Don Francisco on Sábado Gigante: the host also picks women out from the audience – grabbing women of all ages and body types by the hand, wrist, elbow or waist – and comments on their bodies. I don’t know that any woman ever directly rejected Don Francisco’s physical prodding on an aired episode of Sábado Gigante – but he was sued for sexual harassment by a cast member (it was settled out of court).

And, when he’s not busy groping women the show regularly uses little people as caricatures, employs exaggerated gay characters for laughter and regularly fat-shames people – including children.

When it comes to blatantly racist portrayals, the show’s mockery of indigenous peoples in the Americas is profoundly demeaning. Sábado Gigante’s interracial sketches illustrate the stubborn inequity among Latinos in the Americas: although we share a geographic region, Latinos are not one race of people. There are black, indigenous, white, Asian and mixed Latinos who are all subjected to a racial hierarchy – an order that Sábado Gigante doesn’t challenge. As a Latina who’s also indigenous, I connect with the show’s use of the Spanish language yet strongly reject the way that indigenous peoples are portrayed.

The show’s racism doesn’t end with its mockery of indigenous peoples: one of the Sábado Gigante’s best-known recurring characters is La Cuatro, which is short for La Cuatro Dientes (“Four Teeth”), a reference to the character’s social status – poor people, it’s assumed, can’t afford to fix their teeth. Although the actress who portrays her is light skinned and blonde, La Cuatro is often referred to as being savage and wild. In one episode from the show’s later years, viewers learned that La Cuatro is expecting an inheritance from an uncle in Africa, which is eventually delivered by an “African” character sporting a cheetah-print cloth and disheveled hair held together by a large bone.

As English language television struggles to figure out how to portray and serve a Latino audience – from Cristela to George Lopez to Jane the Virgin to Modern Family and beyond – I can’t imagine Sábado Gigante-type antics would ever hit mainstream screens. The stereotypes it employs don’t represent us – but we would also never want non-Latinos to know that those offensive stereotypes are humor in which any of us should continue to traffic. Sábado Gigante symbolizes an outdated thinking about Latinos and comedy that hinges on fetishizing and ridiculing people for ratings; it is ostensibly Latino, but it’s not an indication of who we are or who we’ve striving to become.

Sábado Gigante brought Latinos together across continents and generations, it’s true, but its misogyny and racism became its hallmarks even as the Latinos watching outgrew them. It’s probably too much to hope that the hatred for women, people of color and other marginalized people it perpetuated and institutionalized will die when Univision pulls the show’s plug on 19 September 2015 – but I can dream.

Estrella TV Announces Changes

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20150518 PG15 EstrellaIn front of hundreds of attentive guests, Estrella TV unveiled an innovative programming strategy for advertisers at its annual Upfront Gala at Bryant Park Grill in Manhattan.  From a tented high tech stage setting, clients and advertising agency executives were given a glimpse of the network’s new content curation within the digital and social space.

At the core of Estrella TV’s message to advertisers:  Estrella TV keeps growing at a time of audience declines.  In the key targets of A18-49 and 25-54, only Estrella TV has grown back-to-back years among the top four Spanish language networks.  Also chief among this growth is the millennial audience.  As many networks grapple to grow this elusive target, Estrella TV is also the only broadcast network in Spanish or English to grow back-to-back with A18-34.  Estrella TV announced its plans for the launch of Fenomeno Studios, a brand new multi-channel network that will feature channels across many different genres including musical parodies and gaming with Don Cheto, lifestyle and pranks with superstar Luis Coronel, DIY, beauty, sports offerings and many more.

CEO, Lenard Liberman, who laid out the thinking behind the new MCN, unveiled the highlight of its focus.  The Fenomeno Studios facility is a 23,000 square foot studio in Burbank that is a creative space complete with production stages, edit bays and office space for the new stable of YouTube talent that will be incubated.  The important distinction noted with this platform is that it will not be for re-purposing television content but, a talent development platform for crossover to TV integrating brands in the process.

En La Lucha –  A new entertainment program designed to showcase today’s rising political stars and bring political leaders and social influencers into the homes of the more inquisitive viewers, namely the millennial.

iTestigo – A news based “citizens reporters” program that will feature user generated content of events and social issues from across the country and the world.  A host and journalistic team will provide in-depth commentary from a central newsroom of ‘citizen reporter ‘content.  An iTestigo app will push geographically targeted requests for content from participating reporters.

New Comedy Interview Show (unnamed) –  Will star the very popular Mexican actress and comedian, Consuelo Duval.  Consuelo charmed the crowd at the event and spoke about her enthusiasm in joining the Estrella TV family.

Also on hand was superstar Luis Coronel, the newest celebrity judge on Estrella TV’s hugely popular nationwide talent search program, “Tengo Talento Mucho Talento”.  Luis spoke of his experiences as a first time judge of the widely popular show that continues to secure double digit ratings growth and fuel vast digital and social followings among fans.  Luis also talked about the launch of his new channel on Fenomeno Studios MCN.

Guest entertainment included singer, Skylar Grey, who performed her signature songs from atop a high tech stage and sound system.

“We were thrilled with clients’ response to Fenomeno Studios and all of the incredible programs we will be launching for the new season ” said Winter Horton, COO, Liberman Broadcasting.

ABOUT ESTRELLA TV: Since its 2009 launch, Estrella TV has established itself as a top U.S. Hispanic television network across demos and time periods.  Covering nearly 80% of the Hispanic TV households in America, the broadcast network has achieved its fast-track success by programming high-quality all-original programs produced in-house featuring well-known stars and popular personalities from the U.S. and Latin America.  Estrella TV is owned and operated by Liberman Broadcasting, Inc., a leading Spanish-language entertainment company and one of the largest Spanish-language radio and television broadcasters in the United States, based on both revenues and number of stations. More can be learned about Estrella TV on its exclusive website, www.estrellatv.com.

Latinos Spending More on CPG

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20150615 PG 3 CPGIncreasingly positive about their personal economies, U.S. Hispanics are spending more on consumer packaged goods, reveals a study conducted by Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision Communications.

Today, Latino shoppers spend an average of $361 a month on groceries compared to $331 spent by the total U.S. shopper population. The numbers represent Hispanics’ highest monthly grocery spending in three years.

“Knowing how these consumers shop and make purchase decisions is important for capturing market share,” said Colin Stewart, senior vice president of Acosta Sales & Marketing.

Among the factors contributing to the increased spending among Hispanics are the enjoyment of shopping, eating dinner at the table and purchasing groceries online.

The Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study was produced via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst™ online survey in the fall of 2014.

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