MIAMI – CNN en Español is preparing to strengthen its programming in a new phase of operations in which it intends to continuing to establish international news guidelines as the network with the best news coverage.
That is the proposal of the new general manager and senior executive vice president, Cynthia Fernandez Hudson, who after two months at the helm of the Atlanta-based network is putting the finishing touches on getting new programming under way that will “go beyond the news and include analysis and debates that cover a broader news spectrum.”
“One must inform in a clear manner using the advantages that new technologies provide. Reporting in such a way that we attract the viewer such that each event that’s on the screen is done in a different and exclusive way,” Fernandez Hudson told Efe in a telephone conversation.
The new CNN en Español general manager has clearly in mind that the network needs to respond in different ways to the three audiences for whom its programming is geared: the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.
“We’re not talking about a single CNN en Español channel. The audience and the technology allow there to be a segmentation to make different versions. In this way, we will make complementary reports to attend to the news needs of those three audiences,” she added.
Fernandez Hudson emphasized that the No. 1 market for CNN en Español is Mexico, followed by the United States and South America.
And although a certain fragmentation of focus and programs is possible, she said that there are things that unite Hispanics wherever they may come from or live.
“We’re going to focus ourselves on all that unites us more than what separates us: family, education, religion. All that which unites us is a solid base because there’s much more that unites us than that separates us,” she said.
After the negative impact on the Hispanic community of the criticism by well-known journalist Lou Dobbs, who left CNN last year after expounding an anti-immigrant stance, the Atlanta network proposed making an effort to get closer to Latinos.
“CNN is making an effort to understand the problems of Hispanics and show the necessary sensitivity, as was shown with the excellent news coverage related to the controversial Arizona law” that made it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in that state, Fernandez Hudson said.
The executive is pushing for more dynamic and interactive news.
“This is not about reading. You have to present the news in a different way, open the channel up to the public, with chats on the telephone or Skype, you have to unite people and open up a space for opinions,” she said.
With that focus, Fernandez Hudson wants CNN to continue being the main place where currently breaking news is sought.
“CNN is the world’s news report. It has to be a habit and for that you have to give the audience a space and an ongoing attraction” for the network, she added.
“CNN en Español will set the news standards in its coverage of an international crisis that interests our audience so that the viewer tunes in automatically to CNN with the guarantee that it will offer the best live coverage of a crisis,” she said.
Before coming to Atlanta, Fernandez Hudson, who is of Cuban origin, was executive vice president of the Spanish Broadcasting System and director of the MegaTV channel in Miami. She was also in charge of the company’s Web site and other news media.
Prior to that she was vice president and editorial director of Cosmopolitan Television and vice president of the television channel of the United International conglomerate.
CNN en Español’s new programming and plans are scheduled to be implemented in their entirety starting in September. EFE