April 2008

In this issue:

  • President’s Message
  • 11th Annual Impact Awards Gala
  • Latino Writers Program Update
  • Digital Television (DTV) Transition Update
  • NHMC launches Hate Speech web site: www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org
  • Latino Leadership Media Training Program
  • 6th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon
  • Ted Garcia named Sr. VP at CPB

Media Policy Watch

  1. Minority Media Ownership
  2. Low Power FM (LPFM) Update
  3. A la Carte
  4. Community Broadband Network
  5. White Space Devices (WSDs)
  6. Public Interest Obligations for Broadcast Licenses

President’s Message

Dear Friends of NHMC, As we begin the Second Quarter of 2008, it is remarkable what we were able to accomplish, with your help, in just the first 3 months of the year.  The NHMC commitment to advancing our mission of Latino employment and programming equity in the entertainment industry was underscored by our successful Impact Awards Gala on February 22nd, our work to combat Hate Speech and the launch of our new web site, www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org, our leadership efforts on the Digital TV transition front, advocating for telecommunications policies that benefit American Latinos and other people of color, and the successful premiere of the independent film, “La Misma Luna.” The 11th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala was a tremendous success as we gathered in Beverly Hills again to celebrate outstanding performances and achievements by American Latinos both in front of, and behind the cameras.  And although there is still much work to be done to achieve our goal of employment and programming equity, measurable progress has been achieved.  There were many exciting highlights from this year’s event, including the Impact award presentation by media mogul, philanthropist and NHMC friend, Haim Saban, to Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo for Outstanding Service & Commitment to the Latino Community.  Upon receiving his award, Mr. Sotelo invited various hotel staff, most of whom were Latino, to join him on stage.  This is a testament to the love and respect that Eddie has for his beloved community.  I invite you to please take a few moments to check out some of the other wonderful highlights from this year’s Gala, available on video on our web site. On March 28th, the NHMC launched www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org to combat the verifiable increase in hate crimes against American Latinos and the Latino immigrant community, in particular.  This new web site is an important step to raising awareness about this insidious issue that continues to permeate American TV and radio airwaves.  We must all take a stand against hate speech and this new web site will enable us to let American Latinos around the nation know that they are not alone in this struggle.  To succeed in this effort, we must present a united front and this user-friendly and content-rich new web site will help us achieve this goal.  Remember, the manifestation of hate speech into hate crimes affects all Latinos, whether they are documented or not; and who amongst us can tell the difference? NHMC continues to lead the Digital TV transition education campaign to ensure that Latinos across the nation do not become disenfranchised when all broadcast television goes from analog to digital in February, 2009.  To this end, we have been very visible in the media including appearances on Univision’s “TV Digital: ¿Cuanto Sabes?” (“Digital TV:  How Much Do You Know?”) with Spanish-language television icon and host of Univision’s hit talk show “Cristina,” Cristina Saralegui and in a production funded by the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) called “Countdown to DTV.  Are You Ready?”  You can help make the DTV transition a success by making sure everyone in your family, in your neighborhood and in your church knows what to do to be ready for the transition.  Please read more about the DTV transition in the following Newsletter to learn how to be more prepared for this significant change. I also encourage you to peruse the Media Policy Watch section of the nhmc.org web site.  This important section on our web site will update you on the urgent and vital media policy issues that we are currently advancing.  Issues such as:
  • Minority Media Ownership
  • Low Power FM
  • White Spaces
  • A la Carte
First quarter also saw the successful premiere of “La Misma Luna” (“Under the Same Moon”), a Patricia Riggen film distributed by Fox Searchlight.  If you haven’t seen this gem of a movie, I encourage you to do so.  The screenplay, direction and acting have already made this independent film a huge success in North America, but what’s really exciting about this movie, is that it is written by an American Latino, Ligiah Villalobos, directed by a Mexican national, Patricia Riggen, and stars an all-Latino cast, led by Kate del Castillo, who we recognized at the NHMC Impact Awards Gala in February, and also features another Impact Awards recipient, America Ferrera.   Your support of feature films like this is crucial because it ensures that major film studios (like Fox Searchlight) will continue to bring our stories to the forefront of the American consciousness.  In fact, much of the success of “La Misma Luna” is due in large part to the support of the American Latino audience.  Again, if you haven’t seen this film – please make it a point to do so. With your continued interest and support of our mission of employment and programming equity for American Latinos, and our advocacy for telecommunication policies that benefit the Latino community, we will continue to embrace the opportunity to serve our community to affect positive changes for all Latinos for the remainder of 2008 and beyond. Sincerely, Alex Nogales, President & CEO NHMC

