Ilia Calderon will take over as the new co-anchor of “Noticiero Univision,” the flagship evening newscast of Spanish-language network Univision, filling the seat that has been occupied by Maria Elena Salinas for more than three decades.
Calderon, who has been with Univision for about a decade after stints as a journalist on TV in Colombia, then Telemundo in the U.S., is expected to start in mid-December. She will join Jorge Ramos weeknights at 6:30 p.m.
Calderon will become the first Afro-Latina to anchor a flagship evening newscast for a major broadcast network in the United States. She broke the same barrier in Colombia, where she was the first black woman to host “Noticiero CMI,” a national news program in that country. In addition to succeeding Salinas on “Noticiero Univision,” Calderón will serve as co-host of Univision’s primetime newsmagazine, “Aquí y Ahora” – “Here and Now” – alongside Teresa Rodríguez. That program airs on Sunday nights on Univision.
“It is a great honor and an enormous responsibility for me to sit in María Elena Salinas’s anchor chair,” said Calderon, in a prepared statement. “María Elena has been an invaluable voice for the Hispanic community in this country, an icon of excellence in journalism and a role model for millions of Latinas, so I know I have big shoes to fill. I’m very excited to accept this new challenge as co-anchor of Hispanic America’s most trusted newscast.”
Calderon may be familiar to a broader swath of news aficionados. She gained notice in August when she interviewed Chris Barker, a North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leader, on “Aqui y Ahora.” Barker threatened her on camera and told her she was the first black person to come on to his property. Calderon continued asking questions as he insulted her.
“We are delighted that Ilia Calderón will join Jorge Ramos at the helm of ‘Noticiero Univision’ beginning next month,” said Daniel Coronell, president, Univision News, in a statement. “We are confident that Ilia’s contributions will be instrumental in maintaining the standard of excellence that María Elena and Jorge have set for the newscast over more than three decades and that millions of viewers expect from ‘Noticiero Univision’ every day. We welcome Ilia to the evening news and wish her much success.”
Calderon was born to a bi-racial family in the Chocó region of Colombia, and launched her journalism career in 1994 as the anchor of a local newscast in the country’s second largest city, Medellín. In 1997 she moved to Bogotá, where she hosted the national newscast “Noticiero CMI” until 2001. After relocating to Miami, Florida, she worked as a news anchor for Telemundo, co-anchored the weekend newscast for the Telemundo broadcast network, and later co-hosted the network’s weekday morning program “Cada Día con María Antonieta Collins.”
She joined Univision in 2007 as co-anchor of the weekend edition of its daily newsmagazine “Primer Impacto,” and in 2009 she was promoted to co-host of the show’s principal edition, airing Monday through Friday. Calderon became co-anchor of “Noticiero Univision: Edición Nocturna” in 2011.