Telemundo shuffling its p.m. lineup

As action by execs and potential investors continues to point toward a company sale, U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo Group has announced a shuffle of its evening programming lineup.

Concluding its internal annual sales and affiliate conference in La Costa, the company made it official that it has retained investment bank Lazard Freres & Co. to explore its options (Daily Variety, July 2).

Telemundo’s stock closed Friday at $26.12, up $1.37 in NASDAQ trading. Trading volume was at 73,100, compared to the company’s three-month daily average of 57,400.

No comment

While several companies have taken a look at the Spanish-language net, Telemundo execs would not comment on the specifics of discussions.

Meanwhile, Telemundo officials say beginning Aug. 11, the company will begin airing a weeknight film from 8-10 p.m. as well as move local and national news up an hour to the 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. slots. Telemundo’s most recent plan to go head-to-head with telenovelas against dominant Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has largely been a failure.

Time’s right for changes

“The time has come to introduce new expertise, new formats and new strategies,” said Telemundo’s prexy and CEO Roland Hernandez in a statement.

“We are not only a second (Spanish-language) network, we will be a real programming alternative,” Don Tringali, Telemundo’s network exec VP, told Daily Variety.

Reaction to Telemundo’s programming changes from media buyers ranged from mild applause to “too little too late.”

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