Hispanic Nets Prep Coverage of Party Conventions en Espanol

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As the nation prepares for this year’s Democratic and Republican Conventions, to be held in Denver (Aug. 25-28) and Minneapolis (Sept. 1-4), respectively, Hispanics can expect a great deal of Spanish-language coverage of both events, with networks large and small preparing for unprecedented coverage on the air and online.

Univision Communications, the largest Spanish-language media property, is preparing what it calls its “most extensive multiplatform election coverage ever,” through its television, online, mobile and radio properties. On the network front, anchor Jorge Ramos, who this year will receive Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News’s Lifetime Achievement Award, will host special editions of his weekly political commentary show Al Punto which will air on the Sunday before the start of each convention. On the evening of the acceptance speeches, Ramos and news co-host María Elena Salinas will report live.

On the Internet, Univision will continue to feed its dedicated elections microsite, Destino 2008, featuring interviews with party leaders and Hispanic super delegates. Users will be able to directly access blogs from the convention sites with commentaries about the events and subscribe to breaking news alerts from Univision móvil.

NBC-owned Telemundo, for its part, will have Telemundo news anchor Pedro Sevcec reporting live from both conventions on all four nights. Telemundo’s Washington DC news correspondent Lori Montenegro will be covering the Democratic convention while Los Angeles correspondent Carlos Botifol will be at the Republican one. Complementing their TV reports, Sevcec and other Telemundo correspondents will blog on YahooTelemundo.com.

On the cable front, Time Warner Cable-owed NY1 Noticias is sending top reporter and host Juan Manuel Benitez to both conventions, where he will be reporting live and sharing a skybox with a larger team from parent NY1 News. According to Benitez, this will be the second time the Spanish-language channel covers the conventions (it went on the air in 2003).

Covering the conventions for the first time is V-me, the New York City-based network, which will present nightly primetime coverage of both conventions as part of its Participa 2008 initiative. Broadcasting from a skybox overlooking the proceedings in Denver and St. Paul, Jorge Gestoso will lead the network’s coverage and will be joined by the V-me Noticias team.

English-language, Hispanic youth-oriented cable channel Sí TV has taken an innovative approach, and this year will be sending two amateur reporters to cover the conventions. Wendy Carrillo, originally from El Salvador, will be at the Democratic Convention in Denver, while Michael Monroy, the son of Latin American immigrants, will be at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Carrillo and Monroy were chosen among dozens of Sí TV viewers as part of the network’s Crash the Parties advocacy platform, done in conjunction with Voto Latino. In addition to reporting live for the Sí TV channel, both reporters will also feed the network’s Web site.

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