December 2008

In this issue:

  • President’s Message
  • Hate Speech Update
  • Digital Television Transition Update
  • 2008 Network Television Diversity Report Cards
  • NHMC Latino Leadership Media Training Update
  • Latino Television Writers Program
  • 6th Annual Impact Awards Luncheon
  • Congratulations to Philly’s Schwartz, ARENAS, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Congressman Raul M. Grijalva
  • 12th Annual Impact Awards Gala
  • Media Policy Watch

President’s Message

Dear Friends of NHMC, As 2008 comes to a close, the National Hispanic Media Coalition looks back on a year that was both productive and challenging.  Through it all, the NHMC remained focused on achieving its agenda to advance American Latino employment and programming equality throughout the entertainment industry and to advocate for telecommunications policies that benefit the American Latino community.  Each quarter brought new challenges and opportunities and the NHMC was not immune to the financial crisis that nearly toppled Wall Street in October.  Like many other non-profit organizations throughout California and across the country, the NHMC anticipates a shortfall in funding next year due to the inability of its funders to provide the same level of financial support.  As such, the NHMC will work leaner and meaner in 2009 to realize its mission of improving the image of American Latinos as portrayed by the media; increasing the number of Latinos employed in all facets of the media industry; and advocating for media and telecommunications policies that benefit the American Latino community and other communities of color.  The following is a summary of the 2008 NHMC key achievements.  Despite our financial challenges, these accomplishments buoy our determination to attain our goals and keep us focused on our mission to end media bias against Latinos. We accomplished a great deal in the first quarter.  In January, we moved to a new office in Pasadena, California and not only reduced our rental expenditures but took up residence in a classic building befitting our image and outlook.  We also moved NHMC Vice President of Media Policy, Inez Gonzalez, to Washington, D.C. where she opened a virtual office for the NHMC enabling us to make a greater impact on those telecommunications policies that affect our community.  The NHMC also began its leadership role in educating the Latino community about the upcoming Digital TV (DTV) transition in February 2009 when Alex Nogales was featured as an expert guest on a Univision show with Cristina Saralegui.  Alex was also recognized by V-me Television with a “Visionary” Award for his early support of this new Digital Spanish-language television network and the NHMC effort to educate Latinos about the upcoming DTV transition.  First quarter also saw the successful execution of the 11th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, featuring veteran actor Edward James Olmos and philanthropist, Haim Saban among many others.  Another important accomplishment in Q1 was the launch  This new web site, dedicated to combating the verifiable increase in hate crimes against Latinos as a consequence of hate speech in the media, will help raise awareness about this growing problem, the number one issue for the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Second quarter found us continuing our efforts in the DTV transition educational campaign and Hate Speech in the media battle.  On June 16th, the NHMC hosted a press conference with the NAACP and others on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall that included Congresswomen Hilda L. Solis (D-CA) and Diane Watson (D-CA), and Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry (D-Dist. 9).  The press conference was held to raise awareness about the upcoming DTV transition and the need for both the Latino and African-American communities to come together to educate our communities to prevent any disenfranchisement that may occur as the result of this Congressional mandate to transition from analog to digital broadcast next year.  The NHMC was also awarded a Social Science Research Council grant, in partnership with the UCLA/Chicano Studies Department, to research hate speech in the media in Los Angeles.  This important research will be the first of its kind and should produce qualitative information to demonstrate how inflammatory and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media, hate speech, is manifesting into increased hate crimes against Latinos. Third quarter of 2008 started with some disturbing news about the murder of a young Mexican immigrant, Luis Ramirez, beaten to death on July 12th by four teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  The 25-year old was walking home when these malicious young men brutally beat him while simultaneously shouting racial slurs.  Local officials have suggested that this was just a “street fight gone wrong,” but this heinous act of violence is just another horrible example of how the “immigration hysteria,” fueled by irresponsible TV and Radio talk show hosts has played a role in the rise of hate crimes against Latinos, documented by the FBI, and another reason why Hate Speech in media continues to be a top priority for the NHMC and our close ally in this effort, MALDEF.  On a much brighter note, we kicked off the NHMC Latino Leadership Media Training program in Q3 with Senator Gilbert Cedillo (D-CA Dist. 22) and Castulo De La Rocha, President & CEO of AltaMed Health Services.  NHMC continues to identify professional Latino men and women from across the country who are experts in their respective fields.  Once media trained, it will be easier to persuade local and national news Presidents and General Managers to utilize these qualified spokespeople on their news and public affairs broadcasts.  We concluded the third quarter with our 6th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon in Beverly Hills.  This important fundraiser drew an impressive crowd to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where we honored outstanding Latinos whose achievements, generosity of spirit, or courage-under-fire have greatly benefited the Southern California Latino community. We began the fourth quarter by applauding Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin for his FCC proposal that would allow a path for Class A Low Powered TV and Radio stations – which are predominantly owned by minorities – to become full powered stations.  The NHMC October 1st press release lauded Martin’s leadership in promoting and protecting Class A low power stations because these low power stations are crucial to the U.S. media landscape if diverse voices are to be heard in local communities across the country.  We also kicked off the Fall 2008 Latino Television Writers program in Q4 and this year’s program includes 11 of the best Latino TV writing talent from across the country.  This rigorous, 5-week program is not for beginners and provides an outstanding opportunity for the selected writers to work closely with television network executives to showcase their unique talents and perspectives.  The NHMC is extremely proud of the placement rate of the participating writers that emerge from this program every year.  The placement rate increases every year, adding to the growing list of program alumni that currently write for NBC, ABC, CBS and Disney.  We will conclude the year by hosting our annual Network Diversity “Report Card” press conference on December 2nd.  At this time, we will outline each network’s diversity “grade” over the last television season, as we continue to work to increase the number of American Latinos in front of and behind the camera. I thank  you for your continued interest and support of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and its mission to promote American Latino employment and programming equity and those telecommunications policies that benefit the Latino community and other communities of color.  We look forward to a prosperous 2009, and despite the financial challenges we faced in 2008, will continue our efforts to affect positive changes in the media for all Latinos. Sincerely, Alex Nogales President & CEO