11th Annual Impact Awards Gala

The stars aligned once again for the 11th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, California on February 22nd.  Emceed by ABC “Ugly Betty” co-stars, Tony Plana and Ana Ortiz, the NHMC presented yet another successful gala to celebrate outstanding performances and achievements by American Latinos both in front of and behind the camera.  Attracting over 500 industry professionals, the black-tie event was a testament to the measurable progress that American Latinos have achieved in Hollywood, but there is still much work to be done. Among the many highlights from the evening was veteran actor and activist, Edward James Olmos, presenting the Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Impact Award to “Culture Clash.”  Olmos thanked the renowned comedy troupe, consisting of Richard Montoya, Herbert Siguenza and Ric Salinas, and said, “After watching these guys for 24 years, it’s an honor to be able to thank them tonight for their discipline, determination and perseverance!” Media mogul and philanthropist, Haim Saban, was also on hand to present the Outstanding Service & Commitment to the Latino Community Impact award to Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, the popular syndicated radio host.  “Eddie is a good friend of mine and stops at nothing to help his community,” explained the Chairman of the Univision Board of Directors.  Best known as “Piolin por la Mañana” (Piolin in the Morning), Sotelo, upon receiving his award, invited various hotel staffers, most of whom were Latino, to join him on stage to accept his award.  “I share this award with all of you to thank you for all your hard work,” exclaimed the radio star. NHMC President & CEO, Alex Nogales also recognized the Co-Executive Producers of ABC-TV’s “Ugly Betty,” and presented Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta and Jose Tamez with an Impact Award for Outstanding Executive Producer of a Comedy Television Series, for their vision and commitment to bring the Emmy-Award winning drama to the forefront of the American consciousness.  “A successful show like ‘Ugly Betty’ is an excellent example of the advancements that we have made in the entertainment industry,” explained Nogales, “Salma and ABC-TV have successfully demonstrated that the American mainstream television audience is ready for more programming featuring American Latino actors and elements of their rich cultural Latino experiences.”

Latino Television Writers Program Update

To underscore its ongoing commitment to the NLMC to increase American Latino employment in all facets of the media industry, the NHMC is preparing to administer the 5th annual Latino Television Writers Program.  The Fall 2008 program will take place in Los Angeles from November 8th through December 13th   and the deadline for all script submissions is September 2, 2008.  (Click here to download your program application).  Each year, ten talented Latino writers are selected from across the country to participate in this coveted workshop for the opportunity to work with television network executives and showcase their talent.  It is a rigorous, 5-week program not intended for beginners and requires the submission of either a half-hour sitcom or one-hour television drama to demonstrate the unique talents and perspectives of each participating writer. The success of the NHMC-administered Latino Television Writers program is measured simply by the number of American Latino writers that are placed on successful network shows.  A great recent example of such a success story is Davah Feliz Avena, an episodic writer for the hit NBC show, “Medium.”  In fact, Avena’s episode, entitled “Lady Killer,” just aired on Monday, April 7, on NBC.  Davah’s episode guest starred Rosanna Arquette (“Medium” star Patricia Arquette’s sister) as a “cougar” that seduces and then kills young, attractive men.  Avena is currently a staff writer on the NBC show and an alumnus from the NHMC Latino Television Writers program. The placement rate of the talented Latino Television writers that have emerged from this program increases every year, with many participants earning staff writing positions with ABC, NBC, CBS and Disney.  Another NHMC Latino Television Writer program alumnus that was recently hired is Miguel Becerra.  We are pleased to report that Becerra recently joined the writing team of “Smallville,” as a writer’s production assistant.  This kind of Latino talent placement demonstrates the important bridge that the NHMC provides, ensuring access to key network executives and “access” is all these talented Latino writers need to showcase their unique perspective and experiences. To ensure that its writers remain on the radar screens of the television network brass, the NHMC hosts monthly meetings for its Latino Television Writers alumni.  These monthly meetings are crucial to the success of the program in that they provide the networking and continuous improvement opportunities necessary to succeed in the industry.  Beginning this month (April), alumni will return to the NHMC offices to listen to guest speakers, discuss employment opportunities and to exchange ideas with program mentor, Geoff Harris.  For more information on the NLMC Latino Television Writers Program, administered by the NHMC, please go to www.nhmc.org or contact program director, Acasia Flores, at (626) 792-6462 or aflores@nhmc.org.

