Univision chief urges buyers to think Latino

NEW YORK — Kicking off its first-ever upfront presentation Tuesday evening, Univision trotted out its top talent and lobbied media buyers to take advantage of the burgeoning Hispanic market.

Univision’s message was delivered by Henry Cisneros, its recently named corporate resident and chief operating officer.

“It’s very clear that many Latinos are making their first-time product decision,” said Cisneros, referring to the youthful Hispanic market. “What better decision than to relate to the Latino community in the United States if the issue is growth?” he asked.

In the 80-minute presentation, Mario Rodriguez, Univision VP of programming, introduced the company’s fall lineup, which he emphasized is without repeat programming.

Primetime in the Latino world means “novellas” or miniseries soap operas. Leading the way this fall will be “Mi Querida,” “Isabel,” “Esmeralda” and “Pueblo Chico.” Rodriguez also reminded attendees of top Univision programming such as the venerable “Sabado Gigante,” the popular “Cristina” and newsmag “Primer Impacto.”

The audio highlight of the presentation was an appearance by soccer announcer Andres Cantor, who gave attendees a sample of his world-famous rendition of “g-o-o-o-o-a-l.” His appearance helped call attention to Univision’s plans to broadcast live all 64 games of the World Cup from France in 1998.

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