Hate Speech in the Media: NHMC Update

According to the latest FBI statistics released in October of this year, hate crimes targeting American Latinos in calendar year 2007 increased versus the previous year, capping a 40% rise in the four years since 2003.  Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a champion against hate speech and NHMC ally against hate speech, writes the following on the SPLC HateWatch website “As anti-immigrant propaganda has increased on both the margins and in the mainstream of society — where pundits and politicians have routinely vilified undocumented Latino immigrants with a series of defamatory falsehoods — hate violence has risen against perceived “illegal aliens.” Each year since 2003, the number of FBI-reported anti-Latino hate crime incidents has risen (see table, below), even as a swelling nativist movement has become larger and more vitriolic.”

Although the number of hate crimes reported by the FBI may not seem considerable, 595 in 2007, it is realistic to presume that the actual numbers are much larger since the FBI statistics are simply compilations of state statistics as mandated by federal law.  The truth is, many undocumented immigrants will not report their victimization due to the fear of being deported and local authorities avoid categorizing a crime as a “hate crime” in order to mitigate negative public relations in their respective communities.  In fact, were it not for the intervention of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the brutal death of Luis Ramirez, a 25 year-old, father of two and undocumented immigrant, killed on July 12th in Shenandoah, PA by a group of teenage boys who yelled racial slurs as they beat him to death, this heinous crime would have been swept under the rug categorized as a street fight gone wrong and not a hate crime. According to Mark Potok, a 2005 study by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (PDF), based on detailed and highly accurate National Crime Victimization Surveys, found that the real annual level of hate crime in the U.S. averaged 20 to 30 times higher than the numbers annually reported by the FBI.  With this in mind, it is therefore not surprising that we have yet another hate crime murder to report, this time occurring in Long Island, New York. In November, the Associated Press reported that seven high school students looking "to beat up some Mexicans" attacked an immigrant from Ecuador on a Long Island street, with one of them fatally plunging a knife into the man’s chest during the brawl, police said.  The attack was officially labeled a hate crime by Suffolk County authorities. Some outraged Latino immigrant supporters suggested that recent crackdowns on illegal immigration incited an atmosphere of intolerance that contributed to the attack.  The teenagers – one junior and six seniors at Patchogue-Medford High School – were arraigned on November 10th on gang assault charges and entered not guilty pleas. The teen believed to have wielded the knife, 17-year-old Jeffrey Conroy, faces charges of first degree manslaughter as a hate crime. Marcello Lucero, 37, worked at a dry-cleaning shop in Riverhead. A friend of the victim said Lucero moved to the United States 16 years ago.  Police and prosecutors say the teens – six of them white and one Latino – were hanging out in a park on Saturday night (Nov. 8) around midnight when someone suggested they go "beat up some Mexicans." The group spotted Lucero and another man near the Patchogue train station and "like a lynch mob, (Conroy) and his friends got out of their car and surrounded Mr. Lucero and his friend," prosecutor Nancy Clifford said at Conroy’s arraignment.  The “hate crime” designation would enhance any sentence imposed upon conviction. Then this month, Jose O. Sucuzhanay, a 31-year old Ecuadorian immigrant who, along with his brother, was severely beaten in Brooklyn and died from extensive brain damage and skull fractures.  This crime was described as an anti-gay and anti-Latino hate crime since the perpetrators thought the brothers were gay since the brothers were walking arm-in-arm.  Shouting anti-gay and anti-Latino slurs, the assailants broke a bottle over Jose’s head and continued to beat him with a baseball bat while his brother ran for help. Subsequent to this most recent hate crime and the many others before it, the NHMC invited some of its allies to an important roundtable discussion on the issue of hate speech and its role in hate crimes.  The roundtable, comprised of some of the most credible and nationally-recognized organizations in the area of human and civil rights, includes the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others.  In September we gathered in Washington, DC for our first roundtable discussion with the goal of arriving at legally defensible solutions to hate speech.  Our initial meeting resulted in the creation of the following Work Groups: 1) FCC strategy; 2) Advertising; 3) Moral Campaign; 4) Local Boycott Campaign; 5) First Amendment and 6) Civil Litigation.  Follow-up discussions took place in October and December with a press conference scheduled in late January to present our recommendations. Additionally, we are working close together with Media Matters of America, a great media watchdog who recently released Radioactive Smears: Local conservative radio contributes to the echo chamber of conservative talking points and falsehoods.  In monitoring local conservative radio, both Media Matters and Colorado Media Matters have exposed attacks and gross generalizations about immigrants and Latinos.  The major themes Media Matters has seen in its monitoring are below:

