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CNN To Sell Spanish-Language Programming To Broadcasters

CNN is planning to sell an eight-hour block of Spanish-language programming to local TV stations, the Los Angeles TimesMeg James reports. The service, which is called CNN Latino, will not only feature news, but also talk shows, entertainment and lifestyle programming. The first client is KBEH Los Angeles, which will begin airing the programming in January.

“We are trying to appeal to bilingual Latinos in the U.S., those who feel 100% American and 100% Latino,” said Cynthia Hudson-Fernández, general manager of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN. “This is an alternative to existing networks. We feel that there is a huge opportunity for this type of programming.”

In so doing, CNN is trying to beat ABC News and Univision to the punch.

Those companies are expected to launch an English-language cable news channel later next year to compete for the same eyeballs. Fox also recently launched MundoFox, a Spanish-language broadcast network that is after the same demographic. CNN does have CNN en Espanol, its Spanish-language cable news channel, but it remains tiny compared to just about every other Spanish-language networks. This new effort will likely feature the work of the CNN en Espanol crew.

The two leading Spanish-language networks, Univision and NBC-owned Telemundo, do very well with younger viewers, but still skew somewhat old. Given the changing demographics in the U.S., it is clear that younger Latinos are a constituency just about every media company wants a piece of.

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