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FALL 2008

Focusing on Latinos In the Business of Entertainment & Media access • resources • education



Have an Eye For Talent? Meet The

Programming Wunderkind at mun2

An All-New

Mayan Empire






FALL 2008


12 An Eye For Talent


From the top brass on down, take a look at how nine Latinos got to exec positions at CBS, and how this network has fostered diversity across the board

38 mun2’s Latino Wunderkind How Flavio Morales became the “go to” guy for Latino youth marketing.





Industry news at the front.






Presented by The Imagen Foundation and ILE Congratulations to the top Latinos in this year’s pick.



The Great Latino Mulligan How the Hispanic Ascendancy might just fix our ailing economy.



A New Mayan Empire? Maya Entertainment is quickly building its empire as the only U.S.-based production/ distribution/exhibition company specifically focused on the Latino market. LOCALES

“Smallest State, Greatest Backlot!”


Career Center Calendar of Events




NOTE Publisher Helen Hernandez

Highlighting Influence Co-Publisher / Editor-In-Chief Jerri Hemsworth Editorial Consultant Zenaida Mendoza

Dear Readers,

Inside Latino Entertainment is pleased to join with The Imagen Foundation to bring you this special issue that coincides with the 2nd Annual Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment list. The committee considered the contributions made this last year by Latinos in the world of entertainment and how they advanced our community’s presence in the industry. Those representing networks or studios were primarily Senior Vice Presidents and above unless they were directly involved in the creative process or were considered to be “corporate” vice presidents. We also did not want to forget the heads of our “not-forprofit” organizations who work diligently with low pay to help advance the future of Latinos in entertainment. They are also on our list. There were some who were invited to be on the list but respectfully declined. There was also another group of vice presidents who were not on the list this year but who can aspire to be on the list as they are promoted. We celebrate all of you and share with the industry our pride in all of your accomplishments.

Chief Marketing Officer

The importance of this list is to highlight our progress and to showcase to the industry our involvement, our contributions, and our successes. After more than 25 years in this industry, it is refreshing to see the progress that we have made and how we are well placed for the future to be in more decision-making positions and in corporate board rooms.

Billy Colinas, Carlos Garcia, Antonio Mendoza

We also have some wonderful stories in this issue. CBS has long been a growing ground for Latino executives. We are proud to bring you their story. Meet some of the team members of CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler and CBS Paramount International Distribution President Armando Nuñez, Jr. It seems the “EYE” has had its eye on the ball for sometime.


Brian Hemsworth Chief Legal Officer Bennett Root, Jr. Assoc. Art Directors Jenny Yang Steven Ernesto Copy Editor Heather Brehmer Contributing Writers

Contributing Photographers Steven Ernesto and Ben Root

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Moctesuma Esparza is a trailblazer. He is a prime example of someone who has persevered in spite of numerous obstacles and never deviating from his mission. He has been a role model to many and we are proud to share with you the building of the new “Mayan Empire.” Flavio Morales is a dreamer who dreams creatively. He sees the possibilities and says “why not?” He has been tenacious, enthusiastic, and forward-looking in appealing to the lucrative young urban Latino market. He knows this market well and his success speaks to his expertise. Flavio takes us into his world and talks about how he pursued his career. Don’t miss the humor of Carlos Garcia’s column and how he makes us think. I have to give special thanks to our Co-Publisher & Editor-In-Chief, Jerri Hemsworth, and our writer, Brian Hemsworth, who worked diligently to create and develop the stories in this issue. We are blessed to have them help lead the charge in making ILE a “must read” in the world of entertainment.

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Zune and Univision Online Launch Music Download Offering (NEW YORK) Univision Online Inc., the interactive subsidiary of Univision Communications Inc., the nation's leading Spanish-language media company, and Zune, Microsoft Corp.'s end-to-end music and entertainment service, today announced the launch of an exclusive music download service via, to be powered by Zune. The new service will be branded Baja Zune Musica en (Download Zune Music on “Music has been at the forefront of's offerings, and this new partnership is part of a number of steps we have taken this year to enhance the music experience of our users," said Cesar Conde, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Univision Communications Inc. "This partnership brings two industry leaders and their recognized brands together to deliver innovative, relevant entertainment content and services across all genres and further enhance our current music options. By offering Zune's music catalog and cutting-edge features, we are delivering a comprehensive online music subscription platform experience via the most-visited Spanish-language Web site in the U.S.” I SOURCE: PR Newswire

Latina-Owned Market Vision Celebrates 10th Anniversary (SAN ANTONIO) During Hispanic Heritage Month 10 years ago, a former Hispanic marketing director for Coca-Cola and Stroh's Brewery set out to create her own agency—the kind she always wanted as a marketing partner when she worked on the corporate side—one that was strategic as well as street smart. Yvonne “Bonnie” Garcia and Market Vision, the agency she founded in her hometown San Antonio, celebrated 10 years of business success in October, having made the transition from an office with “three Latinas and a telephone” to a multicultural marketing company with a Blue Chip client roster, 45 employees and satellite offices in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. Those clients have included AOL Latino, AutoZone, CocaCola Company, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines of Panama, Fisher-Price, General Mills, Kraft, Mazola (ACH Foods), Miller Brewing Company and Nabisco. Market Vision also has coordinated projects for Sara Lee, Scott's Miracle-Gro and TBS. I SOURCE: Hispanic PR Wire



‘La Misma Luna’ Sweeps The Imagen Awards [LOS ANGELES) La Misma Luna swept the honors at the 23rd Annual Imagen Awards, winning awards for best film, actor, actress, supporting actor and director. Directed by Patricia Riggen and written by Ligiah Villalobos, the film’s cast includes America Ferrera, Adrian Alonso, Jesse Garcia, Kate del Castillo, Eugenio Derbez, Maya Zapata and Carmen Salinas. La Misma Luna tells parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for Carlitos back in Mexico. Unexpected circumstances drive both Rosario and Carlitos to embark on their own journeys in a desperate attempt to reunite. I

Website Launches For Tween Latinas (NEW YORK) Lazaro Fuentes created animated characters with young Latinas in mind and now has launched HipChicas, a Web site for tween Latinas. The new virtual world is open to English and Spanish speaking girls in the Americas.

Oprah Now Available to Hispanic Audiences in Spanish

The Web site features a chat translator that allows multi-lingual chicas to communicate in real time.

On, registered members follow the antics of the Hip Chicas, five Latina characters from different parts of the U.S. that are in a popular band on tour. Their personal mission while on tour is to Help Improve the Planet [HIP] at each stop.

“Hip Chicas is a brand for the 21st Century, updated for a digitized, multi-screen and multilingual world, in order to be everywhere the audience is,” said Fuentes, creator of the Hip Chicas brand. I SOURCE:

SAVE THE DATE! The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

10th National Conference

Exito y Visión: A Decade of Influence (CHICAGO) The top-rated award-winning

is set for April 16 – 19, 2009

The Oprah Winfrey Show has been made

at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.

available in Spanish in major Hispanic television markets through Secondary Audio

Visit for more details.