  • Right-wing radio hosts blame immigrants for the foreclosure crisis.
  • Right-wing radio hosts make gross generalizations and hate-filled statements about immigrants.
  • Right-wing radio hosts suggest immigrants and Latinos are violent criminals.
Link to Full Report: Link to Radio Montage of Right-Wing Radio: Here is a sample of some of the hateful rhetoric that Michael Savage is airing on his talk show, “The Savage Nation.” Michael Savage
  • Discussing the Italian government’s reported decision to deploy soldiers on city streets to combat violent crime allegedly committed by illegal immigrants, Michael Savage said during the August 4 broadcast of his radio show: "So they’ve done there what we need to do here. We need to get our troops out of Iraq and put them on the streets of America to protect us from the scourge of illegal immigrants who are running rampant across America, killing our police for sport, raping, murdering like a scythe across America while the liberal psychos are telling us they come here to work."
  • Michael Savage asserted on his June 23rd broadcast: "We’re getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. You’re telling me they’re going to assimilate? They will never assimilate. They come here and they bring their destitute ways to this country, and they never assimilate." He continued: "And then their children become gang-bangers. It is a disaster."
  • On Savage’s January 29 broadcast, while discussing President Bush’s AIDS spending proposal in the State of the Union address, Michael Savage responded to a caller’s assertion that he "do[es]n’t know anything about Africa" by unleashing a series of attacks on the continent and its people, including the claim that AIDS "got" to Africa "because it was spread from eating green monkey meat" and that "in Africa , people settle arguments with machetes."
  • On the September 16th broadcast of The Savage Nation, discussing a caller’s claim that "Muslim fundamentalists" are "walk[ing] around Northern Virginia as if they own the place," Michael Savage asked, "Why would a nation that is as evolved as America, and as liberal as America is socially, want to bring in throwbacks who are living in the 15th century?" He also asked: "What is the societal benefit of bringing in throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists?"
In our last NHMC newsletter, we reported that the Bay Area Hispanic/Latinos Anti-Defamation Coalition (HLADC), a San Francisco grassroots coalition led by Dr. Marcos Gutierrez was going to hold a second protest against the continued ugly hate speech rhetoric by shock jock, Michael Savage,  and specifically against Clear Channel, the media company that carries “The Savage Nation” and its inaccurate, hate-mongering rhetoric throughout the nation on a daily basis.  In our estimation, Clear Channel is clearly a company that has forgotten its obligation to the public interest as a broadcaster using the public airwaves. The HLADC reports that their protest went very well. There were more then 200 protesters at the September 23rd rally, half the number of people compared to last year’s protest; but still a good number.  The protesters carried signs that thanked those major companies that do not support hate speech in radio, and shamed those companies that do support it.  Some of the admonishing signs included: “Shame on Campbells for Supporting Hate Speech in Radio”; “Shame on American Express”…; “Shame on Marshalls”…; and “Shame on Hoover.”  Thank you signs were designated for Sears, Intuit and Sprint/Nextel for NOT supporting hate speech in radio.  The NHMC would like to take this opportunity to thank Sears, Intuit and Sprint/Nextel for their corporate decisions to NOT support hate speech in the media. A letter directed to the appropriate Clear Channel executives was hand-delivered to the security guard at Clear Channel’s front office.  The letter requested a meeting with the Clear Channel executives to discuss the public discontent with Clear Channel’s programming of “The Savage Nation.”  To date, the HLADC has not received a response from the San Francisco executives at Clear Channel,  so it is now time to take this discussion to Clear Channel’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.  NHMC fully supports the HLADC in San Francisco in its effort to be heard by the Clear Channel executives and to mitigate hate speech from all media. It is also worth noting that neither the mainstream or Spanish-language media covered the HLADC protest in San Francisco on September 23rd, despite the provision of sufficient notification.  Please note:  Dr. Marcos Gutierrez broadcasts on Radio 1010 in San Francisco and 990 in Sacramento, or you can listen to his shows through his web page from 9-11 a.m. and 12-1pm Monday through Friday, California time. Finally, the NHMC recently retained the Institute for Public Representation (IPR) to help combat hate speech in the media.  IPR is a public interest law firm and clinical education program at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.  IPR has three practice groups, one of which focuses on protecting citizens’ First Amendment rights and interests.  IPR attorneys have been collaborating with NHMC and other civil rights groups to find ways to combat hate speech while at the same time respecting First Amendment freedoms.  The IPR hate speech team includes acting director, Victoria Philips, staff attorney and teaching fellow, Jessica Gonzalez, and third-year law students Jessica Sackin, Philip McCarthy, and Owen Kopon.  All three of the students have undertaken extensive factual and legal research, and by the end of the semester Sackin and McCarthy will produce documents advocating for policy changes to minimize the negative effects of hate speech.  NHMC is very appreciative of the great work the IPR team is doing in assisting us in identifying legally defensible initiatives against hate speech in media.

