CNN Shutters CNN Latino, Becoming the Second Mainstream Media Source in 2014 to End Its Latino-Focused News Division
CNN is shuttering its CNN Latino division, becoming the second mainstream media outlet to shutter its Latino-focused news subsidiary in as many months this year.
CNN Latino, which only launched early in 2013 as part of CNN en Español (CNNE), was primarily a Spanish-language television news service that aimed to produce relevant stories for a U.S. Latino audience (with a website counterpart, as well). It began as block of programing for Los Angeles's KBEH-DT, but soon was syndicated in New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami.
Now it will be the second Latino-focused branch of a major news network to close its doors, after NBC News dissolved NBC Latino, its English-language Latino news website, at the end of January.
The network's official statement about the closure, via Media Moves, expresses motives for ending the Latino programing that mirror NBC's:
"CNN Latino was a bold effort to continue CNN's commitment to the U.S. Hispanic marketplace. Unfortunately, despite the great efforts of many talented people, CNN Latino was not able to fulfill our business expectations and we are discontinuing the programming this month. Over the course of the past year we learned a lot and we will use what we learned to continue to innovate and evolve our presence in the Hispanic community."
On the repercussions of the closing of CNN Latino, CNNE's spokesperson Isabel Bucarám told Media Moves, "CNN Latino staff will be impacted, but CNNE staff personnel will not." It's not clear how many employees of CNN Latino will lose their jobs.
When CNN announced their Latino programming, it said CNNE would be hiring about 25 people for production, along with signing Latino/a personalities to take the helm of the syndicated programming.
"This project has been in the works for over a year. ... We were looking at ways to create a unique product that had a unique spin for the U.S. Hispanic market," said CNNE's general manager Cynthia Hudson-Fernández to Media Moves, announcing the program's launch. "We're going to syndicate programming - a formula that we've been successful with in the past. ... The U.S. Hispanic audience is large enough, the offerings are scarce and not diversified. There's a lot of people playing in the space, trying to identify opportunities in the Latino market -- whether in English or Spanish. The beauty of it is that there is room for two distinctive content options -- the CNN en Español brand and now a new brand for new partners," added Hudson-Fernández at the time.
NBC Latino was shuttered seemingly because NBC News found that focusing only on Latino stories (and not general news) in English didn't draw enough of a Latino audience - one that is increasingly bicultural and interested in both mainstream content and Latino-focused stories. CNN Latino's problem might have been similar, but in any case, its problems were compounded by the fact that, since it was a Spanish-language television news service, it was also going head-to-head with the monolithic and ever-expanding broadcaster Univision. Now CNN Latino will be off the air by the end of the month.
CNN Latino's slogan was "Todo es posible." Apparently for CNN, it's not.
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