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Telemundo moves feevee ops to L.A.

Spanish-lingo b'caster will make announcement Monday

MIAMI — Telemundo will relocate headquarters for its youth-oriented feevee mun2 (pronounced “mundos,” the Spanish word for “worlds”) from Miami to Los Angeles in a bid to reach a wider audience.

Move also reflects previously announced plans to increase original production.

The Spanish-lingo broadcaster will make formal announcement on Monday.

Relocation is part of a push to reach a wider audience, said Antoinette Zel, who joined Telemundo from MTV Networks Latin America last December as exec VP of cable networks and network strategic planning. On Thursday, her title was changed to senior exec VP of network strategy, reflecting a shift in responsibilities, but she continues to oversee Telemundo’s pay TV networks.

Zel will maintain responsibility for the channel from her base in Miami, but aims to complete the move to Los Angeles by Oct. 1.

The number of staffers affected is not yet known. Some jobs will move to Los Angeles; Telemundo will aim to reassign those whose Miami jobs are eliminated — or employees who can’t or don’t want to move — within the company or the corporate umbrella of GE/NBC-U.

Still on board is mun2 new veepee of programming Flavio Morales, who was hired in March. Morales had previously been director of programming at LATV, a Latin-youth oriented entertainment channel based in Los Angeles, for six years.

While mun2 is more established on the East Coast, Zel wants to tap better into the L.A. market. The metro area is the largest Hispanic market in the country.

“The concentration of the young Latino audience in Los Angeles is self-evident,” Zel said. Noting mun2’s focus on lifestyle, music and pop culture, “it requires proximity to have our finger on the pulse.”

The move also will allow mun2 to better leverage the creative and production resources of Telemundo parent NBC Universal, such as studio facilities or those of the O&O stations, Zel said.

At Telemundo’s upfront presentation in New York in May, mun2 announced it will launch “VivoLive,” a weekly variety showcase filmed at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles.

A third factor is the concentration of talent — on-air, celebrities who are the focus of coverage, Latin music stars who live or have homes in L.A., and creative and technical personnel, Zel said, particularly since mun2 will emphasize English-lingo, not Spanish-lingo, programming.

Younger-generation Latinos are predominantly English speakers or bilingual, Zel said. And “the U.S.-born Latinos are the drivers of the population growth.”

The English focus will not exclude Spanish, she emphasized. “We will speak the way our audience speaks,” she said.

Mun2 was launched by Telemundo in October 2001. Today it reaches some 10 million homes, of which nearly 4 million are identified as Hispanic.

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