Digital Television (DTV) Transition Update

DTV is coming! DTV is coming!  Now more than ever, we need your help in making sure that everyone that you know is prepared for this government mandate taking place in February, 2009.  As you know, the country’s full-power television stations will transition from analog broadcast television service to digital broadcast television service on February 17, 2009.  After February, 2009 all “analog” television sets will no longer receive television signals, so it’s important that everyone, including senior citizens, low-income and minority communities are prepared for the transition.  Perhaps you are one of many that have newer digital television sets, or have cable or satellite service – then you are prepared for the transition and are already enjoying the benefits of better quality picture and sound and additional channels.  Nevertheless, your work as a community leader is not over yet.  We continue to call upon our network of community activists to take action to ensure that no one in our community is left in the dark. The fact is television plays a key role in entertainment, but it is also a critical means to get emergency information to the viewer.  Even with the increased popularity of the Internet, television remains the primary source for local news and the most efficient way to stay informed in the event of a disaster.  This is why it’s imperative that no televisions go dark and this is why we are asking you to help us spread the word about this important issue. It has been well reported that disenfranchised communities, senior citizens, low-income and minority populations will be most affected by the DTV transition.  Latino viewers make up about one-third of the 21 million American households that rely on antennas to received over-the-air broadcasts and according to a report released by Nielsen in May Latino households are among the least prepared for the transition.  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 prepared 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. Your neighbors may need assistance in learning about or obtaining coupons from the federal government’s converter box coupon program, or in selecting and installing a converter box. Here are some of the ways you can help them navigate the switch to digital:
  • Help Someone Obtain a Coupon. The government’s coupon program will accept any coupon that is valid and has not expired — regardless of who ordered it. Under program rules, a neighbor (or a friend, relative and so on) may use a $40 coupon that you ordered and received from the government. So, if your household is eligible for coupons but won’t need them, you can give your unused coupons to a neighbor, or order coupons now and give one or both to a neighbor to use. (Please note that it is illegal to sell or exchange coupons for an item of value other than a converter box.)
CONSUMERS URGED TO APPLY FOR COUPONS BY DEC. 31! Although the digital transition takes place two months from now on February 17, 2009, consumers who want to participate in the TV Converter Box Coupon Program are urged to act in the next two weeks. Consumers that don’t apply before the end of the year are at risk of losing their TV service. The NTIA urges consumers to: APPLY for their coupons immediately, BUY a converter box when the coupons arrive and TRY the converter box with their analog TV to address any potential technical issues before February 17, 2009.  This 3 step process may take 6 weeks or more, so consumers who do not act by the end of the year may not be ready for the transition on February 17th. Low-power television (LPTV) Stations, Translator Stations and the Digital Television (DTV) Transition: For the vast majority of viewers who watch TV using antennas, television will go digital on February 17, 2009, but the law does not require "low-power" television (LPTV) stations to go digital.  These smaller LPTV stations, and low-power "translator" stations that boost a signal’s strength at distances far from the station’s main transmitter, may continue broadcasting in analog after February 17, 2009.  Go to and type in your zip code and see what low-power stations may be viewable in your area.  If your favorite station is on the list you will need to be sure you purchase the “right” converter box with a pass-through analog option. For more information on the DTV transition visit