Programming (SAP) and through Spanish closed captioning starting this past month. The top six U.S. Hispanic TV markets— Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Chicago—were the first to offer

Rosy Thompson Appointed President Of Marketing At Arenas Group

informative and entertaining.” I

(LOS ANGELES) Rosy Thompson has been promoted to the position of President of Marketing at the Arenas Group, a diversified entertainment and media company that has been recognized as the foremost authority in marketing entertainment products to U.S. Latino audiences. Santiago Pozo, CEO of Arenas, says of Rosy: “With a total of more than 26 years in marketing, her extensive experience in the Hispanic market makes her one of the most valuable and respected professionals in this industry. Her leadership as President of Marketing at Arenas will reflect her broad experience and expertise and will benefit our clients.” Thompson began her career at Bermudez & Associates in 1982 and has been serving the Hispanic market for over 26 years. I

SOURCE: PR Newswire


the Spanish language Oprah program to their viewers. Additional U.S. cities are expected to rollout during the 2008-2009 season. “We are delighted to be providing the Spanish-language community with an opportunity to become part of the Oprah show viewing family," said Harpo Productions, Inc. President Tim Bennett. "We'll be able to reach this audience more directly with programming that is relevant,





The Great Latino Mulligan How the Hispanic Ascendancy might just fix our ailing economy.

BY CARLOS E. GARCIA s our economy wobbles and the captains of concentration of wealth who have ruled Wall Street since the 1980’s are forced to retire to their chateau in Aspen, there is still one strong, clear force open to smart investors and enlightened corporations— the Hispanic market. The Reagan Revolution is over; the Hispanic Ascendancy is upon us. The great thing about this Hispanic Ascendancy is that it really amounts to a Mulligan, a perfectly appropriate name as it is an Irish name, and earlier waves of immigrants have essentially represented this same chance at renewal and a “doover” as we have now. The Irish and Italians and Jews rescued America from the Great Depression of the 1930’s with their hard work and reliable votes for Roosevelt, and it will be the Latinos who will rescue America from the Great Bush Depression. Rescue might be a big word, as we don’t have $750 billion in our back pocket (not that the Feds do either, they’ll have to borrow it from our kids), but Latinos do represent close to a trillion dollars in annual disposable income, and we spend our money on commodities, food, housing and packaged goods, and our hard work actually produces those very things and a ton of services as well. The growth in the Latino market is not the last best hope for America, just the next best hope.




HERE ARE A FEW FACTS TO CHEW ON:  The U.S. Hispanic population is 45.5 million as of July 1,2007. Hispanics are 15% of the U.S. population. That’s not counting Puerto Rico’s 3.9 million residents.  By 2050, the number will be 132.8 million, 30% of the population, still not counting Puerto Rico.  Average age of Latinos is 27.6 compared to 36.4 years for the population as a whole. The Census data above is interesting in ways that might not be obvious. The Census projections from as late as 1990 said the Latino market would reach 15%, but that we would do so around 2020. Twelve years earlier than predicted, here we are looking at startling projections for 2050. Anyone want to bet that we’ll get to 30% of the US well before that? I’m guessing no later than 2040, and it could be sooner. The younger age of Latinos is the key. The overall average age of 36.4 includes Latinos, so if they were excluded, the gap in average age would be even larger. Younger people mean more families of child-bearing age, and that means the U.S. Hispanic market is the target of choice for any corporation or industry that is disproportionately focused on younger people, and that would, of course, include the entertainment industry. Global box office figures are all the rage in the Red Light/Green Light departments of the studios and networks, and here are some more figures to gnaw on:  The U.S. Hispanic population would now be the 28th largest country in the world. Canada is 36th. Australia is 51st. Greece is 74th. Sweden is 88th.  In the greater Los Angeles media market (5 counties) there are 6,598,578 Hispanics. This would be the 99th largest country in the world. Jordan is 104th. Denmark is 108th. Norway is 114th and Ireland is 118th. Remember, the population figures upon which these estimates are based are extremely conservative. The Census Bureau knows that Latinos (and other minorities)

are undercounted by a factor of 7% at least, possibly as much as 10%, so we would be even higher on the scale of nations. Hispanics are a larger group than many countries that have held the Olympics recently, including Greece, Australia and South Korea. I think it would be appropriate for Latinos to offer to hold our own Olympics. I could just see the parade of nations now, all carried around the L.A. Coliseum in lowrider convertibles, and special Olympic competitions involving creative uses of jumper cables, speed graffiti on moving buses, tamale assembly races and instead of rhythmic gymnastics, it would be team quebradita competitions. So next time any studio or network executive considers their international markets and potential for theatrical box office, for DVD sales and rentals, or broadcast revenues from ad sales, they should look inward at the huge amount of money they are leaving on the table right at home in the Hispanic space. Any doubt about the economic clout of the Latino segment is simply willful ignorance. There can be no doubt about the entrepreneurial spirit of these people, of their work ethic, and of their enormous potential which is moving forward without a whole lot of help from anyone, as the U.S. banking industry didn’t exactly stand up to support us much even when they had money to do so. But happily we weren’t expecting anyone to help, so we weren’t disappointed, just determined. Sources of information such as the Census Bureau and the CIA give us the following evidence:  In 2002 there were 1.6 million Hispanic-owned companies in the U.S. The growth rate by Hispanic businesses is 3 times the national average and 10% of all small businesses are Hispanic.  U.S. Hispanic purchasing power reached $700 Billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $1 Trillion by 2010.  Alone, U.S. Hispanics would be the 16th largest economy in the world— Taiwan is now 16th, Turkey is 18th, Poland 19th, Saudi Arabia 20th and Israel 31st, just to illustrate a point.

Due diligence means doing the right thing, and that shouldn’t be just for yourself or your top executives, but doing the right thing for your shareholders. That means maximizing your earnings potential, but making choices that will return the maximum ROI, by using your production and marketing dollars to return profits. Ignoring the Hispanic market would appear to be one of the most egregious due diligence sins out there. Perhaps not a mortal sin, or at least not a fatal sin, but a sin nonetheless. Here are the lists from Advertising Age and Hispanic Business Magazine of the top ten advertisers in the General Market and Hispanic Market in 2007.

GENERAL MARKET TOP TEN ADVERTISERS  Procter & Gamble  AT&T  Verizon  General Motors  Time Warner  Ford Motor  Glaxo Smith Kline  Johnson & Johnson  Walt Disney Co.  Unilever HISPANIC MARKET TOP TEN ADVERTISERS  Lexicon  Procter & Gamble  AT&T  General Motors  Univision  McDonald’s  Toyota  Sears  Verizon  Johnson & Johnson

There are a lot of carryovers from one list to the next, but a couple that don’t. There are two glaring Hispanic-specific advertisers that are only on the Hispanic list, and they are Lexicon, a company that sells English language learning systems to Latinos and Univision, the biggest player in the Spanish





language media world. That a company that sells English learning systems is the number one advertiser to Hispanics gives the lie to those who claim that Latinos are not interested in learning English. They are wrong. That Univision is on the list gives evidence of their determination to remain the biggest dog in the Hispanic hunt.

A couple of other glaring differences should be obvious to everyone. One is that General Motors is on both lists, but Ford is not on the Hispanic list and Toyota is. Want to know why Ford is doing so badly domestically while Toyota is kicking their butt? Here is one part of that answer. Also, two entertainment giants are on

“Due diligence means doing the right thing, and that shouldn’t be just for yourself or your top executives, but doing the right thing for your shareholders.”

Newman Grace can help. In fact, we’ve helped hundreds of companies with awesome ads, brilliant brochures, killer corporate communications, and sales materials that sing! Companies like Disney, CBS Broadcasting, The Hollywood Reporter, The Nielsen Company, American Entertainment Group, Workplace Hollywood, The Imagen Foundation, Megatrax and many many more. Call us today, to see how Newman Grace can make you… and your company look good!

