ABC News and Univision are moving forward with plans to launch an on-air and online newschannel aimed at the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic population. The 24-hour, English-language network will be based at Univision headquarters in Miami with plans to launch online this summer and on air early next year.
“Univision has a deep and important relationship with the U.S. Hispanic audience,” says ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser. “By sharing our resources, we will inform, entertain and empower the enormously influential Hispanic American community and many others interested in our programming.”
Sherwood says the venture “is subject to the completion of definitive agreements.” This includes getting the big cable systems, including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Charter to carry the network.
Sherwood, along with Cesar Conde, president of Univision and Isaac Lee the president of Univision News, will hold a town hall with staffers at 12:30pmET to answer any questions.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report talks of a partnership in February.
Former NBC COO Randy Falco is now CEO of Univision Communications. Under his watch, the company has launched three cable channels, Univision Deportes, Univision tlNovelas and Univision Noticias.
Falco was president of NBC Broadcasting when the network launched MSNBC in 1996. Falco was also instrumental in NBC’s acquisition of Univision competitor Telemundo in 2002.
ABC’s owner, Disney, operates three of the top 10 cable networks: Disney Channel, ESPN and ABC Family. ABC News announced plans for a 24-hour newschannel in 1996, but abandoned the idea in May of that year after NBC/Microsoft and News Corp. ramped up plans for MSNBC and Fox News Channel. In 1982, ABC and Westinghouse partnered for the Satellite News Channel. That venture lasted 16 months, failing after not getting significant cable carriage.
Sherwood’s note after the jump…