Who isn't familiar with Telemundo? As the second largest Spanish language network, Telemundo has a huge following in Houston. There are over a million Hispanic people living in Harris County alone.
As part of my Spanish for Global Professions class at the University of Houston I was able to take a tour of their local headquarters. I was looking forward to learning how the station is keeping up with competition and the make-up of their audience in Houston.
Just like any other news station Telemundo had to reinvent themselves and introduce new programming to be able to keep up with a changing media landscape, and most importantly attract viewers. But what surprised me the most is how news stations work together sometimes.
Remember the story about the 115 illegal immigrants that were found in a "stash house?" Two news stations collaborated and brought that story to you.
Telemundo KTMD arrived first on the scene and shot footage of the incident and was able to share some of the footage with KPRC. Although they share information that doesn't mean they are on the same team. This is according to a Telemundo news director, who didn't want to be named because this information isn't widely known, and because he said KPRC, along with other English news stations, and Univision are all competition for Telemundo.
He also said Telemundo's audience is composed of Hispanics from countries that span all over Latin America. About 73 percent of the audience is Mexican and the remainder consists of Venezuelans, Salvadorans, and Puerto Ricans, amongst others.
My mother is part of the demographic that watches Telemundo on a daily. I know firsthand how serious it is because I can't even get her attention between the hours of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. She is busy watching the news or her telenovelas.
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SHOW ME HOW
I rarely watch the news and when I do, it's in English. I wanted to know if there was anything Telemundo is doing to reach a younger audience like me. I get my news online or through the app on my phone.
The news director let us know they don't cater to the younger audience. He explained that people between 16-23 aren't watching the news. So, the network doesn't necessarily have to pony up to them because they aren't tuning in. With the advertising they do in the commercials young people aren't the ones who will buy the product.
The extensive research they conduct along with the AC Nielsen ratings can tell them specifically who their audience is. Their target audience is made up of people 24-54. The mothers are the head of household, he said, fathers work in manufacturing or construction, and they have three children 13-22.
Photo by Haydee Clotter