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Upfront 2011

Telemundo Hires Cristina, Adds Bilingual Telenovela App

Spanish-Language Network's Upfront Focuses on Shift in America's Mindset

By Published on . 1

Spanish-language Telemundo Communications Group announced new programming ranging from a weekend variety show for former Univision talk show host Cristina Saralegui to an online sports channel called Deportes Mobile at the NBC Universal-owned network's upfront on Tuesday evening, held at the American Museum of Natural History.

Cristina Saralegui
Cristina Saralegui

Earlier today Telemundo Digital launched a bilingual Telemundo Novelas App for the iPhone and iPad, with L'Oreal as the launch sponsor.

Telemundo also introduced a concept dubbed "The Shift" to describe the shift in mindset as well as demographics and TV audiences fueled by the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population to 16% of U.S. inhabitants, even though only about 4% of ad dollars currently target Latinos.

The marketing conversation has shifted, and 'multicultural' is no longer nicheā€¦it is driving mainstream growth," said Jacqueline Hernandez, Telemundo's chief operating officer.

Telemundo also announced four new telenovelas, including "A Maid in Manhattan" about a humble single mother working as a maid at a fancy New York hotel who falls in love with an aristocratic politician in a case of mistaken identity.

In other announcements, Telemundo's Branded Entertainment unit is launching "MIA Mundo," a series of stories reflecting viewers' lifestyles and featuring marketers' brands. The network will also develop a research panel of young Hispanics called "cultural connectors" to offer insights that will help Telemundo create new programming ideas.

Cristina Saralegui, sometimes referred to as the Oprah Winfrey of Spanish-language TV, will develop, host and executive produce her Telemundo variety show starting at the end of this year, as well as starting a radio show on Sirius radio. She also has a home goods line at Kmart. Ms. Saralegui, a Cuban-American in her sixties, hosted "El Show de Cristina" for 20 years until Univision canceled the talk show last year.

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