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Listen: Univision’s Jessica Rodriguez on Shaking Up a Traditional TV Brand

With new leadership in place at Univision, the network is evolving in ways its fast-growing Hispanic audience in the U.S. might find surprising.

Look no further than the broadcaster’s primetime schedule, according to Jessica Rodriguez, CMO of Univision Communications and president/COO of Univision Networks, who relied on audience research to shake up traditional notions of what viewers could expect from the brand.

Listen to the podcast here:

“What you have suddenly is a primetime that looks very different hour to hour,” said Rodriguez on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “Now you have a differentiated product.”

What was once wall-to-wall traditional telenovelas from 7 to 11 p.m. has become a more varied offering that jumps from genres like comedy to the supernatural. The roles portrayed by female actors have changed in particular, with more nuanced narratives that look at women in new ways.

“These are realistic women who are living their lives, doing life, and not waiting for those storylines you saw in the past about someone coming along to save the day,” said Rodriguez, who reports to new Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky.

Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Past episodes include conversations with Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Tyra Banks. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

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