Telemundo, Univision and Estrella TV broke into their regularly scheduled programming on Sunday to deliver the tragic news – first of the plane’s disappearance and then, confirmation that superstar Jenni Rivera had died in a plane crash in Mexico after performing in a concert.
Telemundo started uninterrupted coverage at 2:22 pm ET, bringing in main anchor José Diaz-Balart, who was later joined by María Celeste Arrarás at 5 pm ET.
The network followed the news all afternoon and into the evening, with images of the search, call-ins from other artists and the live press conference by her family once her death was confirmed.
Univision first broke the news on air at 2:06 pm ET with a 2 min news break, followed up at 3:04 pm ET with a 3 min news break. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that it started airing a Jenni Rivera music special, followed by extended coverage within its network news, a special segment on “Aquí y Ahora” and 2 tribute specials from 8 to 11 pm.
Univision canceled its Tony Benett Christmas special, which it will reschedule at a future time.
Even Estrella TV, which doesn’t air any news during the weekend, broke into their Sunday programming, bringing in Enrique Gratas to lead the coverage of the plane crash that claimed the life of the popular 43-year-old singer, known as “La Diva de la Banda.”
Estrella TV started their Jenni Rivera coverage at 1 pm PT, ending at 11 pm PT.
Startup network MundoFox did not break into its programming or offer any coverage of the tragedy.
Jenni Rivera also had a very popular reality show – “I love Jenni” on mun2, which was filming its third season.
Just last week, ABC announced it had signed on to do a sitcom with the star called “Jenni,” about a strong-willed Latina working hard to raise a family and run a business.