Tag Archive | "RCN"

Vélez named News Director of RCN Radio's La FM

Vélez named News Director of RCN Radio’s La FM

Luis Carlos VelezLuis Carlos Vélez has returned to his native Colombia, where he has been named News Director of RCN Radio’s La FM.

He’ll also be on the air weekday mornings from 5 to 10 am with “La FM con Luis Carlos Vélez,” starting Monday, February 26.

He’ll be dividing his time between Bogota and Miami.

Vélez previously spent two years at Telemundo, joining the company as EVP of Network News in 2015. He was moved from that role to the weekend anchor desk in March of 2016 and exited the company in August of last year.

Prior to Telemundo, Vélez was anchor and News Director at Caracol Television in Colombia.

Before that, he was an anchor and reporter for CNN International based in New York and an anchor for CNN en Español.

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MundoFox changes name, cancels national newscast & lays off staff

MundoFox changes name, cancels national newscast & lays off staff


Noticias MundoFox with Rolando Nichols was cancelled effective today, July 28.

Just days shy of its 3rd year anniversary, MundoFox is no more. The network, now fully owned by Colombia’s RCN Televisión, has switched names to MundoMax.

The network also cancelled “Noticias MundoFox,” the national newscast that aired at 5:30 and 10:30 pm PT/ET, laying off its entire staff.

About 35 news personnel lost their jobs, including the show’s reporters, producers, editors and news management.

Anchor Rolando Nichols, who is under contract, was saved from the cuts. It’s unknown at this time in what his future role will be within the company.*

According to inside sources, news staffers were told during a meeting late this morning that there would be no newscast as of today, and after notifying them en masse of the layoff, began doing exit interviews.

MundoFox bug

The MundoFox bug is visible on air during the network’s 7 pm show.

One laid off staffer says that during that meeting, a Human Resources representative told them news was “never part of the plan” for RCN, which launched MundoFox as a joint venture with Fox International Channels (FIC) in 2012.

Network President Ibra Morales is currently in Miami, where an affiliate meeting was held today.

A source says the affiliates were given no prior notice about the network name change or the cancellation of the national newscast.

That time slot will be filled by “Lo más Intrépido,” a compilation of extreme action videos.

The name on the MundoFox Facebook page was switched to MundoMax, although remnants of the logo and the website remain.

The name on the MundoFox Facebook page was switched to MundoMax, although remnants of the logo and the website remain.

The “rebranding” was so sudden that the network’s MundoFox “bug” remained on air and the logo itself continued in use with the MundoMax name on the Facebook page.

The MundoFox page was shut down and replaced by MundoMax.

Just two weeks ago, FIC announced it had sold its stake in MundoFox to RCN.

Sources say the partnership was a rocky one, riddled with disagreements over programming, ratings and distribution, leading to Emiliano Saccone’s departure as President of the network and RCN bringing Morales as his replacement.

Media Moves reached out to Morales and RCN management, but has yet to receive a response with regards to the changes.

* CORRECTION: When first published, the story indicated Nichols was one of the layoffs.

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Fox sells its stake in MundoFox to RCN

Fox sells its stake in MundoFox to RCN

FOX-RCN-MFox logosFOX International Channels and RCN Television Group (RCN)are parting ways. Both companies announced today they will no longer be partners in MundoFox, the joint-venture broadcast network they launched in 2012.

FIC has sold its entire interest, making RCN the sole owner of the Spanish language broadcast network. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

During an interview in April of 2012, RCN president Gabriel Reyes told Media Moves that RCN would be contributing 50% to the partnership, in addition to content from the Colombian network’s catalog. He did not reveal the extent of RCN’s financial contribution, citing “information is protected by a confidentiality agreement.”

Since its inception, MundoFox has had a series of challenges, most notably, in securing nationwide distribution and finding a solid audience.

In 2014, the network also experienced a change in leadership. Founding network president Emiliano Saccone left and Ibra Morales replaced him.

A prepared statement from RCN states Morales will continue to lead the management team at MundoFox.

No word yet on how or if the new ownership will affect MundoFox’s personnel and programming. Stay tuned for more details…

Related stories:

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NTN24 gets NY carriage on Cablevision

NTN24-logoInternational news and opinion network NTN24 is expanding its coverage. The service is now available to subscribers of New York’s Cablevision through its Optimum en español TV Package.

NTN24’s addition to the Optimum TV programming grid is part of the company’s expansion strategy.

“In 2015, we will continue expanding our distribution agreements in order to reach more Hispanic communities in the US, Canada and Latin America,” Julián Giraldo, CEO of NTN24 and VP of RCN TV International Channels said in a statement.

Colombia’s RCN TV owns NTN24.

According to the company, NTN24 is available in 22 countries through main cable and satellite pay TV operators, reaching 40 million viewers in the Americas and Spain.

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MundoFox announces first affiliates

Six weeks since Fox International Channels and the RCN Television Group (RCN) announced they were teaming up to launch MundoFox, the new network has secured affiliates in 20 DMAs covering nearly 40% of US Hispanic households.