Digital Television Transition Update

As a regular visitor to the nhmc.org web site, you should be aware of the upcoming Digital Television (DTV) transition.  The country’s full-power television stations will transition from analog broadcast television service to digital broadcast television service in February, 2009.  After February, 2009 all “analog” television sets will no longer receive television signals, so it’s important that you are prepared for the transition. The DTV transition brings a new and exciting era to television, much like the advent of color TV did in the early ‘60’s. DTV will not only provide consumers with better quality television picture and sound, but it will also make valuable spectrum available to significantly improve public safety communications and bring about a new era of advanced wireless services.  Most Americans rely on television for much more than entertainment.  Television is the primary source for local news and the most efficient way to stay informed in the event of a disaster.  The potential problem is the disenfranchisement of those Americans with access to only analog television sets after February, 2009.  An estimated 21 million Americans (7 million of who are Latino households) may be negatively impacted by this government mandate because they have analog televisions that use either rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna to view their favorite programming.  You can help make the DTV transition a success by making sure everyone in your family, in your neighborhood and in your church knows what to do to be ready for the transition.  Elderly people in particular, may need assistance to install the converter box to their television set.  The DTV transition is another opportunity for you to make a difference in your community.

How to prepare for the DTV Transition:

If you have an older television and depend on rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna you need to take some steps in order not to be left in the dark on February of 2009.  The following are your options to prepare for the DTV transition. 1.  Purchase a DTV converter box: Each household in the United States and Puerto Rico is able to apply for a maximum of two (2) converter box coupons, each worth $40.  The coupons expire after 90 days of issuance. Apply by Phone: (888) 388-2009 Apply by Fax: (877) 388-4632 Apply By Mail: Post Office Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208 Apply On-Line: www.DTV2009.gov It is estimated that converter boxes will run around $50 – $60.  However, we now know that in June or July Echostar will start selling TR-40 converter boxes at $39.95, this means that the converter box will essentially be free for consumers using the government coupon. 2. Subscribe to a video service provider: You can also subscribe to a cable, satellite or telephone company video service provider to continue using your analog TV set.  In other words, if you already have cable, satellite or a telephone company video service provider you do not need to do anything regarding the DTV transition even if you have an analog television set.  But remember, if you disconnect this service in the future you will need a converter box for your analog television to receive the transmission signals. 3.  Purchase a Digital TV set: Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner.  All televisions with a digital tuner are able to receive digital signals broadcast by television stations. The National Hispanic Media Coalition, led by its President & CEO, Alex Nogales, continues to lead the Digital TV transition education campaign.  Last month, Nogales appeared on Univision’s “TV Digital: ¿Cuanto Sabes?” (“Digital TV:  How Much Do You Know?”) with Spanish-language television icon and host of Univision’s hit talk show “Cristina,” Cristina Saralegui.  The half-hour special was the second network special on the upcoming DTV transition that Univision is producing to inform its viewers about the various aspects surrounding the transition from analog to digital television. Mr. Nogales is also featured in a production funded by the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) called “Countdown to DTV.  Are You Ready?” that was distributed to all television stations nationwide in an effort to educate Americans about the upcoming transition. For more information about the DTV Transition and the Coupon Program please go to:https://www.nhmc.org/dtv/  or contact Inez Gonzalez, NHMC Vice President, Media Policy atigonzalez@nhmc.org.