2008 Network Television Diversity Report Cards

“After nine years of assessing the diversity efforts of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, we strongly believe that network television diversity for the American Latino community is finally taking hold,” said Esteban Torres, National Latino Media Council Chair, “but there is still great room for improvement in the areaof minority business procurement.”  The retired U.S. Congressman was commenting on the 2008 Network Television Diversity “report cards” that were released on December 2nd.  Mr. Torres then went on to report measured diversity improvements for each network despite the devastating WGA writers strike that nearly crippled network television’s 2007-2008 season. The NHMC, together with the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) and the American Indians on Film & TV (AIFTV), released its annual network television diversity “report card” outlining diversity performance grades for ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX television networks.  The report cards are based on statistical information provided by each network and measure performance in eight categories: diverse actors in regular and recurring roles, diverse directors, writers/producers, entertainment creative executives, program development, supplier diversity and overall network commitment to diversity initiatives. Special congratulations go to FOX TV for being the only network to improve its overall diversity grade, earning a B+, versus its overall grade of B- last year. NBC and CBS maintained their overall diversity performance grades of B and B+, respectively, while ABC TV was the only network to go down a grade, from an A- to a B+.  Torres explained, “While ABC significantly increased its total number of American Latino actors in Unscripted “Reality” programming, it fell short in its total number of Latino actors in primetime Scripted programming and Latino Directors in 2007-2008 season and we attribute this shortfall to the writers strike.” Mr. Torres also emphasized the ongoing effort of the NLMC to combat hate speech in the media, “Fueled by irresponsible TV and Radio talk show hosts, ‘immigration hysteria’ has played a role in the rise of hate crimes against Latinos and this is an important issue for all Americans.”

NHMC Latino Leadership Media Training Update

In order to ensure that American Latinos are represented well on television and seen as experts within their respective disciplines, instead of the negative stereotypes that we so often see, the NHMC developed the “Latino Leadership Media Training” program that kicked off in Los Angeles in July of this year.  Year one of this successful project included the media training of Senator Gilbert Cedillo (D-CA, District 22) and Castulo De La Rocha, President & CEO of AltaMed Health Services.  This important media training program, underwritten by BP America and Verizon, ensures that our voices and POV will be heard in both local and national TV broadcasts, by training Latino experts across the country and across disciplines on how to effectively deliver their messages on local and national television. NHMC is currently identifying men and women across the country who are experts in their respective fields with the goal of training these qualified Latinos to be “camera ready” for on-air television interviews in Year two of the program (2009).  Once trained, it will be much easier to persuade local and national news Presidents and General Managers to use these qualified spokespeople on their newscasts and public affairs programming.  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.

