Telemundo is also the only Spanish-language network currently producing telenovelas in the US. Unlike Univision, many programs on Telemundo air with closed captions in both Spanish and English. Univision only has Spanish captions. The network reaches 93 percent of U.S. Hispanic households in 142 markets via over-the-air, cable and satellite TV. An average of 1,035,000 total viewers (aged 2 and older) tuned in for its weekday prime time lineup during 2007.
Telemundo Communications Group, its parent company, is part of the NBC Universal division of General Electric, which paid $2.7 billion for the operation in 2002. Don Browne is Telemundo's president. Jeff Gaspin, who is president and COO of Universal Television Group, oversees the network. Telemundo has 1,800 employees.
Three Telemundo shows were available in 2007 on the American iTunes Store tv shows. These are Pasión de Gavilanes, Decisiones and El Cuerpo del Deseo, until NBC Universal pulled all programming from the iTunes Store.
WKAQ-TV launched the Telemundo brand on 28 March 1954. The station was founded by Ángel Ramos, owner of "El Mundo," Puerto Rico's main newspaper at the time, and Puerto Rico's first radio station, WKAQ-AM, also known as "Radio El Mundo". Ramos wanted to maintain a consistent branding between its properties using the "mundo" theme (Spanish for "world"), and thus named WKAQ-TV Telemundo (in effect, "Teleworld" or "TV World"). He had tried to obtain a TV license as early as the mid 1940s, but due to an FCC licensing freeze for all new American TV stations, Ramos had to wait until 1954 to obtain the license.
In the beginning, Mr. Ramos maintained continuity between his radio and television stations by signing an exclusive deal with the most famous and influential actor/comedian/producer in Puerto Rico, Ramón Rivero, better known as Diplo, whose "Tremendo Hotel" was the most popular radio show in the history of radio in Puerto Rico (broadcast through WKAQ Radio). It was Ramón Rivero who produced the first comedy/variety television shows for WKAQ Telemundo, , then ; shows that catapulted WKAQ to the top of the ratings.
During the 1970s and 1980s, WKAQ-TV (then branded as Telemundo Canal 2) was a major producer of Puerto Rican Spanish soap operas. The channel was also known by its "fingers" logo (a bold number 2 with the silhouette of two upright fingers inside the number), calling itself "El canal de los dedos" (the channel of the fingers).
Some of the local shows which WKAQ-TV has produced and broadcasted include:
Some of the famous telenovelas which WKAQ-TV has produced include:
In 1987, Reliance merged all these stations into the Telemundo Group. The new corporation quickly went public and launched the Telemundo network. Later that year, it purchased additional stations in San Francisco, Houston and San Antonio.
In 1994, Telemundo caught the fever of producing 24 hour news. The network launched Telenoticias partnering with Argentina's Artear Network, Antena 3 from Spain, and Reuters. The venture was not successful and the service was sold to CBS. Rebranded as CBS Telenoticias, the network did air all over the Americas.
CBS Telenoticias was sold back to Telemundo and the network branded it Telemundo Internacional.
In 1993, Telemundo began the ongoing practice of producing original telenovelas. The first soaps were "Angelica, mi vida", "Marielena", "Guadalupe", "Señora Tentación", and "Tres Destinos". International markets and syndicators soon courted these shows. Telemundo's effort face an initial set effort was setback, when Mexico's industry leader, Televisa, bought Capitalvision, the production house that had been making the new soap operas.
In 1995, under the direction of Harry Abraham Castillo, the network's Executive Vice-President of Programming, Telemundo opened it's first network studio on the West Coast. On the Raleigh Studios lot in Hollywood, three shows began daily production. La Hora Lunática hosted by LA radio personality Humberto Luna; El y Ella created and hosted by Gigi Graciette; a daily talkshow and Dando y Dando, a gameshow hosted by Rafael Sigler.
