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Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States

Craig Allen (author)

ISBN: 9781683401643

Publication Date: Dec 2020

Format: Hardback

In the first history of Spanish-language television in America, Craig Allen traces the development of two prominent yet little-studied powerhouses, Univision and Telemundo. Allen tells the story of how these networks fought to rise as giants of mass communication, questioning monolingual and Anglo-centred versions of US television history.

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In the most comprehensive history of Spanish-language television in the United States to date, Craig Allen traces the development of two prominent yet little-studied powerhouses, Univision and Telemundo. Allen tells the inside story of how these networks fought enormous odds to rise as giants of mass communication within an English-dominated society.

The book begins in San Antonio, Texas, in 1961 with the launch of the first Spanish-language station in the country. From it rose the Spanish International Network (SIN), which would later become Univision. Conceived by Mexican broadcasting mogul Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta and created by unsung American television pioneers, Unvision grew to provide a vast amount of international programming, including popular telenovelas, and was the first U.S. network delivered by satellite. After Telemundo was founded in the 1980s by Saul Steinberg and Harry Silverman, the two networks battled over audiences and saw dramatic changes in leadership. Today, Univision and Telemundo are multibillion-dollar television providers that equal ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox in scale and stature. While Univision remains a beacon of U.S. television's internationalization, Telemundo–owned by NBC–is a worldwide leader in producing Spanish-language programs.

Using archival sources and original interviews to reconstruct power struggles and behind-the-scenes intrigue, Allen uses this exciting narrative to question monolingual and Anglo-centered versions of U.S. television history. He demonstrates the endurance, innovation, and popularity of Spanish-language television, arguing that its story is essential to understanding the Latinx history of contemporary America.

Illustrations 17 black & white photos
Pages 352
Dimensions 229 x 152 x 24
Date Published 30 Dec 2020
Publisher University Press of Florida
Series Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America
Subject/s History of the Americas   Media studies   Television production: technical & background skills  
Craig Allen is associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. A former TV news director and consultant, his books include Eisenhower and the Mass Media: Peace, Prosperity, and Prime-Time TV.

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