Randy Falco, Univision’s President and CEO on Wednesday sent a letter to Janet H. Brown, Executive Director of the Commission on Presidential Debates expressing “disappointment” that millions of Hispanics won’t “have a voice in the upcoming presidential debates.”
Univision had submitted the names of anchors Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas for consideration, but the commission didn’t pick either one.
The CPD chose CNN’s Candy Crowley – the first woman since Carole Simpson in 1992 – to be one of the 3 presidential debate moderators.
The other two are PBS’ Jim Lehrer and CBS’s Bob Schieffer. ABC’s Martha Raddatz will moderate the vice presidential debate.
“Since you have already made your decision on moderators for the debates and have neglected to have someone speak credibly to the concerns of Hispanics in America, Univision would be willing to create a forum,” Falco wrote in the letter, adding that with Jorge and María Elena would be the moderators.
Brown turned down Univision’s offer: “We recognize there are many organizations and individuals who wish they had been included in our moderator selection. Debate arithmetic means that it is impossible to accommodate all of them.”
During the national newscast, Jorge told the audience of this exchange and said Univision would invite President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to a forum to address the concerns of the Hispanic community.
He also invited the audience to chime in on Twitter:
Here’s the segment where Jorge addresses the issue:
There are other Hispanic notable journalists who would’ve made great moderators. Among them, PBS’ Ray Suarez and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.
Here’s Falco’s letter:
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Randy Falco should be embarrassed!!!! This is not the commission’s fault it lays solely on his shoulders. The fact that he is the head of the most powerful Hispanic Media Company in the U.S. and not gets asked to be part of the most important election in this country’s History is unacceptable. You would think that their current relationship with ABC would have given them the presence to demand a seat at the table.
I believe that the major reason Hispanics continue to be ignore has to do with the fact that the top executives at Univision really do not have an interest in the Hispanic Community to them Hispanics represent only ad dollars. Not only are they not interested in representing this population they seem to go out of their way to devalue them as voters and consumers.
We are only important when they want to sell us a product but not important enough for them to help us shape our economic and political future. If we are to believe that Hispanics will determined this year election and we will, Univision should have been proactive to take the lead. But, as you can see by the letter he drafted, there is neither passion nor a real effort to make a case for his anchors to get a seat at the debates.
If Mr. Falco was truly interested in representing us, a letter is the most ineffective way to approach the issue. He should launch a campaign for viewers to call the commission, the DNC, RNC, The President, and Mitt to force them to give us a seat at the table. But he won’t do that. Why, because he has not interest in making waves it might hurt his reputation, it may also hurt his job opportunities in the future with other media companies.
52 Million Hispanics, Largest Minority in the US, The Biggest Minority Voting block, and an tremendous purchasing power, but yet when it comes to having a seat a the table, Univision prefers to keep us away.
Marco A. Sandoval says
I called CPD this morning…I voiced my disappointment the selection of at least two of the moderators Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer. Although both are very smart men, it is the same old story, the selection of senior and out of touch moderators…