MundoFox has released a list of its first affiliate agreements and just as I reported last week, KWHY-22 in Los Angeles will be the network’s flagship station, in the #1 Hispanic market.

In Miami, the #3 Hispanic DMA,  MundoFox struck a deal to air its programming on AméricaTeVe, WJAN-41.

The list of the current affiliates includes stations in San Antonio (#7), San Francisco (#8), Phoenix (#9), Sacramento (#11), Fresno (#14), Tampa (#20), Las Vegas (#23), West Palm Beach (#28), Bakersfield (#31), Monterey (#34), Fort Myers (#37), Palm Springs (#39), Odessa (#43), Santa Barbara (#45), Lubbock (#51), Boise (#71), Abilene (#78) and San Angelo (#92).

All affiliates in the top 10 markets are Full Power stations or are fully distributed in cable and satellite.

Although the network hasn’t released the exact stations in those markets, it says Hero Broadcasting, Cocola Broadcasting and Prime Time Partners are among the affiliates.

New York City is missing from the initial round of agreements, but according to a MundoFox press release, distribution agreements in the remaining top 50 Hispanic markets across the country are still being finalized.

“In the last 20 years, no U.S. broadcast network has secured such a large footprint so quickly without assistance from O&O stations,” said Hernán López, President and CEO of Fox International Channels in a statement.  “Interest in MundoFox has been tremendous, and we now expect to exceed our original goal of securing distribution in 75% of U.S. Hispanic households by launch.”

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López talks with Media Moves about MundoFox

Hernán López, President and CEO         Fox International Channels

News that Fox International Channels (FIC) and Colombia’s RCN Television Group (RCN) are launching MundoFox, a new Spanish-language network targeting U.S. Hispanics, has caused a lot of commotion.

To learn more about the new venture, Media Moves talked to FIC’s President and CEO, Hernán López, who’s currently doing the rounds at the 2012 NATPE conference in Miami.

MundoFox will be a full broadcast network with operations based out of Los Angeles.  It is geared to compete against Univision and Telemundo starting in the Fall of 2012.

In the interview, López expresses great confidence the new network will replicate the success Fox achieved after its launch in 1986.

How did this project come about and how long has it been in the works?

We met with RCN about 10 months ago.  They have been licensing their content to Univision for a number of years and to Televisa for a number of years, but they wanted to start direct programming in the U.S.

Meanwhile, we realized the scale of the broadcasting advertising pie was much bigger than in cable and wanted to get a piece of that pie.

We knew that with the power of the Fox brand, our access to sports and entertainment, married to RCN content, we’d have a winning proposition.

Why try to enter the U.S. Hispanic market now and not before?

If you’re in Latin America, the Fox brand is popular.  Every time someone immigrates to the U.S. from Latin America, they know what the Fox brand stands for when they get here.  There’s no other U.S. Spanish network that can say that.

We haven’t done it before because we didn’t have a partner like RCN.  We also didn’t see the overwhelming demand from advertisers for more Spanish content before now.

If something convinced us that we needed to get in this market, it was the 2010 census. It took us over the edge.  When we saw that 50% of the population growth came from Latinos… we realized we couldn’t afford to not be part of this advertising marketplace.

“Kdabra” is a fantasy-themed weekly drama that will air on MundoFox.

Latinos who are bilingual and Spanish dominant that today are watching the main broadcasting channels.  We’re also going after English-language program watchers, who are looking for quality shows like the ones we have a history of producing and want to see that type of programming in Spanish.

For example, Fox International channels has been producing the very successful “Kdabra,” a weekly drama with high production values, popular in Mexico.  When we produced it, we had to air it at the same time slot as “24” or “Bones.”  The kind of quality of those shows is what we had to live up to.

What challenges do you envision in getting distribution of the network in the U.S.?

I don’t see any difficulty getting distribution.  The reception in the past 48 hours since we announced the launch of MundoFox… we have had an overwhelming demand.

We’re looking to attract stations that want to switch from their current programming or are interested in going from being an independent to a Mundo Fox affiliate.

Our preference is to go with full-power stations already broadcasting in Spanish.

I don’t believe we’re going to get stations to switch from Univision programming. They’re the market leader.  But there are many other stations that have lower-rated programs and don’t have the power of the Fox brand or RCN content, that would  benefit from being part of a national network.

What will your programming offerings be and how will they differ from Univision and Telemundo?

Think of Fox 25 years ago when it was launched.  ABC, CBS, NBC were widely successful and were creating great shows.  But there was an opening for Fox.  Fox had to step out of the box to create some exceptional innovative programming like  “Married with Children,” “The Simpsons,” “X-Files,” then came “24,” the first show done narrating in live time.  Then there’s the great success of “American Idol” and  “Glee.”

Throughout the years, Fox has pushed the envelope in creating great programming.

It’s an experiment that’s already proven success.

How effective do you think you’ll be competing against Univision?

We think we will be effective.  We have no illusion of beating Univision in a short amount of time.  They have a huge established audience and they’re really good at what they do.

