Cuban-American journalist José Díaz-Balart is among the very rarest of TV news anchors. He hosts shows on two networks, in two languages: in the mornings on MSNBC and in the evenings on Telemundo. Today’s announcement that the U.S. was beginning a process to normalize diplomatic ties to Cuba hits especially close to home for Díaz-Balart. He is the son of a former Cuban politician and has a brother in the U.S. Congress.
We caught up with Díaz-Balart before this morning’s news to discuss his recent interview with the president, his proudest achievements and the best Cuban sandwich available in the United States.
TVNewser: You were very busy last week. Bigger accomplishment: Interviewing President Obama or being congratulated on the House floor?
Díaz-Balart: I so appreciate both: I was surprised at the congresswoman’s recognition of my 30 years in the business. And interviewing the President, my tenth I believe, is always important. Both were extremely rewarding. Plus, I got a chance to catch my eldest daughter singing in her school choir… three great events.
TVNewser: What’s the proudest moment of your career, overall?
Díaz-Balart: Being named anchor of Noticiero Telemundo on December 15, 2009 (this week is my 5th anniversary), and most recently the host of “The Rundown with José Díaz-Balart” on MSNBC. Being able to reach audiences in two languages a day is truly a privilege.
TVNewser: You host shows on Telemundo and MSNBC. Seriously, when do you sleep?
Díaz-Balart: Sleep? I remember that! Even though my work day is admittedly long (6am-10pm) I can honestly tell you that I love it so much I only wish there were more hours in the day so I could do more!
TVNewser: Best place to get a Cuban sandwich in America? Read more