Liberman Broadcasting has filed a carriage complaint with the FCC against Comcast, claiming it’s discriminating against Estrella TV “for the purpose of benefitting its own Spanish-language networks Telemundo and NBC Universo.”
Estrella TV is currently off the air in Comcast households in Denver, Houston and Salt Lake City.
Liberman argues Comcast is violating FCC regulations and NBC Universal merger conditions by refusing to negotiate retransmission fees due to a conflict of interest as owner of Telemundo and NBC Universo.
The complaint, filed April 8, also claims Comcast is “seeking to exert its market position to unlawfully force Estrella to relinquish the digital rights to its own content as a condition for carriage.”
According to a B&C story, Liberman was trying to upgrade from must-carry status to retransmission consent, trying to negotiate license fees for the stations. But by choosing that option, if a deal isn’t reached, Comcast doesn’t have to carry them.
Comcast has responded to the complaint with this statement:
“Liberman Broadcasting has no case based on the law or the facts. First, as a threshold matter, the program carriage rules simply do not cover broadcasters like Liberman. They do not apply to broadcast networks. Second, Comcast did not drop Estrella TV; Liberman pulled the broadcast stations in three markets, and Comcast continues to carry Estrella TV to about six million subscribers across the country,” the company said in a statement.
This purported carriage complaint is just the latest attempt by Liberman to extract carriage and fees from Comcast that are in no way justified based on the weak performance of Estrella TV…Comcast negotiated in good faith for months before Liberman pulled the Estrella TV signals in the three markets. In fact, we offered to continue to carry the stations under the existing arrangements, which are the same terms we have with other, comparable stations.
Our decision not to pay the exorbitant price demanded by Liberman was a reasonable business judgment in the interest of our customers – and one that has been confirmed over the past year given the absence of any demand for Estrella TV in these markets.”
Posted in TV & RadioComments Off on Estrella TV files FCC complaint against Comcast
Initial rumors indicated the Liberman Broadcasting-owned network would cancel the show. Instead, management decided to make changes and has said it will continue the program with another host, yet to be named.
Hernán’s last show aired on November 29.
“I am very grateful to Estrella TV for affording me such an amazing opportunity to host a national public affairs show, in such a historical context as it is the increasing relevance of Latinos in national politics and the electoral process,” Hernán told Media Moves. “I was also lucky to work with very talented professionals that not only love to do what they do, they are also great human beings. I am ready for the next challenge and continuing my professional development and personal growth.”
According to a source, due to Hernán’s sudden departure, production was halted and there will be no new show taped for this Sunday.
Award-winning journalist Enrique Gratas passed away this afternoon, shortly before 3 pm PT at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 70.
Enrique, who until last month was anchoring Estrella TV’s “Cierre de Edicion” national evening newscast, had taken a leave of absence to undergo medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.
A source tells Media Moves he had metastatic cancer.
“We will miss his tireless energy and devotion to the social causes of Latinos in the United States,” Andrés Angulo, Estrella TV’s Vice President of News wrote in a message. “At this time, we have no information regarding funeral arrangements, but as soon as we have the details, we will share it with you.”
During his 40-year journalism career, Enrique covered many high-profile news events, including Patty Hearst’s trial in 1975, a devastating earthquake in Guatemala in 1976, every U.S. president since Richard Nixon, the immigration reform of 1986, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and both wars in Iraq.
He began his career in radio in his native Argentina in 1966. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1971 and soon after, would start working in San Francisco at KDTV channel 60 “Tele Sesenta” as the Spanish-language station’s first news director. That station would later become Univision’s KDTV-14.
In 1978, he anchored the first Spanish-language sports program from Los Angeles station KMEX-34. From 1981 to 1985 he was the news director of WXTV, now Univision 41 in New York. In 1985 he became news director and anchor of KVEA-52 in Los Angeles.
Enrique reached nationwide fame when he became anchor of Telemundo’s national news magazine “Ocurrio Así,” a role he held from 1990 to 1999. That year, he moved to Univision, where he helped launch the network’s late night newscast “Última Hora.”
In a statement, LBI Media CEO Lenard Liberman said: “Enrique’s passing saddens me greatly, as I considered him a good friend and admired his talent as a journalist… He leaves a legacy of journalistic excellence in Spanish-language television, a legacy we will preserve here at Estrella TV.”
After several weeks off the air, Enrique recorded a message that was broadcast on his show on September 22 admitting he was ill and was “going through a very difficult period in his life.” Despite sounding weak, he was optimistic that he would recuperate from his illness.
This story was updated to include additional biographical details and Enrique Gratas’ pre-recorded message.
When they showed up to work, “Estrellas Hoy” staffers were told the show was cancelled effective that day.
