Univision’s KMEX is celebrating 50 years of providing Spanish language news and entertainment to the Los Angeles market.
The station, launched in 1962, is now one of the top rated TV stations in the nation, according to the Los Angeles Times,
Latinos now make up 48% of the population of Los Angeles County, according to census data. In September, KMEX attracted an average of 447,000 viewers in prime time, handily beating second-place KNBC-TV Channel 4, which drew an average of 270,000 viewers. The 11 p.m. KMEX local newscast also boasts the largest audience.
KMEX has come a long way since its early days when programming would arrive by Greyhound bus from Mexico City.
“We had to run across the street from our newsroom, dodging cars on Melrose Avenue, to the studio to do the news,” said Maria Elena Salinas, who started as a field reporter in 1981 and now co-anchors Univision’s national news along with fellow KMEX veteran Jorge Ramos. “We now compete with mainstream media.”
As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S., fueling demand for more Spanish language programming, stations like KMEX are increasingly becoming both entertainment provider and community advocate,
“KMEX has been a voice to the Latino community and a voice for the Latino community,” said Felix Gutierrez, a USC journalism professor who hosted a public affairs program on the station in the late 1960s.
added Maria Elena Salinas in the Times article,
“We provide a valuable service to the community that has additional needs.”