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Square One Enters Syndication

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Forms Programming Service With NBG Radio for Latino Stations
DALLAS--Advertising agency Square One has joined syndicator NBG Radio Network to form a Spanish-language network offering programming and services to Latino stations.
The new company, Hispanic Syndication Network (HSN), marks the Dallas agency's first foray outside of advertising and into providing program content. Future products will include Spanish-language television programming and content for Internet kiosks.
Square One's Hispanic division, Uno Com, has produced 11 programs, primarily in the morning talk show format, which are marketed through Portland, Ore.-based NBG. The two barter radio time in exchange for programming and commercial spots. The latter can be used by Uno clients or resold to other agencies.
Square One chief financial officer Ernie Capobianco said the arrangement hearkens back to the early days of radio when sponsors typically developed their own broadcast programming.
"We're looking at convergence with the new media . . . [and] I think to remain competitive agencies have to look at content," Capobianco said. "I think content will be a significant part of Square One's revenue going forward. By owning and tailoring the message in a way that might benefit some of our clients, that's a way to make a bigger impact."
Roberto Jimenez, former manager of affiliate relations for ABC Radio Networks' western region, will be director of affiliate relations for HSN. Victor Macias has been appointed director of operations.
"It's a very exciting opportunity to be able to participate in something that could shape broadcasting in Latino markets," said Jimenez. "I've always known there was a need. I come from the general market where there's countdowns for every kind of music; there's talk shows, newscasts, artist profiles . . . Well there's no reason why these things couldn't happen for Latino artists."
Programs are produced primarily in Dallas, although the agency has opened an office in Mexico City.
The new syndicate was the brainchild of NBG, which produces or represents 37 national radio shows and products that reach more than 2,300 U.S. stations. NBG approached Uno after working with it on a project, Capobianco said.