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CNN Latino courts diverse Spanish-speaking US Latinos

Remember back in the late 90s when the U.S. caught what was termed “Latin Fever?”  Everyone was shaking their bom-boms to Ricky Martin’s latest hit and falling in love with JLo as she became an official triple threat. Latino media content was being consumed by the mainstream American public at breakneck speeds.

CNNE logo

CNNE logo

These days, Latinos are still on businesses minds—but this time, we’re the sought-after consumers.

Big and small businesses, advertisers and media networks have gotten hip to Latinos’ buying power.  U.S. Latinos consume more media across all platforms than any other group in the U.S., making Latinos a highly coveted consumer market.  This is big news! So big, in fact, that even 24-hour news network CNN hopped has on board the bandwagon, introducing the Spanish-language programming block, CNN Latino, to their lineup in January 2013.

With Telemundo and Univision catering towards the Spanish-speaking U.S. Latinos for years and English-speaking U.S. Latinos consuming their news via mainstream networks, some may wonder: Do we really need a CNN Latino?

CNN Latino would argue that, yes, we do. CNN Latino promises to set itself apart from other Spanish-language networks by developing diverse content that’ll reflect the different Latino communities and groups within the United States.

“We know perfectly well that we are not just targeting one group of people, one demographic,” CNN en Español vice president Cynthia Hudson told AFP. “Thinking that there is some one homogeneous community we are aiming at would just be a mistake. And that is the heart of our strategy.” As part of that strategy, CNN Latino will offer a “broad spectrum of programming covering news, lifestyle, documentary, talk and debate represents an alternative to traditional Hispanic networks.”

Okay, so CNN Latino is a younger, hipper and trendier alternative to the Telemundo and Univision’s programming, but why present the content to U.S. Latinos in Spanish? “As long as the majority of Hispanics are still speaking Spanish, Spanish will remain a growth opportunity for us,” explains Hudson. “We are seeing that new generations (of immigrants) want their kids to be bilingual. So Spanish isn’t disappearing, in fact, it’s growing.”

This much can be said for CNN Latino’s business model: It is novel. While other major news organizations are creating English-language media offshoots to attract American Latinos and expanding their networks across the country, CNN Latino seems to be taking a much more specific approach. CNN Latino is committed to reflecting young, diverse Latinos in the areas in which the programming block airs—in Spanish. No one else is doing that, per se.

CNN Latino is still very young and only airs in select cities including New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Phoenix and most recently, Miami. Only time will tell whether or not U.S. Latinos see the value in CNN Latino.


by Being Latino Contributor, Tanisha L. Ramirez

About Eileen Rivera

Eileen was born in The Bronx, to Puerto Rican parents. She grew up thinking the whole world was Latino. Moving to Rockland County in upstate New York taught her it wasn’t. One more move in 1976, brought her to Hudson County, New Jersey where she currently resides. She attended Rutgers-Newark where she majored in Social Work with a minor in Puerto Rican studies. Eileen credits her history professor, Dr. Olga Wagenheim, for the spark and impetus to search out her roots in a pre-computer era. The daughter of a minister, she credits her father for the activism, volunteerism and search for justice that have characterized her adult years.

The mother of two adult daughters, Eileen has worked in the Juvenile Justice system for twenty-eight years. She acts as a liaison between the Juvenile Detention Center and the Juvenile Court.

Writing was something she shared with family. Stories and songs for her children and Christmas tales for the extended family. She now shares her writing with a larger family, the Being Latino family.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. JeanPierre says:

    I believe Selena and Gloria Estefan were hotter and being celebrated in the U.S way before Ricky Martin and JLo. JLo got her break only because of Selena. I don’t even look. I can tell it was a Puerto Rican person who wrote this. LOL

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