Univision and ABC News flexed the combined muscle of their newly-minted partnership at a breakfast panel at the University Club in Tampa this morning. The event, which examined the surging Hispanic population and its place in American politics, was moderated by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Univision’s Jorge Ramos and National Journal’s Ron Brownstein.
Before talk turned to politics, however, Sawyer and Ramos took a few minutes to discuss the upcoming launch of ABC and Univision’s joint venture, an English-language cable channel targeting a Hispanic audience.
“Everybody at ABC News is beyond excited. In fact, a producer said last night, ‘I was watching Jorge, and I don’t speak Spanish yet, but he was so fascinating I watched the ten-minute interview,’” Sawyer said, drawing laughter from the crowd of about 100. “It’s going to be a great journey of discovery as we all examine what’s happening.”
The pair talked about the goal of tapping into a rapidly-growing demographic of English-speaking people of Hispanic descent.
“We’re doing great in Spanish, but then we realize about one in four Latinos feel much more comfortable in English than in Spanish,” Ramos said. “Either we do it, or somebody else is going to do it. That’s the future of Latinos.”
It’s a demographic that Ramos, the father of two, is very familiar with personally.
“We’re doing all this simply so my kids can watch me,” Ramos joked. “They don’t watch me. So we asked ABC to help us.”