Latino Television Writers Program

The NHMC successfully concluded its 6th annual Latino Television Writers program on December 12th and the 5-week session was once again a great achievement in advancing American Latino writing talent.  Former NBC VP of Script Development and program mentor, Geoff Harris, along with network executives are very excited about this most recent group of participants.  The writers will have 2 more weeks to polish their scripts before submitting them to the participating television networks on January 7th with the goal of securing writing position with one of the  networks. This annual program is not for beginners; it is a rigorous, 5-week course that provides the selected writers with the unique opportunity to work with television network executives and showcase their respective talents and perspectives.   The placement rate of the participating writers that emerge from this program increases every year, and the NHMC has a growing list of alumni that currently write for NBC, ABC, CBS and Disney.  This level of talent placement demonstrates the important bridge that NHMC provides to secure writers access to key network executives and therefore an important means of securing more Latino creative talent in the medium of television. The NHMC Latino Television Writers Program is a greater success with each passing year, but we could not make this happen without the unwavering support from:              We salute their continued commitment to television diversity.

6th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon

The NHMC hosted its 6th annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon on September 24th and not only celebrated another successful event, but also the uniqueness and diverse contributions of this year’s honorees.  Held at the beautiful Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, the Local Impact Awards luncheon honors those individuals or entities whose achievements, generosity of spirit, or courage-under-fire greatly benefits the Southern California Latino community.  Laura Diaz, the lovely and talented news anchor from CBS 2 News, and Carlos Amezcua from Fox 11 News acted as co-masters of ceremony where a local entrepreneur, a playwright, two veteran news broadcasters and a California state senator were honored. This year’s honorees included entrepreneur and community leader, Ruben Martinez.  Martinez owns “Libreria Martinez” bookstores and has been an advocate for Latino literacy his entire adult life.  Veteran news anchor, Ana Garcia (CBS News), was honored for her long-time commitment to covering those stories that impact the Latino community throughout Southern California.  A Local Impact Award was also presented to another “Garcia,” Rick Garcia (KCOP My13 News).  Rick has an extensive background in News and Sports and continues to do an excellent job in serving the Latino community in his role as news anchor.  Prolific playwright, Josefina Lopez, was also honored for her life-long commitment to the theatre.  Josefina is best known for writing the play, “Real Women Have Curves,” but has had more than 80 productions of her plays throughout the United States.  The NHMC also recognized the Honorable Gilbert Cedillo on September 24th.  California State Senator Cedillo (D-Los Angeles, District 22) has become a statewide leader for increasing and expanding access to health care, protecting the rights of working men and women and for assimilating immigrants into the California social and economic fabric.

Phyllis Schwartz Receives First "President’s Award"

The NHMC honored NBC Television executive Phyllis Schwartz on October 24th at its inaugural 2008 Regional VIP Reception in San Diego at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort.  Ms. Schwartz is the Executive Vice President: News, Promotion and Original Content for the NBC Local Media division in San Diego, responsible for local content efforts for all 10 of NBC’s Owned and Operated stations, including news, digital, original programming and on-air promotion.  “We were extremely pleased to bestow our very first NHMC ‘President’s Award’ to Phyllis Schwartz for her service and commitment to the San Diego Latino Community,” said NHMC President & CEO, Alex Nogales, “her decisive leadership in reaching out to the San Diego Spanish-speaking community via the NBC broadcast during last year’s devastating fires throughout San Diego County is a testament to her commitment to the local and regional community.” To promote its platform and raise awareness about the importance of media diversity, the NHMC will be hosting Regional VIP Receptions in key cities across the country.  This Regional VIP Reception project, Co-Chaired by NHMC Board Members, Lidia S. Martinez and Anna Allee, began in San Diego and will be executed in three more cities within the next twelve months.  Each VIP reception will honor an individual or business entity that has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to the Latino community in their respective communities with a special emphasis on their use of the media to uplift the community. Stepping up to support the inaugural event in San Diego was Union Bank of California.  As the presenting sponsor, Union Bank of California underscored its commitment to the American Latino community and its philosophy of giving back to the community.  The San Diego reception was also underwritten by Southwest Airlines and local San Diego business entrepreneur, Anna Allee, President & CEO of The Alarus Agency, Inc.

Arenas Agency Named AOR by Paramount Pictures

The NHMC would like to take this opportunity tocongratulate CEO Santiago Pozo and the Arenas Agency team for being selected as the Hispanic Agency of Record (AOR) by Paramount Pictures.  Based in Los Angeles and founded 20 years ago by Mr. Pozo, Arenas will assume the responsibility of a 360 degree approach to U.S. Hispanic marketing and will provide Paramount with Hispanic media planning and buying, publicity, promotion and creative consultation.