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the General Market list and absent from the Hispanic list. How could this be? If there is one company that has totally figured out the importance of the Hispanic market, it is Procter & Gamble. In these troubled times, they are the stock that I want to buy, as they sell stuff everyone needs, and they sell it to everyone, particularly to the fastest growing segment of the population. Now that is due diligence.

CARLOS E. GARCIA is an accomplished professional in both qualitative and quantitative research as well as a successful entrepreneur. Prior to founding Garcia Research Associates, Inc. in 1990, he directed the quantitative divisions of two minority marketing research firms. Mr. Garcia also held the position of Research Manager with Maritz Marketing Research. He can be reached at 818-5667722 ext. 101.

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eye an

for talent

From the top brass on down, take a look at how nine Latinos got to exec positions at CBS, and how this network has fostered diversity across the board 12


eye an

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iversity in entertainment is a difficult thing. Don’t do enough of it, and it looks bad on you. Do too much and it looks like you’re trying to hard. It’s even harder at bigger companies. There’s no excuse not to expand their horizons, in front of the camera, and behind; above the line, and below. Yet entertainment is still seen by many as a closed community. For many years, it was, but times are changing. Studios and networks are constantly under fire, and often they deserve it. But when they’ve done a good job, it often goes unnoticed. That’s why ILE took interest in CBS after noticing a large number of their executives were Latinos. We wanted to find out if there was a plan or program designed to accomplish this, or if it just happened naturally. We also wanted to look at the career paths of key executives, and see what brought them to the network. In doing background, we interviewed a number of random people, asking them the simple question, “Which network is doing the best job at workplace diversity?” This wasn’t scientific, but rather a small barometer of what main street thinks. We found CBS to be thought of as one of the more diverse networks. We also found that people believe CBS has done a good job of portraying various ethnicities. We had one person say they thought CBS had done a good job of creating diversity without looking like they’re forcing it. And finally, one older respondent said they thought CBS had been ahead of its time, remembering back to the grand Norman Lear days of All In The Family and The Jeffersons.


organic diversity In looking for reasons to explain CBS' executive diversity, we began with their diversity website. They’ve got missions. They’ve got programs. But with all due respect, so do many other large entertainment organizations. Then we spoke to CBS executives, both on- and off-the-record, and found something somewhat unexpected, and honestly, refreshing. Not one exec we spoke to mentioned anything of diversity in policy or politics. None of them knowingly hired people simply because of race, color, heritage or ethnicity. “It’s really an organic diversity,” confessed one executive VP. “CBS appreciates diverse voices in its executive ranks. Diversity is a by-product of always trying to hire top performers and achievers into every position.” Another mentioned how, in certain respects, diversity was rather easy to come by. “When you’re producing an ensemble cast shows like CSI: Miami, it’s hard not to be diverse.” An interesting fact we unearthed was behind the scenes in the recruitment of executives. Virtually all the execs we spoke with found their path to CBS via past networking, not from traditional active recruiting methods. Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment, is a perfect example. Tassler had worked for Les 14


nina tassler TITLE: President, CBS Entertainment BORN: New York, NY RAISED: New York and South Florida EDUCATION: Boston University MAJOR: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theater

early career BREAKING IN: First pursued acting and also worked at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York; did everything from painting sets, running the box office, ushering and striking sets. FIRST JOB: After Roundabout Theatre, moved to Los Angeles and worked as a secretary at a talent agency and eventually became an agent before becoming a TV development executive. LESSONS LEARNED: Staying disciplined and focused and being present in the moment as well as keeping an eye on the future THE ROAD TO CBS: Joined Warner Bros. Television (at the time Lorimar Telepictures, later acquired by WBTV) as Director, Movies and Minis working for Leslie Moonves and where I also met and worked with Nancy Tellem. Later was elevated to VP, Drama Development. Later followed, Leslie and Nancy to CBS.

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: Leslie Moonves, Nancy Tellem GREATEST SUCCESS: Being named President, CBS Entertainment INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: It’s really and truly just about the work. Staying focused and committed to the work will ultimately serve you well.

armando nuñez, jr. TITLE: President, CBS Paramount International Television BORN: Union City, New Jersey, USA RAISED: New York City, NY EDUCATION: Fordham University MAJOR: BS Marketing/Management

early career FIRST JOB: Entry level position at Telepictures Corporation sending telexes and mailing marketing materials. LESSONS LEARNED: Be a sponge...soak everything in. THE ROAD TO CBS: Various positions in international television since 1982. Joined CBS in 1999 and prior to CBS was President, Universal International Television and prior to that President, New World International. EARLY ROLE MODELS: My Father, Armando Nuñez, Sr. who was a pioneer in the early days of international television distribution.

armando nuñez, jr., continued...

today GREATEST SUCCESS: My wonderful family and achieving my current executive position. YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: Continue to grow and evolve CBS Corp. international businesses. INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: Whatever you do… do it with knowledge, professionalism, enthusiasm, and passion. Be inspired and inspire others…it’s contagious.

paul montoya TITLE: Executive Vice President, Media Sales BORN: May 23, 1964 RAISED: Port Washington, NY EDUCATION: BA in Communications

early career BREAKING IN: Lost out on a planning job at Grey Advertising to another applicant. HR really liked me and told me about another opening at their sales subsidiary FIRST JOB: LBS Communications LESSONS LEARNED: If you don’t know the answer to something, it’s okay to say I’ll get back to you. Don’t make up an answer because your audience will know and it will take you a longer time to win them back. THE ROAD TO CBS: Five years at Paramount before the Viacom split. EARLY ROLE MODELS: Jack Nicklaus

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: People that always have a smile on their face. BIGGEST HURDLES: Only those I place on myself. GREATEST SUCCESS: I have had many, but the greatest is yet to come. YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: Pass on the important lessons I’ve learned to others and have an open mind to learn new ones. YOUR PERSONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: Keep off the 65 pounds that I lost this year.

christina davis TITLE: Senior Vice President, Drama Series Development BORN: April 14, 1971 RAISED: Petaluma, California EDUCATION: UCLA MAJOR: Political Science

opened my eyes to the creative process of television and I fell in love with it. Shortly thereafter, I had the good fortune to temp for Nina Tassler at Warner Bros.. Television and I realized that series development combined so many of the creative elements that I am attracted to. LESSONS LEARNED: I’ve learned that the audience ultimately decides what works. We can have personal attachments to the shows we develop but as broadcasters, we need to provide entertaining shows that people can relate to. THE ROAD TO CBS: I came to CBS with Nina Tassler (as her assistant) 11 years ago. It has been so rewarding to be a part of the evolution of CBS over the course of a decade. Leslie Moonves has grown the #1 network from scratch and being a member of his team has been an incredible experience. EARLY ROLE MODELS: My mother is by far the most genuine human being I have ever known. She came to this country from Colombia 45 years ago and has elegantly held on to her culture while at the same time, being proud to be an American.

