Univision News President: English Networks ‘think getting a Hispanic voice is getting a reporter with a Spanish last name’

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By Alex Weprin Comments

The Financial Times profiles Univision as it begins work in earnest on Fusion, the new cable news channel it is building in conjunction with ABC News. Univision News president Isaac Lee plays a big role in the story, not only for his vision of what his news organization should be, but how he views the English language competition.

Lee is withering about English language rivals’ attempts to appeal to Hispanic audiences, saying that they give little coverage to topics such as immigration.

“They think getting a Hispanic voice is getting a reporter with a Spanish last name,” he says. “It is unbelievable how gringos believe they can have a Latino tone. They end up offending the community and patronising them. We are [portrayed] as the gardeners and the maids.”

Univision’s audience is a few decades younger than the average audience for English language news. It is made all the more amazing by the fact that the budget for Univision News is around 1/10th that of, say, ABC News. As the FT notes, ABC has benefited from Univision talent in recent months, as the two companies forge the new channel together.