Univision Has Totally Revamped Its Morning Show, Despierta América

By A.J. Katz 

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Univision’s popular morning show Despierta América received a significant renovation earlier this week, getting a new studio, a new format, new content, and much more.

Starting this past Monday, the “new” Despierta América  —featuring cohosts Karla Martínez, Alan Tacher, Carlos Calderón, Satcha Pretto, Ana Patricia Gámez, and Francisca Lachapel— broadcasted live from a newly-designed studio equipped with state of the art technology. Featuring interactive screens at every turn, this state-of-the-art set will keep the Despierta América team constantly connected to the web and social media, bringing viewers a highly dynamic experience every day.

“We’re tremendously excited about launching this new phase of Despierta América, which brings our millions of loyal viewers a fresher, more informative and interactive show to enjoy every weekday morning,” Univision News evp and executive director Patsy Loris said in a statement. “All the changes have been carefully planned around the concept of ‘news you can use,’ in the spirit of delivering more original content that not only entertains, but also makes life easier for our audience by providing more of the practical information they want and need. Our core mission to inform, entertain and empower has just been taken up a notch—we’re very proud of the new Despierta América.”

The format and content of the show have also been revamped. Aside from expanding the in-depth coverage of breaking news of what’s happening in the U.S. and abroad, the Despierta América hosts will provide practical tips to help viewers make informed decisions. Examples include trying to get better deals when buying a house or car, shopping for school supplies or groceries, as well as  to navigate more complicated tasks like filing an income tax return. Additionally, the show’s new chief meteorologist, Albert Martínez, will keep audiences up to speed on weather forecasts across the nation with the help of cutting-edge tools.

Think Good Morning America. Interestingly, GMA and Despierta América have connected before. In fact, they “fused” to help celebrate the launch of Fusion in 2013.

While many of the show’s longtime segments are continuing in its “new era” –such as La Vida en Vivo (Real Life Stories), Quinceañeras and Revoltillo Digital (Digital Mash) –the show will also feature new segments will broaden the scope of the show’s content to reflect a more informative and community service-oriented approach, not just a show focused on hard or breaking news. Some of these new segments:

  • Lo Nuestro (Our Own) – Highlights Hispanics who are making a difference in their communities.
  • Despierta Denuncia (Despierta Consumer Help Line) – Allows viewers to file complaints through the show’s consumer protection reporters.
  • ¿Y Tú Qué Harías? (What Would You Do?) – A social experiment using hidden cameras to discover what people will do under compromising circumstances.
  • Aquí lo Vio Primero (You Saw It Here First) – A first look at the day’s most viral videos.
  • Volverte a Ver (Seeing You Again) – With the help of a specialist, the show reunites people who haven’t seen each other in a long time and tells their poignant stories.
  • Que el Mundo lo Sepa (Let the World Know) – Despierta América reporter Paola Gutiérrez surprises viewers with important announcements (such as a pregnancy, promotion or marriage proposal).

Despierta América debuted on Univision 22 years ago, in April of 1997.  In 2018 it was honored with a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Program in Spanish. The show joined the Univision News division last fall. It airs live Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET

It appears audiences are taking to the new setup. The March 4 broadcast –the first featuring the new and improved Despierta América– averaged 671,000 total viewers, and 242,000 Adults 18-49, increases of +31 percent and +19 percent, respectively, vs. the broadcast season average.