Legendary Spanish Language News Anchor María Elena Salinas Jumps to ABC News

By A.J. Katz 

ABC News has announced a key addition to its on-air ranks: legendary Spanish language news anchor María Elena Salinas has joined the network as a contributor.

Salinas joins ABC from CBS News, where she served as a network contributor reporting across platforms and covering the 2020 presidential election. She also anchored the award-winning documentary, Pandemia: Latinos in Crisis, which looked at how Covid has affected the Latinx community.

Prior to her stint at CBS, which began in July 2019, for more than 30 years, Salinas served as co-anchor of Univision’s evening newscast Noticiero Univision and, for 18 years, she was co-host of and correspondent for the network’s newsmagazine Aquí y Ahora. She has interviewed dozens of notable figures and top international entertainers, including Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, Shakira and J Balvin, among others.


Salinas is the first Latina to receive a lifetime achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences—she spent 36 years in Spanish-language TV before leaving Univision at the end of 2017.

Salinas told us in 2019 she left Univision not for a job at a different network, but because she wanted to be an independent journalist and potentially educate English language news audiences. “I thought it would be important to tell some of the Latino stories that I reported on Univision to a completely different audience. After a while, you feel like you’re preaching to the choir when you work in Spanish-language media because we know our problems, we know our stories.”

Her career began in 1981, where she served as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-TV, Univision’s affiliate in Los Angeles.

“María Elena is a strong and experienced journalist whose skills and passion will be a terrific addition to our team. Her role as a contributor will also extend beyond her on-air duties, serving as a consultant for the Race and Culture Unit,” ABC News president Kim Godwin told staff on Wednesday. “Please join me in welcoming her to the ABC News team.”