In 1998, Telemundo was bought by a partnership between cable's Liberty Media and entertainment conglomerate Sony Pictures Entertainment. Helmed by yet another management team under the leadership of former CBS executive Peter Tortoricci, hopes of attracting the bilingual market were explored. Lo mejor de los dos Mundos ("The best of both worlds") campaign was launched. Several billboards went up in cities such as Miami and San Francisco heralding a "new era" for Telemundo.
On April 12, 2002, Telemundo was purchased by NBC and is now a part of NBC Universal. Jim MacNamara remained at the helm of the network during and after the sale. Their main competitor, Univision, continues to have an upper hand in the ratings wars, although not in all time slots. Local stations began producing early morning news to be more competitive in their respective markets. Telemundo produces far more programming than Univision and does not rely strictly on Mexican and Venezuelan shows. In contrast, Univision's schedule is heavy on Mexican and Venezuelan shows due to long-term exclusive deals with media giants Televisa and Venevisión. After three years, NBC officials asked MacNamara to resign, and replaced him with Don Browne, who had been head of NBC affiliate WTVJ in Miami.
News programs were created in the wake of 9/11. "Hoy en el Mundo," anchored by Marian de la Fuente and Jose Diaz Balart, went on the air informing viewers of national and international events. This program along with its companion show "De Mananita" were cancelled by the much heralded arrival of Maria Antonieta Collins from Univision. "Cada Día con Maria Antonieta" went on the air in October 2005. She continued to host the program along with the much recycled Diaz Balart as co-host. Balart was anchor of Telemundo's morning news program called "Noticero Telemundo Primera Hora," which is now anchored by Ana Patrica Candelani. (Previous attempts anchored by Diaz Balart were "Esta Manana" and the aforementioned "Hoy en el Mundo.") In an interview in "People En Espanol," Collins announced that she will leave Telemundo when her contract expires in August and that she wishes to return to news anchoring.
On May 28, 2008 Don Browne announced that "Cada Dia" would be cancelled on May 30. The show was reportedly canceled due to low ratings and 50 employees were fired. No replacement show has been announced. The last day of "Cada Dia" was Fri., May 30, 2008.
In 2004, Telemundo created Telemundo Television Studios in Miami, Florida. The network also began subtitling many of their telenovelas into English via closed captioning. Under NBC, Telemundo gave greater emphasis to original programming and product placement. The network currently spends $100 million a year producing its own shows.
In March 2007, NBC Universal announced that it had restructured Telemundo's entertainment division in an effort to narrow Univision's ratings dominance. Starting in the fall of 2007, the network was to have cut the first commercial break in every prime-time show to only 60 seconds in length. It also plans to air the 2008 series Idolos de Juventud uninterrupted, using pervasive product placement instead of traditional ad spots. NBC also announced that they were going to dispose of the original Telemundo station in Puerto Rico Channel 2 and Los Angeles' KWHY to finance the acquisition of Oxygen Media.
On March 18, 2008 Grupo Televisa and NBC-Universal announced a 10-year multiplatform agreement that would allow 1000 hours of Telemundo programming including news, entertainment, specials and sports to be broadcast over not only its Televisa free-to-air channels, but also its SKY Channel and cable system starting in April, as well as a planned Telemundo pay channel to be launched later this year. On October 8, 2008, Hillary Hattler the station's president gathered several employees and offered them a "retirement plan", this initiative gathered criticsm from most of those present in the reunion.
Movies are in red; Reality/Game Shows are in green; Primetime Talk Shows are in blue; Telenovelas are in purple.
|7:00 PM||7:30 PM||8:00 PM||8:30 PM||9:00 PM||9:30 PM||10:00 PM||10:30 PM|
|Sunday||El Maravilloso Mundo de Disney (The Wonderful World of Disney) or Cine en Familia||Cine Millonario|
|Monday||12 Corazones||El Juramento||Doña Bárbara||''Sin Senos no hay Paraíso|
|Saturday||Cine Nuestro or specials||Cine de Impacto or specials|
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