Multicultural Media Maven

Multicultural Media Maven
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Jacqueline Hernández is described by those who know her as a pioneer in the Hispanic media world. Some call her a role model who has shown U.S. Latinos how to achieve the American dream without abandoning their roots.

Since 2008, this native New Yorker has been chief operating officer of Telemundo Media. She oversees domestic revenue and the digital, cable, consumer insights, integrated marketing and branded entertainment divisions at the Spanish- language juggernaut, which is part of NBCUniversal.

Hernández, 47, is bilingual; both of her parents came separately to the U.S. from Spain, then met and married in the States. Telemundo and its novelas were a part of her life growing up in Manhattan.


“It was always on,” Hernández said. “To, this day it’s on at my mom’s, sign-on to sign-off . In a lot of Hispanic homes, and the research will tell you this, Telemundo will become like a lifeline or information and it’s just on. So it was always on when I was growing up. Telemundo is extremely strong in New York, and has always been.”

Hernández was proselytizing about, and passionately pitching, the Hispanic demographic to advertisers and marketers long before the ethnic group became the consumer powerhouse it is today.

“She was not only ahead of the curve, she defined the curve,” Paul Caine, who was Hernández’s boss when she was publisher of People en Español, said.

“She’s iconic in the market: highly respected, extremely knowledgeable,” Caine, who is executive vice president, chief revenue officer and group president, advertising, for Time Inc., said. “And her expertise is truly one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in the market.”

Hernández has taken home about a dozen awards as most influential minority and most powerful woman in advertising and entertainment.

Her well-honed skills have done very well for Telemundo, which is the fastest-growing Spanish-language broadcast network in primetime. On her watch, Telemundo and the youth network mun2 last year boasted their best upfront ever, achieving a year-over-year increase of nearly 20%.

She was also recently in charge of Telemundo’s extensive — and successful — rebranding effort, “The Power of T.” The goal was to communicate the duality of the network’s audience: Its viewers have strong ties to their native lands while living in contemporary America.

“She was really able to energize the whole company behind it,” Telemundo president Emilio Romano said.

The only problem with Hernández and her team’s achievements is that they will be hard to top.

“We had a great year,” she said. “Whenever you do something really great you ask yourself, ‘OK, that’s fantastic, but we just set the bar for ourselves.’ ”

Hernández became enamored of advertising while studying at Baruch College. “I loved ads,” she said. “Even in college, other people would play games, I would play, ‘Let’s make up ad campaigns for this brand.’ ”

She initially worked in print and was director of international marketing/Latin America for Time Inc., when David Levy — now president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, but then at its Turner International unit — spotted her at the corporate sibling.

He said he noticed how well-liked, dedicated and hardworking she was. Levy brought her aboard his team, first as vice president of interactive digital sales for international and then to handle integrated marketing and global sales for Turner.

“She’s relentless,” Levy said. “That is the word that I would always use about Jackie. If she’s got an idea or an agenda, she’s relentless until she gets it done. Those qualities are what brought her to Turner International. She was really my go-to person on anything about marketing perspective or an event perspective or cross-collaboration with our sister company, Time Inc.”

Hernández, who described Levy as an empowering mentor, eventually moved on to work for People en Español.

“She not only understood the market incredibly well and was iconic within the marketplace, she really understood the brand, and was able to really able to elevate the brand on a businessdevelopment basis to an incredibly new height,” Caine said.

For example, Caine credited Hernandez with launching “Fiesta de Familia,” an event for the magazine in New York’s Central Park that has expanded into a huge celebration, “Festival,” held in San Antonio, Texas.

“It’s multiple sizes now because of what she did,” he said.

Romano lauded Hernandez’s successes, including the refreshing of the brand. He said that one of her coups was showcasing more of Telemundo’s popular talent, who are readily available because the network produces nearly all of its programming.

One of Telemundo’s most successful partnerships, which involves the network’s actresses, has been with Maybelline mascara and L’Oreal. Fernandez created an online and onair club where viewers can talk to their favorite Telemundo stars about beauty and how to get those actresses’ looks.


“This is a consumer who loves to look great, and these products are very high on their shopping basket list,” Hernández said.

Hernández can communicate in the languages of both the Hispanic sector and Madison Avenue, according to Romano, and is an astute professional who has managed to keep close to her Latin roots. “Jackie is a role model for future Latinos who want to make it in the U.S.,” he said.

Hernández has witnessed the Hispanic segment grow. But it is still not mature, and has room for more expansion, she said.

“The Hispanic market in the U.S. has evolved even more so than other markets,” Hernández said. “We’ve gone from being an ethnic group to a huge, faster-growing population. We have impacted elections in the White House. We are making major differences in consumer consumption and products. And also, Hispanic culture has had a huge impact on overall general-market pop culture. ”


TITLE: Chief Operating Officer, Telemundo Media

AGE: 47

CAREER: Publisher of People en Español, vice president of integrated marketing and global sales sponsorships at Turner Broadcasting; vice president of interactive digital sales at Turner International: director of international marketing/Latin America for Time Inc.

QUOTABLE: “We [U.S. Hispanics] have our traditions, our cultures, our families, our language, our food. We celebrate Christmas on Chistmas Eve night, all those things that are very us. Yet at the same time we’re walking down the very same streets or driving down the main streets or highways as other Americans. We’re part of this world, too.”

Jacqueline Hernández is described by those who know her as a pioneer in the Hispanic media world. Some call her a role model who has shown U.S. Latinos how to achieve the American dream without abandoning their roots.

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