“Blurred Lines” on the airwaves: waking up with the first-ever bilingual morning show

November 1, 2013 // By: // No Comments

Hispanic Media     

Television history was made this week when Despierta America’s Karla Martínez and Raul González switched places with Good Morning America’s (GMA) Lara Spencer and Sam Champion to create a bilingual morning show mash-up between two of the most recognized morning shows in the U.S.

The reason behind this unprecedented live television moment was to celebrate the launch of a new cable network called Fusion, a joint venture between ABC News and Univision, which aims to target young multi-cultural millennials. Fusion symbolizes the new American reality and the diverse and bicultural population of Latinos living in the U.S. today. The network will be creating and producing content for Hispanic millennials, like myself, that have assimilated to American customs but still hold on to our Latino heritage, creating our own culture.

Hispanics are becoming the sweet spot for marketers, as they continue to grow in numbers and influence, and therefore penetrating mainstream media as the new demographic. There is no doubt why: according to the Association of Hispanic Agencies (AHHA), 65 percent of U.S. Hispanics are millennials ages 22 to 35. Fusion describes itself as a news, pop culture, and satire TV and digital network and a tagline  that proclaims it will be ‘championing a smart, diverse and inclusive America’ (which was re-iterated several times during the simulcast). Fusion is set to become a desired media target for brands planning to engage with this key demographic.

Fusion is just one example of the constantly evolving media landscape. Other examples of Latino’s influence was this summer’s premiere of the Spanish-language movie Instructions Not Included that debuted with a record $10.4 million at the box office during it’s opening weekend in the U.S. as well as Shakira’s popularity on the last season of NBC’s The Voice.

As a young Venezuelan native, I know how hard it is to reach our diverse and complex demographic. Fusion is a stepping-stone to developing content that is “by us and for us” as it is a space entitled to a broad group of successful young Hispanic professionals. For instance, the Morning Show hosts are a combination of multi-ethnic talents, such as a fellow Venezuelan and investigative journalist Mariana Atencio, Brazilian journalist Pedro Andrade and Greek comedian Yannis Pappas.

As for the simulcast, Martínez and González, and some other characters from Despierta America, definitely brought some Latin flair and liveliness to the GMA set which might have left some mainstream viewers wondering what was going on. I’m not sure Champion and Spencer knew what they signed up for when they headed to the Despierta America studio in Miami, however, they went with the flow and even showed great salsa moves!

Personally, I would have liked for the airtime to focus on covering the more serious issues that are relevant to the Hispanic community and profiles of Latino success stories impacting America. However, it was great to see fellow Latinos being successful outside their traditional marketplace.

Stay tuned for Fusion’s debut week, which kicked-off with an interview with President Obama during AMERICA with Jorge Ramos. We’re sure this is the first of many new multicultural networks targeting the increasing Hispanic demographic in the U.S.

About the Author

Alejandra Risquez

Alejandra Risquez is an Assistant Account Executive on Hispanic Strategies and Solutions team at Hunter Public Relations.