We think the whole advertising market has room and our entry into the market will help everybody.

You say there’s still room in the advertising pie for another network, but some ad execs would argue they’re not looking to see another “general interest network,” but rather “niche” channels.  How would you respond to that?

Our advertisers have been calling us consistently since the announcement was made.  They’re overwhelmingly in support of the network, saying it’s a great idea. So, I’m absolutely confident there’s room for growth.

An advertiser today told me perhaps currently there won’t be a “must buy,” but there’s an “I want to buy” position for ad buys and that’s significant.

Will there be any original programming produced in the U.S.?

There will be.  We’re looking at a number of formats.  The Shine Group, which produces “The Biggest Loser” will produce their first show in Spanish for us.

Does that mean your first U.S. production will be a reality show?

Most likely, yes.

RCN will be producing two daily newscasts for the network.  Will they be produced in Colombia, or in the U.S.?

RCN has five bureaus in the U.S. already, so we haven’t decided where the newscast will be produced.  But it will be targeted to U.S. Latino audience.

How soon do you expect to have a competitive edge in the U.S.?

“El Capo,” a Fox Telecolombia/RCN production, aired on Telefutura.  With the joint venture, all RCN programming will now be available for air on MundoFox.

I think we’ll have a competitive edge from day one.  If you look at “El Capo,” (A Fox Telecolombia/RCN production) which aired in Telefutura with great ratings, you can see that our programming is successful.

I assure you when Fox was launched 25 years ago, no one thought it would be #1.

Broadcasting is a long-term game.  We don’t need to be # 1 to be profitable.

You’re currently searching for the executive who’ll be running MundoFox.  What are you looking for in the person that will help shape this new venture?

We’re looking for someone with programming and marketing experience, with knowledge of the U.S. Hispanic marketplace, the ability to execute on a plan and launch a network.  We’re confident because the team is already in place. Fox will be doing the sales and distribution and handling legal and government affairs.  We have many of the essential ingredients in place, including great access to content, so from that point of view, whoever ends up running network, we will have already done a lot of work for him or her.

Do you have a more precise launch date other than Fall 2012?

Not yet, but I can say we would like to be launched by the time the Nielsen season starts. We just can’t announce the launch date yet.

We’re still building the programming slate.  We have a pretty good idea what we’re going to air, but we’re not going to disclose it until we’re closer to the launch date.

What are the expectations for MundoFox?

We expect to become a network that viewers go to as a destination, like they go to the Fox network today. We don’t want to be a network viewers casually find themselves watching.  We believe with innovative content and the power of the Fox and RCN brands, we will be a great challenger to the other networks and increase the size of the advertising pie.

About Hernán López: 

He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FOX International Channels, overseeing a massive international multichannel television organization that operates over 200 channels and their related online and production units. 

Mr. López is responsible for all operations of FIC, which produces channels primarily under the brands Fox, National Geographic Channel, FX, Fox Life, Fox Crime, NatGeo Wild, MovieCity and Star Movies, reaching almost 1 billion subscribers in Latin America, Europe and Asia. He also oversees Fox’s US Hispanic cable networks, Fox Deportes and Utilísima.

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Fox and RCN team up to launch Spanish-language channel in U.S.

MundoFox is the name of a new Spanish-language channel geared to compete against Univision and Telemundo in the U.S. starting the Fall of 2012.

Fox International Channels (FIC) and Colombia’s RCN Television Group (RCN) have teamed up to launch the joint venture, which will include sports programming from Fox Deportes, original scripted series and two newscasts a day produced by RCN’s 24-hour cable-news channel.

According to the Wall Street Journal, MundoFox’s programming will largely will come from RCN and News Corp. production outlets, but the companies will also buy shows from third parties.

According to Variety, a  search is underway for the person who will head MundoFox out of Los Angeles.

Hernán López

Sources told the WSJ both Fox and RCN will contribute cash to fund the network’s operations, which has a projected loss of less than $50 million in its first year.

“There is an increasing demand for quality Spanish-language content in the U.S. from both viewers and advertisers,” Hernan Lopez, President & CEO of Fox International Channels told Variety. “FOX saw similar dynamics in play 25 years ago when it launched the Fox network, and it would be a missed opportunity not to provide an alternative for the 50+ million Latino viewers who currently have limited options in Spanish-language broadcast television…. There is still room for growth in the U.S. Hispanic advertising market.”

More programming details of the new network will be revealed during NATPE in Miami this week.

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Veronica Villafañe, Editor and Publisher

Veronica Villafane

I'm an Emmy award-winning journalist, who's worked as an on-air reporter in Spanish and English-language television news. In addition to running Media Moves, which I founded in 2007, I'm a regular contributor to Forbes, writing about Hispanic media and entertainment. I am also a freelance writer, reporter and producer. I've worked for Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español and Los Angeles Fox and UPN stations before diving into a convergence model at the San Jose Mercury News, later becoming a digital media manager. I was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from 2004 to 2006, and inducted into the Hall of Fame in August of 2016.