Telemundo in Tennessee

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Telemundo went on the air for the first time in Nashville, Tenn., with a local signal this past Sunday night.

WSMV, a Meredith Corp.-owned NBC affiliate, is now multicasting Telemundo's signal on one of its digital channels, and the local Comcast system is carrying the Telemundo affiliate on its basic digital package. Meredith Broadcasting senior VP and station GM Elden Hale says the first six weeks of advertising inventory are already sold out. Hale intends to add local news programming next year

"Nashville is one of the fastest-growing Hispanic markets in the country. It is relatively small now but it will be a large Hispanic market in a couple of years. Now is the time to ingratiate ourselves with the Hispanic market" said Hale. "This was wide open territory I looked at it. Frankly, I called the people at Telemundo [and] I said we can do it on our digital channel."

As for Telemundo, "what really drew us to this opportunity is that we are the first full power [Spanish-language] station in the market," said Ann Ann Gaulke senior VP of affiliate relations for Telemundo.

For a short period of time, Nashville will be one of a handful of markets where Telemundo does not compete head on against Univision. Currently, there is a low power TeleFutura affiliate but no local Univision station. That is about to change with Monday's announcement that Equity Broadcasting intends to purchase low-power station WGAP in Nashville and make it a Univision affiliate. Equity is in the midst of a merger with Coconut Palm Acquisition Corp.

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