NHMC launches new web site to combat Hate Speech against Latinos in the Media

To help combat the verifiable increase in hate crimes against American Latinos and the Latino immigrant community, in particular, the NHMC launched a new web site, www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org, on March 28th.  The new user-friendly and content-rich web site has three primary objectives:  to raise awareness about this growing issue; to educate the public and supporting organizations about the emotional and long-term impact of hate speech; and to help visitors to the web site take action against the increasing amount of ugly rhetoric against Latinos on American radio and television.  “We must take a stand against Hate Speech,” said Alex Nogales, NHMC President/CEO, “the most recent report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on this issue (“Immigrants Targeted:  Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream”) addresses how the strategy of blaming immigrants for all of society’s ills, is now spreading to mainstream America.”  Nogales also explained that the FBI released a report this year demonstrating that hate crimes against Latinos had increased by 25% between 2004 and 2006.  “This is simply unacceptable,” lamented Nogales. To this end, Alex Nogales and Inez Gonzalez, NHMC Vice President, Media Policy recently met with a grassroots coalition of concerned Latinos in the Bay Area, led by Dr. Marcos Gutierrez, a radio and TV personality in San Francisco for the last 25 years, to discuss their coalition’s efforts to fight hate speech in the Bay Area community.  Gutierrez and his group, including Cynthia Ibarra, a volunteer from Modesto, California, Hector Navejas from “Vida en el Valle” newspaper, Silvia Ramirez, a community organizer, Xochitl Arellano, Communications Deputy for the California Latino Caucus, Julio Ramos, Vice President, Board of Trustees for the San Francisco Community College District, Gesela Zamora, a volunteer graphic designer and restaurateur (and meeting host), Isaac Mejia, of “Don Pico’s Mexican Restaurant,” successfully brought over 500 people together last summer to protest the hate speech rhetoric against Latinos on “The Savage Nation” radio show.  The protest was levied specifically against Clear Channel as well as the show’s host, Michael Savage. The meeting was very productive and resulted in important action items that NHMC will keep you apprised of, including scheduling a meeting with Clear Channel Executives.  “What Dr. Gutierrez and this Bay Area community group have done is something we intend to duplicate across the country,” explained Nogales.  “Communities must be empowered to replicate this model to ensure that television and radio station executives and their advertisers are accountable for the increase in hate speech that serves to only dehumanize and criminalize Latinos.”  The new website provides the resources necessary for a community to get organized to fight hate speech in their local media.  “We want Latinos around the nation to know that they are not alone in this fight,” concluded Nogales, “but to succeed, we must present a united front and coordinate our activities.” Additionally, the NHMC will work closely with the ADL, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), to address hate speech and the increase of anti-immigrant sentiment across the country.  Several weeks ago, MALDEF launched its own web site, www.truthinimmigration.org, as a means to refute legal and factual inaccuracies about immigrants and Latinos.  The goal of the NHMC and its partnering organizations is to make sure that hate speech is not allowed to hide behind the banner of “free speech.” Nogales summarized, “Hate speech is simply bad for all Americans – it encourages bigotry, makes ignorance acceptable and it emboldens extremists to take action against those who are least able to defend themselves.” Please go to www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org and join us in our fight to stop hate speech against Latinos.  Remember, “We the People” own the American airwaves, so “We the People” must demand that broadcast licensees who profit from our airwaves use it responsibly and seek to present varied points of view.

NHMC Develops Latino Leadership Media Training Program

To ensure credible American Latino voices will be heard in both local and national television broadcasts, the NHMC is developing an important training program this year to media train American Latino experts from different parts of the country on how to effectively deliver their message on local and national television. NHMC has compiled a list of potential experts, broken down by field of expertise and geography, with the goal of training these qualified men and women to be “camera ready” for on-air interviews in their respective areas of expertise.  Once trained, it will be much easier to persuade both local and national news Presidents, General Managers and their staffs to utilize these qualified Latino spokespeople when identifying guest experts for their news broadcasts and public affairs programming.  These experts have been drawn from the private sector, from the local and national non-profit community, and from the ranks of local and national elected and appointed officials. This is an important undertaking because the perception of who Latinos are and our value as a community, by non-Latinos is due in large part by what they read, hear and see in newspapers and magazines, or on radio, film or television.  Therefore, if American Latinos are essentially absent from all mediums, none of our concerns or points of view in any area of endeavor, including education, health, employment and communications, will ever get the full local and national attention and understanding they deserve.  NHMC has had measurable success in bringing about Latino inclusion in the entertainment side of television; it is now time to work on the very important news and information area.  For more information on this Latino Leadership Media Training program, please call Cori R. Lopez, NHMC Director of Marketing & Media Relations, at (626) 792.6462 or email her at clopez@nhmc.org.

NHMC Announces 2008 Local Impact Awards Luncheon, September 24, 2008

The NHMC will once again honor outstanding local media luminaries at its 6th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon.  This year’s Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, September 24th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.  Please note your calendars now for this important event to recognize the best local talent in Southern California.  For more information, please contact NHMC Director or Operations, Acasia Flores, at (626) 792-6462 or email her at aflores@nhmc.org.

Ted Garcia Named Sr. Vice President at Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

Veteran Public Television executive, Ted A. Garcia, was named Senior Vice President for television content at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Garcia begins his new assignment in late June.  Currently the General Manager and CEO of KNME-TV, licensed to the University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools, Garcia will oversee and manage the national public television programming initiatives for CPB. The NHMC congratulates Mr. Garcia in his new role and takes great pleasure in recognizing the fact that Ted is now the highest-ranking Latino at CPB.  "Ted is a proven leader, manager, and an innovative executive who is very highly regarded in the public broadcasting system," said Patricia Harrison, CPB President and CEO.  "He is well versed in the evolving media technologies and how public television can take advantage of new platforms to connect with audiences of all backgrounds.  Ted’s comprehensive knowledge of public broadcasting will be an asset at a time of transformational change."]]>

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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