today CURRENT ROLE MODEL: Nina Tassler has been a true mentor as well as a friend to me. She is the smartest creative executive in the business and I’ve been lucky to learn the principles of television from her. Her passion and energy are tireless. She inspires me to be a more open-minded executive. BIGGEST HURDLES: A perfect storm must occur in order to launch and sustain a successful scripted television series. From finding that unique voice to finding the right director who can fully realize and expand the vision to hiring talented actors to embody the roles… the stars in the universe have to be aligned. GREATEST SUCCESS: Watching the creation and explosion of the CSI franchise as well as having a hand in the development of such solid hits as Without A Trace, Cold Case, Numb3rs, Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, The Unit and the new crop of dramas, The Mentalist, Eleventh Hour and The Ex List. PROFESSIONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: Continue to develop diverse and thought-provoking programs that appeal to a wide audience. I am looking forward to witnessing and embracing the advent of on-demand and on-line viewing, knowing that content will always be key. It’s always about the story. And we need to continue to tell those stories, even as the mechanism evolves.

javier avitia TITLE: Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, CBS Paramount International Television BORN: August 15, 1961, in Gridley, CA RAISED: Gridley, CA EDUCATION: UC Davis 1983; Harvard Law School 1987 MAJOR: International Relations, AB; Juris Doctorate

early career early career FIRST JOB: Receptionist at TV Guide BREAKING IN: Being a writers’ assistant on the NBC series Sisters

BREAKING IN: In 1993, Univision’s general counsel, Henry Baray, created an in-house position for a bilingual corporate lawyer who would be responsible for program acquisitions and other FALL 2008 / INSIDE LATINO ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA


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Moonves at what was then Lorimar Telepictures. She worked with Nancy Tellem. Years later, after Moonves and Tellem both moved to CBS, the migration for Tassler was easy. In turn, Tassler paved the move for Christina Davis, now their Senior V.P. of Drama Series Development. Stories like this were repeated to us time and again. Once an exec spots talent, he or she really doesn’t care about color or ethnicity. Everyone wants to be on a winning team. In the case of CBS, they’ve found that choosing the best candidate has created a natural selection that has fostered not less diversity, but more.

“It’s really an organic diversity. CBS appreciates diverse voices in its executive ranks. Diversity is a by-product of always trying to hire top performers and achievers into every position.” the diversity institute All the major networks and studios have diversity programs for talent and creative positions. While CBS’ executive diversity has come from its “organic” process, creative and talent diversity comes from a much more defined process. CBS' Diversity Institute initiative is an umbrella program that has five distinct diversity programs. These five programs are designed to provide participants with access to the decision making process in network television both in front of and behind the camera. The initiative includes programs for actors, writers, and directors. Talent Showcases are designed to spotlight emerging actors. They are seen by CBS Casting and the showcases are attended by senior level CBS Entertainment executives, in addition to show runners, casting directors and talent agents. Scheduled throughout the year, scenes are chosen that best represent the talents of actors. The Writers Mentoring Program helps open doors and provides access to network executives and show runners. It is a structured form of support whose goal is to prepare writers for employment in television. The program includes both weekly workshops and mentorships with senior-level executives at CBS and high-level producers on CBS programs. The Directing Initiative offers professional on-set opportunities 16


javier avitia, continued... transactional matters. Through word of mouth, Henry learned of me and hired me from Katten Muchin. FIRST JOB: At Univision, my responsibilities included program acquisitions such as World Cup Soccer, Major League Soccer, movies and soap operas. Other transactional matters included the acquisition of stations in Chicago and Houston and the leasing of office space, transmitter towers and satellite transponders. LESSONS LEARNED: Upon joining Univision, I realized almost immediately that the skills I had acquired through six years of private practice as a corporate attorney were easily transferable to the field of entertainment. Working for a large and diverse company such as Univision taught me the lesson of working within a complex corporate structure and the value of building personal relationships with people inside and outside the company. THE ROAD TO CBS: After three and half years at Univision, I joined Paramount Pictures in 1997 in their Domestic Television Division. From Domestic Television, I transferred to Paramount International Television, which in the summer of 2004 became CBS Paramount International Television when the international divisions of CBS and Paramount Pictures came under the stewardship of Armando Nuñez . In January 2006, following the split of Viacom into two separate companies, CBS Paramount International Television became part of CBS Studios, a subsidiary of CBS Corp. EARLY ROLE MODELS: As a child and young man, my role model was Cesar Chavez. Although the United Farm Workers never reached the Central Valley farms where I worked as a migrant laborer, all of us were inspired by Cesar. Years later, while at Harvard Law School, I had the honor of being one of three people to dine with Cesar Chavez when he visited Harvard University. By then, I had made the decision to go into corporate law, and Cesar encouraged me to pursue this career path because Latinos needed to be present in all levels of corporate America.

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: Bill Gates. Not because of his wealth but because he revolutionized American industry and changed the world in which we live. BIGGEST HURDLES: Finding the right balance between work and family. I am a workaholic and a firm believer in the precept that one learns by doing. The more I do, the more tasks I am able to master and the greater the responsibilities I am given. The trick is to know when to put the work aside in the evening and on weekends and spend time with my family. GREATEST SUCCESS: Over the years at CBS, I have been fortunate to work on numerous transactions that are outside the dayto-day television distribution that I handle. These transactions have been high profile projects that have given me exposure to the greater CBS and enhanced my reputation within the company. This has been my greatest success. PROFESSIONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: The television business is evolving rapidly with the advent of new media. My goal is to stay on top of these developments and become as knowledgeable in new media as I am today with traditional media.

PERSONAL GOALS IN FIVE YEARS: My twin sons are now freshmen in college. Carlos is at New York University, and his brother Javier is at Johns Hopkins University. My goal is to get them through college debt-free and off to graduate school. INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: Breaking into Hollywood is not easy for anyone and there is no single path that will get you there. However, once you are in, the most important thing is to work hard and learn the business— whether it is film, television or music. Be patient. Advancement will never be as fast as one would hope, but as time goes by and you become more knowledgeable in your field, senior management will recognize the value you bring to the organization.

phil gonzales TITLE: Vice President, Communications, CBS Entertainment BORN: Los Angeles, CA RAISED: Huntington Beach, CA EDUCATION: Cal Poly, Pomona MAJOR: Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

early career BREAKING IN: During last quarter of college, interned in the publicity department at Fox Broadcasting Company when it first launched. FIRST JOB: Assistant to VP of Publicity at Fox Broadcasting LESSONS LEARNED: Work hard, be creative, passionate, personable/outgoing and embrace change. Work for and surround yourself with smart people and listen and learn from them. THE ROAD TO CBS: Was promoted to manager, publicity at Fox Broadcasting. Left Fox after five years and went to Warner Bros. Television (Lorimar Productions at the time, before being acquired by WB). At WB, met Nina Tassler and the other top execs who now run CBS. Eventually, promoted to Vice President, Publicity at WBTV. After 12 years at WBTV, moved to CBS to oversee CBS Entertainment Communications, overseeing primetime, daytime and late night publicity. EARLY ROLE MODELS: Parents

edy mendoza TITLE: Vice President, Comedy Series Development, CBS Entertainment BORN: Santa Monica, CA RAISED: Culver City, CA EDUCATION: UCLA, Bachelor of Arts MAJOR: Communication Studies

early career BREAKING IN: Internship at CBS in the publicity department FIRST JOB: Assistant to Wendi Trilling, Director of Comedy Development LESSONS LEARNED: Attitude is everything—stay positive! THE ROAD TO CBS: Internship as a college student while at UCLA, led to job and career at CBS EARLY ROLE MODELS: Wendi Trilling

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: Nina Tassler, Nancy Tellem, Wendi Trilling. Great to work with, three strong and supportive women. GREATEST SUCCESS: Haven’t had it yet! Proud that I worked on a team that got Two & A Half Men on air! [Mendoza has been involved in the development of many hit shows, including How I met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Big Bang Theory, and Rules of Engagement.] INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: I always tell people trying to break into the business to do their research. I didn’t know anyone in the business, but I did my research and was able to get my foot in the door. Breaking in is possible, buy it doesn’t happen overnight.

francisco arias TITLE: Vice President, Business Affairs BORN: Montebello, CA RAISED: Downey, CA EDUCATION: UCLA undergrad and law school MAJOR: for undergrad – (double) Economic and Chicano/a Studies.

