Urban Latino TV

Flipping the script on Latino TV

By Jennifer Guerra
Published on LatinoLA: September 25, 2002

Urban Latino TV

Do not attempt to adjust your TV set. Those are actual brown people on your TV screen.

Starting October 12, Latinos in Los Angeles will have a window into their world that up to now has been relegated to stodgy or cheesy shows like ?Hispanics Today? and ?Latin Access,? which only cover the most marketable elements of Latino life and culture.

Urban Latino Television, which is a spin off of Urban Latino Magazine, promises to lower the cheese factor and turn up the volume on cutting-edge segments that are relevant to today?s Latino hipsters.

?This show is not only going to be about covering the usual suspects in the Latino world. We?re much more interested in exposing the Latino counter-culture that you rarely see on TV, but that we as Latinos know exists,? says Renzo Devia, the show?s director. That includes segments on lowrider culture, emerging bands like Kinky, Quetzal and Si Se as well as features on Latino-owned L.A. businesses like Espresso Mi Cultura and Blue Demon.

?Its time to for a changing of the guard, so to speak,? says Rodrigo Salazar, Editor in Chief of Urban Latino Magazine. ?For a long time Latinos have been defined by novellas and Sabado Gigante, but young Latinos living in bicultural limbo are not into those shows. They want to hear about other Latinos like them.?

A recent study by Sapo Communications in Los Angeles reported that an overwhelming majority of the people who participated in the survey (made up of mostly high-school aged Latinos) strongly preferred English even though many spoke Spanish with some degree of fluency, which is why ULTV was created in English.

?The fact is we live in the U.S. That means that for most us English is our main form of communication. That?s why Urban Latino will not only speak to Latinos who ?get it,? but will also captivate non-Latino audiences who are so used to seeing us in one-dimensional roles,? Salazar adds.

In New York, where the show first aired on MetroTV, Urban Latino out-rated that station?s premier show, Full Frontal Fashion. Despite being aired in limited cities nationwide , the creators are hoping to recapture their success.

?This is a really important show for all Latinos because it will be the measuring stick for other off-center Latino shows to come that don?t fit into the box that people have put us in,? says Salazar.

Urban Latino Television will air on KABC (channel 7) Saturdays at 5:30 beginning October 12. To find out more about Urban Latino TV check out http://www.UrbanLatinoTV.com

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