Hispanic Heritage Hoopla


Discovery en Español and History Channel en Español are among the cable networks promoting programming efforts tied to Hispanic Heritage Month, a nationwide celebration of Hispanic culture.

“We look at this month as an opportunity to put our imprint in the television arena on the U.S. Hispanic side. Clearly, a lot of people come out with their best stuff this month, but this is not the only month we do this,” said Luis Silberwasser senior vice president and general manager of Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group. “We just feel that it is our duty to be a part of it, and what we try to do is we try to do it in a way that is very Discovery.”

This year, Discovery en Español will feature shows about a range of pioneros (“pioneers”) in the arts, politics, science and sports. The focus is on contemporary Latinos. Discovery Kids en Español will go further back, with a series of short programs about Latin Americans of historical importance such as Simón Bolivar, Benito Juárez and José Martí. The Viajar y Vivir channel will visit travel locations of historical significance, such as the Spanish missions in California and St. Augustine, Fla.

The History Channel en Espanol’s special offerings for the month are being plugged on-air by actor and singer Carlos Ponce. Documentary topics range from Don Quixote to the Shining Path guerrillas of Peru.

“It is nothing short of thrilling for us,” said Marlene Braga, programming director of the History Channel en Español. The network recently launched with Cablevision Systems Corp. in greater New York City and Cox Communications Inc. in San Diego.