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: I’ve learned a lot from everyone I’ve ever worked for GREATEST SUCCESS: The Best is yet to come. INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: Without losing focus on who you are, it’s import to adapt to new situations and embrace the business culture in which you are working. To break into the business, try and identify and focus on a specific area. Start early with an internship during school and begin developing contacts early.

early career BREAKING IN: I basically “cold called” my way in. I first contacted a friend-of-a-friend, who was an attorney at Disney. The friendships that grew from that call were a critical building block for me in my entertainment law career. FIRST JOB: Telemundo Corporate Counsel, back in 1999. LESSONS LEARNED: My first mentors and bosses in law lived by the motto:“keep punching.” I realize now how important that is. You make mistakes—a lot of them. But, as long as you keep punching, you are still in the fight. EARLY ROLE MODELS: My parents, particularly my father when it FALL 2008 / INSIDE LATINO ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA


eye an

for talent

for aspiring directors of diverse backgrounds. Like many of the other programs, it matches participants with CBS directors who will mentor them. The Writers Career Workshops are unique in that they’re about learning the trade and business behind writing. These workshops give young writers of diverse backgrounds help in identifying and locating the people who can help their careers. They’re taught very pragmatic things, like how to set meetings, how to prepare for those meetings, and how to follow up. As with the Writers Career Workshops, the Actors Career Workshops are designed to help actors learn skills they need to get auditions and land actual roles. While there is scene work critiqued by CBS Casting, there are other practical steps to give actors the real skills and industry knowledge they need to succeed.

moving up For the different CBS execs profiled here, we asked questions about breaking in, their career path to CBS, role models, and hurdles to success. Hard work, learning everything along the way, and finding good mentors seems to be the most common themes. Diversity is now, and for some time will be, an on-going part of the entertainment industry. Efforts are being made. More needs to be done. But with successes such as these CBS execs display, Latinos are definitely making inroads. The “organic” diversity described earlier is quite similar to the famous “invisible hand” metaphor of economist Adam Smith. For those who don’t remember it, or haven’t gone to business school, it can be paraphrased for television. If a network seeks its own best interest by hiring the best people, than in fact the community will be served best as well, as the network will be most successful, as will the members of its community.

francisco arias, continued... comes to career. He served in Vietnam and used his GI Bill money to get his bachelor’s degree and ultimately an MBA from USC.

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: Certainly my parents still. I also learn a lot from past and present colleagues. BIGGEST HURDLES: Getting noticed and separating myself among packs of talented colleagues. GREATEST SUCCESS: My two kids, Joaquin and Chavela. PROFESSIONAL GOALS IN 5 YEARS: I hope to be doing what I love and being well compensated for it! PERSONAL GOALS IN 5 YEARS: I’m excited to see how my kids will grow in to adolescence.

eduardo correa TITLE: Vice President, Finance BORN: Colombia, South America RAISED: New Jersey EDUCATION: Bachelor Of Science MAJOR: Accounting

early career FIRST JOB: KTLA Financial Analyst LESSONS LEARNED: Hard work is recognized and rewarded THE ROAD TO CBS: 1995: UPN EARLY ROLE MODELS: Mother, instilled work ethic and value of education

today CURRENT ROLE MODELS: Barack Obama; Inspirational GREATEST SUCCESS: Marriage and family INSPIRING OTHER LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT: The only limitations are those that you place on yourself. I

CBS Diversity Mission Statement “CBS is committed to building and nurturing an environment that values diversity throughout the entire company, as well as the entertainment industry at large. Recognizing the power and influence the company carries through its nationwide reach of network programming and local television stations, CBS has been on the forefront of making diversity a reality through a wide array of initiatives targeted to writers, directors and actors including mentoring, workshops and talent showcases. Additionally, an extensive array of news apprenticeships has been designed to bring more minorities into the journalistic process. Also, a program of internships has been created in order to provide opportunities and exposure to many areas of the corporation. Internally, CBS continues in its efforts to create a workplace that is representative of the American public. In realizing this important goal, CBS has forged important partnerships with many organizations throughout the industry. Diversity is best achieved through a collaborative spirit.” —Josie J. Thomas, Senior Vice President, Diversity, CBS



Thank You The Board of Directors of the Imagen Foundation and Inside Latino Entertainment & Media Magazine would like to express its sincere appreciation to our friends and supporters.

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Acknowledgments Inside Latino Entertainment & Media Magazine along with The Imagen Foundation would like to give a Special Thanks to: Newman Grace Belinda Menendez Zenon Dymetryk Arturo Barquet NBC Universal Fox Sports En Español

Newport Rhode Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Los Angeles Zoo Norman Lear City Club on Bunker Hill Manhattan Cruisers

Ed Hardy Watches & Belts Fox Studios Beverly Hilton Hotel CBS Sony Pictures Creative Artists Agency

2008 Imagen Foundation Board of Directors Imagen is the Spanish word for “image���. The Imagen Foundation encourages positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino cultures in the media and promotes opportunities for Latinos in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Executive Board

Board of Directors

Helen Hernandez President & Founder

Susana Alonso GSN the Network for Games

Robert Mendez Disney ABC Television Group

Luca Bentivoglio Chairman LATV

Jonathan D. Avila The Walt Disney Co.

Edy Mendoza CBS Entertainment

Javier Avitia CBS Paramount Int’l. Television

Adrien A. Seixas Entravision Comm. Corp.

Anamaria Buranasakorn Fox Television Stations, Inc.

Antoinette Alfonso Zel La Comunidad



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KENNY ORTEGA Director/Choreographer An Emmy Award-winning producer, director, and choreographer, Ortega grew up in Redwood City, Calif. Earning fame as a choreographer for such classic films as Dirty Dancing and music videos such as Madonna’s Material Girl, Ortega credits famous dancer/choreographer Gene Kelly for teaching him the techniques of designing choreography for the camera. Among his many accomplishments, Ortega has choreographed many major events such as Super Bowl XXX, directed the musical Newsies and Disney’s Hocus Pocus, and staged Las Vegas productions. More recently, he directed and choreographed all three of Disney’s critically acclaimed High School Musical features. This is Ortega’s second MPIL Award.

BELINDA MENENDEZ President NBC Universal Int’l Television Distribution President since May 2004, Menendez oversees international free, pay, and new media television licensing for NBC Universal’s current and library film and television product, outside of the United States and Canada. During her more than 20 years in the industry, she has held several positions that involved international television and video licensing activities in Latin America and Asia, as well as sales posts in both the U. S. and Paris. Additionally, she ran international sales for Televisa outside of Latin America. She attended St. Andrews University in Scotland. This is Menendez’s second MPIL Award.

