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Univision Tries English-Language Programming

Audio

Aired 12/22/12

Univision is best known for its Spanish-language service, but now it’s looking to broaden its audience by reaching out to English-speaking Latinos.

via Children of the Revolucion on Facebook

Lionel Sosa displays the "Children of the Revolucion" book that goes with the documentary television series.

Univision is best known for its Spanish-language service, but now it’s looking to broaden its audience by reaching out to English-speaking Latinos.

The Children of the Revolucion – How the Mexican Revolution Changed America,” is a documentary series about how the families that fled civil war-torn Mexico a century ago gave rise to a generation of successful Mexican-American entrepreneurs, artists and political leaders like former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

This is Cisneros speaking in the documentary:

“The story is that my grandfather was at his print shop and one of my uncles – his son – was sent by my grandmother to tell him not to come home because the opposition forces would be waiting for him and their intent was to execute him. So he left by a different route out of town and board a train and ended up in San Antonio.”

Like Cisneros, Lionel Sosa’s family fled Mexico during those turbulent times and settled in San Antonio. Sosa grew up to become a trailblazing marketing and advertising executive, working on seven Republican presidential campaigns including that of Ronald Reagan. Sosa created "The Children of the Revolucion" series and with it he’s breaking one more barrier -- taking it to Univision.

“Univision is now coming into a bilingual approach to their programming and they are using 'Children of the Revolucion' as their first experiment to see -- if we have people talking in English with Spanish subtitles and other people talking in Spanish with English subtitles, will that be something that our audience will like?" Sosa said.

Univisión has the largest audience of Spanish-language television viewers in the United States. But if the network can expand that audience without turning off its base it would become a real competitor to the dominant English-only networks.

Sosa said the "Children of the Revolucion" series will be tried out first in Texas markets in the spring and expanded across the nation if the bilingual broadcasting experiment is a success.

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