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez Elected Chair of CHC

NHMC congratulations are also in order for Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.) for her recent election to serve as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) for the 111th Congress.  As Chair of the CHC, the Congresswoman is committed to increase opportunities for the nation’s 47 million Hispanics.  “It is an honor to have been selected by my colleagues as Chair of the CHC,” said Velazquez, “With their rapid growth, increasing purchasing power and political influence, this is both an exciting and critical time for Latinos.”

Congressman Raul M. Grijalva Elected Co-Chair of CPC

Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) was elected to Co-Chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) for the 111th Congress and the NHMC would like to take this opportunity to extend congratulations on this announcement.  “I am honored to become Co-Chair,” said Grijalva, “I believe it is time for our Caucus to move to the next level and continue to advance our progressive agenda in an effective and pragmatic manner.”

12th Annual Impact Awards Gala

SAVE THE DATE!  Because you don’t want to miss the NHMC 12th Annual Impact Awards Gala on Friday, February 20, 2009 at the beautiful Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.  This annual black tie event brings together important media luminaries from both in front and behind the camera to recognize Latino talent and our cultural influences across the industry.  “We are once again delighted to present Impact Awards to those extraordinary individuals who continue to express our ethnic richness, talents and Latino cultural on the big and small screen,” said Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the NHMC.  Past Impact Award recipients include Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, George Lopez, Andy Garcia and Edward James Olmos.  For more information on the Impact Awards Gala as well as sponsorship opportunities, please contact Acasia Flores at (626) 792-6462 or via email at

Media Policy Watch

NHMC in Washington, D.C. What an exciting time to be in Washington!  The historic November 4th election brought the biggest change of all, but that was just the beginning.  We soon started hearing the names of possible candidates for President-Elect Obama’s Cabinet, Commissions and White House staff.  There was surprise all around the Beltway to hear that Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the Chairman for the Government Oversight Committee would be challenging Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.) to Chair the House Energy & Commerce Committee, a committee that includes the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee.  In a place where the seniority system has long prevailed, it was an unexpected showdown in the House of Congress.  Congressman Waxman ended up winning the Chairmanship and Congressman Dingell will be Chairman Emeritus. Additionally, President-Elect Obama named the first American Latino to his Cabinet by tapping New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department, if confirmed.  The Commerce Department oversees the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), an agency that you may recall NHMC has been asking to update its 1993 “The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes” report.   Once his appointment is confirmed by the Senate, Secretary Richardson will be hearing from us very soon.  We got more good news when we heard of more Latino Cabinet appointments Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) was named Secretary of the Interior and our good friend and champion Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) Secretary of Labor.  Finally, we are very pleased that Senior Vice President for the National Council of La Raza (NLCR), Cecilia Munoz, was named Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.  Cecilia has earned the respect and admiration of many in the Latino leadership community and we applaud and thank her for her work at NCLR and wish her great success at the White House. NHMC recently participated in a Media and Democracy Coalition meeting with the Federal Communications Commission Agency Review Team Co-Chairs, Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach, who were joined by Larry Strickling of the Presidential Transition Team.  About two dozen public interest organizations and foundations attended this informative and deeply substantive meeting.  The topics ranged from improving access to broadband to spectrum reform, to Network Neutrality, to text messaging to how to improve the FCC’s processes including an enhanced commitment to diversity.   To read the document presented by NHMC to the transition team please go to: As we conclude 2008 with not too many legislative victories, we want to recognize Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Congressman Raul Grijalva for their leadership in telecom and media issues and thank them for their support on both of the bills NHMC worked hard to promote in the Hill.  Local Community Radio Act of 2007 (H.R. 2802) and Resolution of Disapproval (S.J. RES. 28) did not move forward, but it wasn’t because we didn’t try hard enough.  Next year we will continue to work on the Community Radio Act as soon as it is re-introduced and we will continue to promote that media consolidation and its media content are not good for the public interest with the FCC. The following is a list of those current media issues that the NHMC, with  your support, continues to advance for the benefit of the American Latino community. Issues:
  • Minority Media Ownership
  • Low Power FM (LPFM)
  • Low Power Class A TV Stations
  • White Spaces
  • A la Carte
  • Public Interest Obligations for Broadcast Licenses
  • Universal Broadband
  • Internet for Everyone

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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