ARMANDO NUÑEZ, JR NINA TASSLER President CBS Entertainment Tassler is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 Imagen Creative Achievement Award. Selected as one of the Top 50 Hispanic Women in Business by Hispanic Magazine, she provided insight into what very well may be among the secrets of her success when she advised women to “embrace your heritage and reach out to all people, take advantage of the dual nature of our heritage, adapt and evolve.” Her unabashed pride in her Jewish Puerto Rican roots encompasses every facet of her life and is reflected in her deep understanding and appreciation for the advancement of diversity within every aspect of the entertainment industry. This is Tassler’s second MPIL Award.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO Producer/Director/Writer Cha Cha Cha Production Co. Del Toro is an award-winning producer/ director/writer whose involvement with filmmaking began when he was eight years old. A co-founder of the Guadalajara-based Mexican Film Festival, Del Toro has directed a wide variety of films, from comic book adaptations—Hellboy, Blade II—to historical fantasy and horror films. He received an Oscar nomination for his original screenplay for Pan’s Labyrinth. Del Toro and fellow Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro GonzalezIñárritu, have created Cha Cha Cha, a production entity which will produce five films for Universal Studios and Focus Features. This is Del Toro’s second MPIL Award.



President CBS Paramount International Television Nuñez is considered one of the international television industry’s most successful executives. In his current role, Nuñez has oversight of all international distribution, sales and marketing for programming assets from CBS News, Showtime, CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution as well as the largest library of television product. A native of New York, Nuñez graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and management. This is Nuñez’s second MPIL Award.

EMILIANO CALEMZUK President Fox Television Studios Serving as president since April 2007, Calemzuk oversees all aspects of the studio’s scripted and non-scripted programming. Prior to his current post, he served as president of Fox International Channels Italy and supervised the Fox operations in Spain, France and Eastern Europe. He has also served as vice president and deputy managing director of Fox Latin American Channels and general manager of Fox Kids Latin America. Born in Argentina, Calemzuk is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is fluent in five languages.

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MOCTESUMA ESPARZA CEO, Chairman, Producer Maya Entertainment Group Esparza, a native of East Los Angeles, is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, entertainment executive, and entrepreneur. A graduate of UCLA, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts/motion pictures and a Master’s degree in theater arts/motion pictures/TV. Among his many notable productions are Selena, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez and The Milagro Beanfield War. Esparza is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Medallion of Excellence. This is Esparza’s second MPIL Award.

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ IÑARRITU Producer/Director/Writer Cha Cha Cha Production Co. Iñárritu is an award winning Mexican film director, who at the age of 27 became one of the youngest directors in Mexico. In collaboration with screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, their feature film, Amores perros, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as many other awards from festivals and film societies around the world. His film, Babel, earned him the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and Academy Awards in numerous categories, including a Best Director Award. Along with fellow Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro, he has created Cha Cha Cha, a production entity which will produce five films for Universal Studios and Focus Features This is Iñárritu’s second MPIL Award.

RODRIGO GARCIA Director Born in Bogotá, Columbia and raised in Mexico, Garcia has earned fame as a television and film director. He has directed a variety of independent films and several episodes of the HBO series’ Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. He is currently executive producer and director of the HBO series In Treatment. His most recent feature film project is Sony Pictures’ Passengers, which will be released in fall 2008. He has also worked as a camera operator and a cinematographer for several independent films such as Gia, The Birdcage and Great Expectations. His pilot credits include Carnivale, Big Love and Six Degrees. Garcia is the recipient of The Imagen Foundation’s 2008 Creative Achievement Award.

EMANUEL NUNEZ Creative Artists Agency Nunez is an agent in the motion picture department of CAA. He works with such agency clients as Antonio Banderas, Nicolas Cage, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Tobey Maguire, and Will Smith. He focuses on exploring financial opportunities for the agency’s clients in emerging global markets. He 26


also participates in transactions ranging from traditional talent employment and production arrangements, to the territorial sales of motion picture distribution rights worldwide, as well as the structuring of many international co-productions. Since 2003, Nunez has served as a commissioner for the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission.

RAUL MATEU Senior Vice President and Managing Director William Morris Agency Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mateu graduated from the University of Florida. He began his career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency when he joined its prestigious agent training program in 1991—becoming an agent in the television department in 1994. Currently, as a senior vice president and managing director of the Miami Beach WMA office, Mateu represents a broad range of clients. He created and runs the Agency’s Latin American division; developing talent and programming for both the Spanish and English speaking market. His clients include Ana Maria Canseco, Maria Antonieta Collins, Fernando Arau, Andres Cantor, Maria Celeste Arraras, Raul Gonzalez, Barbara Mori, Carlos Ponce, RCN Television, TVN Chile, Venevision International, and Telefe.

LIGIAH VILLALOBOS Writer/Director Villalobos’ achievements in the entertainment industry are legendary. Most recently, she penned and executive produced Under the same Moon (La Misma Luna), a feature film that was an Official Selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became the highest sale for a Spanish-language film in the history of Sundance. Upon its release on March 19, 2008, by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company, the film went on to break the three-day opening weekend record for a Spanish-language film. Her other successes include the film Dancing in September and the documentary One World. She has also been a staff writer on the NBC show, ED, and head writer on the Nick Jr. series, Go Diego! Go! She is the recipient of The Imagen Foundation’s 2008 Norman Lear Writer’s Award.

SILVIO HORTA Executive Producer/Writer Horta is currently the creator/executive producer for ABC’s Emmy-nominated comedy Ugly Betty. Prior to his launch of the series, he served as creator/executive producer of UPN’s acclaimed sci-fi drama, Jake 2.0, and before that created and executive-produced the Sci-Fi Network original series, The Chronicle, which earned a Saturn Award nomination. Ugly Betty is the 2007 Golden Globe Winner for television’s best comedy, as well as the recipient of the Writers’ Guild Award for Best New Series. Horta has also been honored with an NAACP Image Award for outstanding writing, an ALMA award for best show and best writing, a Family Television Award, and the 2007 Peabody Award. This is Horta’s second MPIL Award.

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ROBERTO LLAMAS Chief Human Resources & Public Affairs Officer The Nielsen Company Llamas is in charge of Human Resources strategy and processes as well as Public Affairs efforts throughout The Nielsen Company. He came to The Nielsen Company in 2007 from The Cleveland Clinic, one of the top health care systems in the world, where he served as Chief Administrative Officer. Throughout his career, Llamas has been active in various community organizations and has also been on the board of several major non-profit organizations. He holds a BS degree in Marketing Management from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and an MS in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.

EDITH MENDOZA Vice President — Comedy Series Development CBS Entertainment Mendoza develops and oversees CBS’s new, original comedy programs for the Network. She has been involved in the development of many of the Network’s hit comedies including Two And A Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures Of Old Christine among others. This fall, CBS adds Worst Week to its top-rated Monday comedy block. Mendoza joined the CBS comedy development department in September 1996, named Supervisor, Comedy Development in June 1998; then was promoted to Manager, Comedy Development in June 2000 and Director, Comedy Development in 2001. Mendoza also serves on the Board of the Imagen Foundation. This is Mendoza’s second MPIL Award.

CHRISTINA DAVIS Senior Vice President —Drama Series Development CBS Entertainment Davis was named Senior Vice President, Drama Series Development, CBS Entertainment in 2007. Prior to that, she had been Vice President, Drama Series since May 2005. From 2002–2005, Davis was Director, Drama Series Development at CBS. She started in the CBS drama series department in 1997 as assistant to then drama head Nina Tassler, rising through the ranks from supervisor, to manager and director. Before joining CBS, Davis worked in drama series development at Warner Bros. Television. Since joining CBS, Davis has been involved in the development of CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Without A Trace, Cold Case, The Unit and Ghost Whisperer. This is Davis’ second MPIL Award.

