Six months after sharing its plans to launch the first Spanish-language superstation in the United States with Media Moves, Meruelo Media announced the birth of “LA1” and unveiled its first logo.
The newly-branded superstation builds on its headquarters location and on the Spanish play on the name LA1 as “la uno.”
“Beyond a rebranding, this is really the supercharging of Super 22,” Otto Padrón, President of Meruelo Media, tells Media Moves. Super 22 is a digital subchannel of KWHY-22, created when the station became the MundoFox flagship affiliate in L.A. in 2012.
“I knew KY [KWHY] had an amazing following in this market. It had a fan base, especially because of the movies. All I had to do was continue to license the movies.” Padrón explains that’s why he held on to the channel and negotiated its launch on Time Warner Cable.
Set to debut in 2016, LA1, which aims to target an 18-49 demographic, will carry original programming that will highlight Hollywood and the LA experience. Reality shows with a Southwest angle will also be on the slate.
“LA1 will be a broad appeal platform. We’re going to make adjustments to it in a way that makes sense,” says Padrón. “There is an aspirational value to L.A. The glitter and shining lights… and the fact that this is the capital of Latinos in the U.S. This is the number 1 market and there’s an amazing strength on the brand. We want to capture that and exploit it in a way it resonates with viewers. It’ll have a very clear L.A. tint, but it’ll be appealing to anyone who wants to watch what’s going on in the city from anywhere in the country.”
While still looking for programming to feed the new channel, Meruelo execs have already started efforts to secure carriage in cable and satellite providers across the country.
“We’re uniquely positioned to do this,” says Padrón. “The Meruelo television facility was built with the vision that we would take LA1 to another level.”
Padrón announced the rebranding of Super 22 to LA1 during an upfront presentation in L.A. held yesterday, in which he highlighted the MundoFox 2015-16 programming slate for KWHY-22 that includes the Turkish novela “Las Mil y Una Noches,” to follow the network’s current hit “Suleimán el Gran Sultán.”
While Padrón affirms that the partnership with MundoFox is “a key component” to the success of Meruelo Media, being a network affiliate doesn’t allow much room to move.
The company will have creative and programming freedom with the launch of the independent LA1.