Estrella TV abruptly cancelled “Estrellas Hoy,” laying off most of the entertainment and gossip show’s employees, including two of the show’s hosts, a reporter, and production staff.
According to an inside source, hosts Gino del Corte and Andrea Rincón, reporter Lupita Herrera, producer Juan Alberto Santos, writer Félix Castillo, and production assistant Ana Escobar are among those who lost their jobs.
The third host, Victoria del Rosal, was kept on board for the time being, because she participates in another network show called “Rica Famosa Latina,” which is currently in production for season 3, set to debut in August.
A small group of people from the show were reassigned to other positions within LBI Media.
“Estrellas Hoy,” which debuted in 2009, aired its last show at on Monday, July 27.
Staffers received a group text less than two hours after the final show aired, requesting they attend an early morning production meeting on Tuesday. A source says they thought they would be discussing the show’s planned move from 4 to 3 pm, to give their timeslot to the new program “I Testigo,” which debuted on Tuesday, July 28.
“iTestigo” took over “Estrellas Hoy’s” 4 pm timeslot.
Instead, they were told the company decided to cancel the show and that most of the team would be laid off.
Estrella TV’s new 4 pm show “iTestigo,” highlights video from citizen journalists. The program hosts are Venezuelan TV host Celeste Santana, who previously hosted “Marcador Final” and “Acceso Total” on Telemundo’s KVEA; actor and former Univision/Telefutura TV host Rodolfo Jiménez, and María Elena Anaya, a finalist in Univision’s 2014 “Nuestra Belleza Latina.”
The 3 pm timeslot, where “Estrellas Hoy” was supposed to be moved to, now airs a repeat of cancelled show “A que no puedes VIP.”
Estrella TV did not respond to a request for comment.
Posted in TV & RadioComments Off on Estrella TV cancels “Estrellas Hoy,” launches “iTestigo”
Political analyst Hernán Molina has landed his own show on Estrella TV network. “En La Lucha con Hernán Molina,” a weekly political show focusing on the most pressing current affairs impacting the Latino community in the United States, will air Sundays at 1 pm PT.
Featuring a panel of guests, the show aims to provide a forum of debate and discussion on such hot topics as immigration, income inequality, the economy, education and advancement opportunities for immigrants and the Latino community in general.
The first show debuted on June 28.
This is the first time the Liberman-owned network produces a weekly political program.
Hernán is also Managing Editor of “En la lucha,” sharing duties with Andrés Angulo, VP of News for EstrellaTV, who is also the Executive Producer of the show.
Ángeles Prado is the show’s general producer and Alexis Ovalles is the show’s assistant producer.
For the past 3 years, Hernán has provided political analysis for the newscasts of EstrellaTV’s flagship station KRCA Channel 62 and has appeared on Noticias MundoFox 22 in Los Angeles and on national newscast “Noticias MundoFox.”
He has also provided political analysis and commentary on Univision’s KMEX 34, “Noticias Univision Fin de Semana,” CNN En Español and Colombia’s NTN24 network.
Adriana Ruggiero, 11 pm anchor of LA’s KRCA-62 newscast, has taken over Myrka’s role as anchor of “Noticiero Estrella TV” at 5:30 pm ET.
Adriana was replaced at 11 pm by Hilda Gutiérrez, who was moved from the 12 noon newscast to share the anchor desk with Karla Amezola.
Due to Mirthala’s vacancy and Hilda’s move to evenings, two anchor spots were left open.
In order to fill those spots, management promoted reporter Dulce Castellanos to 12 pm anchor and paired her with Rosy Martell, who had previously anchored sports and weather.
Rosy Martell and Dulce Castellanos anchor the 12 pm newscast.
An attorney and anchor in her native Venezuela, Adriana moved to Los Angeles in 2012, where she began as a reporter for “Noticias 62,” before co-anchoring the station’s 5 and 11 pm newscasts.
Dulce and Hilda both began their broadcast careers at KRCA-62. Dulce started as a reporter for Noticias 62 in 2012 and Hilda as an associate producer for “Noticias 62 En Vivo” in 2010, before moving to a reporter position.
Hilda Gutiérrez and Karla Amezola anchor the 5 and 11 pm newscasts.
Rosy began her broadcast journey with TV Azteca in 2003. She has been an anchor and reporter for multiple shows, including Azteca’s “Al Extremo.”
She joined Estrella TV as a sports anchor in 2013, before getting moved to the weekday noon newscast.
“We’re very excited about promoting the new generation of Latino journalists and news anchors in this key market,” Andrés Angulo, VP of News tells Media Moves. “We truly are a source of professional growth, by promoting from within.”
Posted in People, TV & RadioComments Off on Estrella TV promotes, shuffles on-air talent