CARLOS CARRERAS Head of Latin Talent United Talent Agency Carreras leads the agency’s representation in the Latino/Spanish-language domestic and international marketplaces. His clients include Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Smits, Demian Bichir, Victoria Justice, Wilmer Valderrama, Ana Claudia Talancon, Carmen Electra, Rubén Blades, Melonie Diaz, and Guillermo Arriaga. The Hollywood Reporter selected Carreras as one of 2007’s “The Latin Power 50”, naming him amongst the 50 Most Powerful Latino’s in Hollywood. Carreras also lends his time and energy to organizations such as NALIP, The National Alliance of Latin Independent Producers and GLAAD. This is Carrerras’ second MPIL Award.



RAÚL DE QUESADA Assistant General Manager and Senior Vice President — Marketing, Communications, and Creative Services Fox Sports en Español, Joining Fox Sports International in 1998, De Quesada carries out his responsibilities with relentless energy. Under his expertise and guidance, Fox Sports en Español has expanded its reach to more than 14.4 million households in the United States, 4.7 million of those being Hispanic. De Quesada successfully executed the rebranding efforts of Fox Sports Latin America, Fox Sports en Español, and Fox Soccer Channel, as well as revitalize the on-air look of all Fox Sports International channels. Born in Camaguey, Cuba, he obtained his Bachelor of Science at Florida International University and his Masters in Business Administration from California State University This is De Quesada’s second MPIL Award.

ANGELA MARIANA FREYRE Senior Vice President — Deputy General Counsel for Legal and Strategic Affairs The Nielsen Company Freyre oversees major contracts and expanding strategic relationships with Nielsen’s clients, industry groups and other entities and supporting political and governmental affairs. She arrived at Nielsen in 2005 from Coudert Brothers LLP where she was a partner and had extensive experience in structuring, documenting and negotiating transactions in such areas as mergers, acquisitions, financings, joint ventures, securities and general corporate and commercial transactions. Born in Havana, Cuba, Freyre holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and her Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University.

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CHRISTY HAUBEGGER Lifestyle Creative Artists Agency A pioneer for Latinas, Haubegger founded Latina Magazine in 1996 following her graduation from Stanford Law School. In 2002, Haubegger’s passion to expand the presence and stories of Latinos in television and motion pictures. This led her to be associate producer of Chasing Papi, released in 2003. In 2004, she was executive producer of Spanglish. She now works with CAA, providing insights on diverse markets to its motion picture, music, marketing and television clients including Salma Hayek, George Lopez, John Singleton, Oscar de la Hoya and Shakira.

EDUARDO “PIOLÍN” SOTELO Radio Personality Univision Radio Sotelo is one of the most televised radio personalities in the nation with regular appearances on national shows like Sábado Gigante, Cristina, Escándalo TV, Qué Dice la Gente, Don Francisco Presenta, and interviews on networks and programs such as CNN, Fox News Channel, Larry King, MSNBC, Anderson Cooper and Good Morning America. As a child growing up in Jalisco, Mexico, Eddie was given the nickname of “Piolín”, which means Tweety Bird in Spanish. At the age of 16 he moved in with relatives in Santa Ana, Calif. He began working for a small radio station in Corona, Calif., and is now one of the most recognized Latino radio personalities in the country.

PETER MURRIETA Executive Producer The Disney Channel Murrieta began his career as a writer/performer at The Second City in Chicago. Upon moving to Hollywood, he began writing on series television starting as a Writing Fellow at Walt Disney Television and subsequently on series including NBC's Jesse and Three Sisters. He is the creator and executive producer of the 2002 WB series Greetings from Tucson, based on his experiences growing up in Tucson, Arizona. His television writing credits include shows All About the Andersons, Ask Harriet and Hope and Faith. He has written feature films for Revolution Studios and Paramount. Murrieta has taught improvisation at The Improv in Hollywood and at The Second City and is the co-founder and owner of bang. Improv Studio in Hollywood. Currently, he is executive producer of the Disney Channel series, Wizards of Waverly Place. This is Murrieta’s second MPIL Award.



JACKIE HERNÁNDEZ Chief Operating Officer Telemundo Communications Group Based in New York City, Hernández oversees all domestic revenue and marketing; digital media and emerging platforms; mun2, Telemundo’s Latino-youth cable network; affiliate relations; and all research functions. With more than 20 years of media experience across television, online and print, Hernández is responsible for leading and unifying all sales, marketing and domestic growth platforms for the consolidated Telemundo network and stations group. She is also charged with bridging all Telemundo offerings to domestic advertising clients and enhancing Telemundo’s connection with its audience. In addition, Hernández will partner closely with Telemundo's programming, studio, and news and sports leaders to strategically grow Telemundo’s market share. Prior to joining Telemundo, Hernández served as Publisher of PEOPLE en Español. She received her MBA from Baruch College and her undergraduate degree from Tufts University.

GARY BONILLA Senior Vice President and Managing Director Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Bonilla manages the creative and product development for Nickelodeon’s domestic and international consumer products business, develops strategies around consumer experiences and ensures that the network’s branded consumer product offerings exemplify the Nickelodeon brand. He develops the creative strategy for leading Nickelodeon properties including: iCarly, Slime Across America, and the upcoming 10th Anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants. With a degree from Boston University’s College of Communication, Bonilla has more than 15 years of advertising and branding experience in multicultural and international markets.

CESAR MILLAN Television Personality Cesar & Ilusion Millan Foundation With an Emmy-nominated show on National Geographic Channel, a best-selling book, and sold-out seminars, Millan continues to add accolades to a career spanning more than 20 years, as one of the most sought-after experts in dog psychology. Born in Culiacan, Mexico, Millan spent much of his youth observing a pack of wild dogs that lived on his grandfather’s ranch. He learned and came to understand their behaviors. This fostered his goal of becoming “the best dog trainer in the world.” Years later, Millan first captured the national spotlight when his NGC series Dog Whisperer premiered in 2004. In February 2008, Millan and his wife Ilusion announced the formation of the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation. The non-profit organization will provide financial support and rehabilitation expertise to shelters throughout the United States.

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MARLA PROVENCIO Executive Vice President — Marketing ABC Entertainment Provencio oversees, along with Michael Benson, marketing, advertising and promotion for ABC’s Primetime and Late-Night lineup. In addition to being responsible for the launch of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Brothers & Sisters and Pushing Daisies, among others, Ms. Provencio and Mr. Benson created Hispanic targeted campaigns for “Desperate Housewives” and Ugly Betty. She is the recipient of numerous awards for on-air promotion campaigns that she developed. These include campaigns for such series as NYPD Blue, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Houswives and Lost, as well as the movie and miniseries Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesday’s with Morrie and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. Born and raised in California, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

JAVIER MAYNULET Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer — Universal Media Studios & Universal Cable Productions NBC Universal Television Maynulet oversees the financial performance for all of NBCU TV Studios productions and development. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Maynulet joined GE’s Financial Management Program in 1996 after receiving a B.S. in Finance and Information Systems from Boston College. He took positions in NBC’s Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Group, CNBC Ad Sales and NBC Cable Operations in Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2001, Maynulet was promoted to Director of Finance at NBC’s TV Station in Miami, coinciding with NBC’s acquisition of Telemundo. He moved to the Telemundo Network in 2003 to continue the integration process and later took over the FP&A function there. In 2006, he moved to Los Angeles to oversee NBCU Studios Ultimates and Development and was later promoted to his present position.

