Hearing through the interwebs about the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s(NHMC’s) MediaCon on June 20th, I knew I had to go. Without hearing one speaker, the ability to connect with 300+ Latino media power player gente, company CEOs , producers, actors, writers, and content creators, is rare and proved fun and informative. I arrived just in time to hear Alex Nogales begin his keynote speaker chat with Walter Ulloa, the Chairman and CEO of Entravision Communications Corp, which owns 53 Spanish language TV stations and 49 radio stations. He discussed his humble beginnings in rural California, his rise to lead a $500 million dollar company and his philanthropic commitment to La Plaza De la Cultura Y Artes in downtown LA.
After lunch, a passionate discussion took place in the wise “Empowering Latinas in Entertainment” panel featuring multiple Emmy Award winner journalist Giselle Fernandez, actress Gina Rodriguez, and producer/consultant Sandra Condito. Each woman had different backgrounds, told funny stories which made the crowd laugh a lot, and brought up compelling issues like “As Latinos, do we have a responsibility or obligation to support Latino films and shows?”, “Why do we still face a lack of Latino representation on major network TV and big budget films when our buying power is significant?” and “How do we get at the table where the big decisions regarding what gets made and what doesn’t, are happening?” All of these-thought-provoking issues with solutions often easier said than done.
I also floated between sessions on creating, monetizing, and distributing web series featuring the ‘Los Americans’ , ‘East Willy B’ (which we’ve featured on Being Latino) and ‘East Los High’ creators and Exec producers Dennis Leoni, Julia Ahumada Grob and Katie Elmore Mota respectively, with each series all taking different paths towards a common goal. ‘East Willy B’ creator Julia also spoke about how important music is to her show, their dope musical guest stars like Don Nestor and their partnership with historic Fania Records to have access to their music catalog. Peeking into “Running the Show-On TV” panel, I heard ‘Criminal Minds’ Executive Producer, Ed Bernero, encouraging all writers in the room to keep going and not to give up. Left #MediaCon with hope for the future and proud que somos fuertes.