PAUL MONTOYA Executive Vice President — Media Sales CBS Television Distribution Montoya is Executive Vice President of Media Sales at CBS Television Distribution. Based in New York, Montoya spent five years at Paramount prior to the Viacom split. He is part of “the most powerful sales team in syndication,” according to CBS. A product of a merger between CBS Paramount Television and King World, his team is responsible for the advertising sales of popular programs in television including the network’s game shows, talk shows, court shows, and magazine shows.



JAVIER AVITIA Senior Vice President — Business Affairs CBS Paramount Int’l Television Avitia has been with Paramount Pictures for 12 years and previously served four years as Senior Legal Counsel for Univision. Born in Gridley, Calif., Avitia received his undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of California at Davis and went on to Harvard Law School where he completed his Juris Doctorate. He volunteers as a recruiter and interviewer for Harvard University and serves on the Board of Directors of The Imagen Foundation. This is Avitia’s second MPIL Award.

IGNACIO DARNAUDE Executive Vice President — Creative Advertising Sony Pictures Releasing International Darnaude joined Sony Pictures Releasing International in 2003 as Executive Vice President, International Creative Advertising. He developed the international campaigns for some of the highest grossing pictures in Sony’s history, including The Da Vinci Code, Spider Man 3 and Casino Royale. Born and raised in Spain, he received a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Seville in 1978 and worked as Manager of International Finance for Banco De Bilbao in Madrid and New York. He moved to Los Angeles in 1987, and received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and Film Business from University of Southern California Film School.

ROBERT MENDEZ Senior Vice President — Diversity Disney-ABC Television Group Mendez is responsible for advancing diversity strategies for the various properties within Disney-ABC Television Group, including the ABC Television Network, Touchstone Television, Disney Channel Worldwide, SOAPnet, Toon Disney, Jetix, ABC Family and Walt Disney Television Animation, among others. Long committed to employment diversity in the television industry and other business sectors, Mendez is a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and currently serves on the boards of the The Imagen Foundation, the International Radio & Television Society Foundation, and is a member of the Los Angeles County Fair Association. Mendez received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California Davis School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College. This is Mendez’s second MPIL Award.

GILBERT DAVILA Vice President — Multicultural Marketing The Walt Disney Company Davila is charged with working with all corporate divisions; to help build, enhance and strengthen Disney’s connections with the various multicultural segments. Previously, Davila was the VP of Multicultural Management at Sears Roebuck and Co., where he spent 7 years building what became one of the leading multicultural marketing programs in the county. He is currently a board member of the Association of National Advertisers and serves as Chairperson for the ANA’s Multicultural Marketing Committee. He has also written numerous articles that have appeared in several publications, including The Advertiser, Advertising Age and Crain’s

ARTURO BARQUET Senior Vice President — Production and Finance Universal Pictures Barquet joined NBC Universal in 2004 and oversees finance for film production, direct to video, music and live stage productions (Wicked, Billy Elliot). He also oversees finance for the studio’s development deals with talent and outside production companies. A graduate of UCLA’s Screenwriters Program (1998), Barquet was awarded best screenplay honors for The Emerald Cut, which was later made into a short film, which was recognized as The Imagen Foundation’s Best Short Film in 2000, among other awards. The son of Cuban immigrants, Barquet was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the George Washington University in 1985.

LUCIA COTTONE Vice President — Series Development and Current Programming Lifetime Television Cottone oversees the development slate for drama and comedies, as well as the hit drama series Army Wives, Lifetime’s highest-rated series in the network’s 24-year history. She served as director of cable programming for NBC Universal Television and also oversaw the scripted development for series and movies at sister networks USA and Sci Fi. Cottone graduated from Emerson College in Boston, with a bachelor of science in public speaking and television production. She also holds a degree in professional photography from the New England School of Photography.



CLAUDIA TERAN Senior Vice President — Legal & Business Affairs Fox Cable Networks Teran oversees the business and legal affairs for several FCN divisions including corporate, digital media, and several cable networks. She has worked extensively with Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español in the U.S., Fox Sports in Latin America, action sports network Fuel TV in the U.S. and internationally, and the worldwide Fox Sports syndication sales business, where her responsibilities include licensing, distribution, production, marketing, affiliate relations, as well as complex transactional guidance. Teran was a transactional attorney at Sidley and Austin, where she worked on behalf of private and public entities addressing a wide variety of business dealings and regulatory issues. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and her law degree from New York University School of Law.

MARGARET LAZO Senior Vice President — Human Resources NBC Universal TV Network and Cable Entertainment Lazo began her career in Human Resources Management with retailer R.H. Macy & Co. in New York City. She joined NBC in September 1995 as Manager, Human Resources WNBC-TV, New York and then in April 1997, was named Manager, Human Resources at CNBC in Fort Lee, New Jersey. In October 2001, NBC announced the acquisition of Telemundo and Lazo was asked to lead the Human Resources Integration effort. In May 2002, she was named Senior Vice President, Human Resources for the business based in Miami. In March 2007, Lazo was named to her current role and relocated to Los Angeles. In addition, she serves as national co-chair for GE’s Hispanic Forum, an affinity network focusing on the recruitment and development of Hispanic talent across GE, NBC Universal’s parent company.

JEAN FUENTES Senior Vice President — Human Resources Fox Television Studios As senior vice president of human resources for Fox Television Studios, Inc., Fox Stations Sales, 20th Television, and My Network TV, Fuentes oversees the community relations efforts of the Fox Television Stations Group, which is comprised of 35 owned and operated stations located throughout the country. In her position, Fuentes is responsible for assisting senior management in the human resources policy development and implementation as well as consulting in all human resources disciplines. She regulates and monitors all recruitment and hiring for the thirty-five stations. This is Fuentes’ second MPIL Award.

PHIL GONZALES Vice President — Communications CBS Entertainment Gonzales was named Vice President, Communications, CBS Entertainment in 2004. He oversees the Network's publicity efforts on behalf of primetime series, specials, movies and mini-series as well as late night and daytime programming. Gonzales joined CBS from Warner Bros. Television where he had been Vice President, Publicity since 2000. He spearheaded the landmark, award-winning publicity campaigns during the 10-year run of Friends and worked on many other big hits including The West Wing, Third Watch and, most recently, CBS's Two and a Half Men. He joined Warner Bros. in 1992 as a Senior Publicist and was named a Director in 1996. In 1995, Gonzales was the recipient of the Publicists Guild Award for best television campaign for his work on Friends. This is Gonzales’ second MPIL Award.

LINO GARCIA General Manager ESPN Deportes Based in New York, Garcia is responsible for guiding ESPN Deportes on a day-to-day basis in all areas of operation, including programming, production, affiliate sales, and marketing. Prior to joining ESPN, Garcia accumulated fifteen years of experience in the cable and satellite industry where he focused his efforts on marketing to the Hispanic community. He had served as vice president, affiliate marketing and local ad sales for Universal Television (2000-2003) and as vice president and general manager of Sony Entertainment Television (1998-2000), where he was responsible for all aspects of the Latin American cable television operation. Earlier in his career, Garcia held several director-level marketing positions with HBO and was instrumental in the development and launch of HBO en Español (1993-1998). He holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware.

JONATHAN D. AVILA Vice President — Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer The Walt Disney Company Avila supervises data privacy law counseling and compliance for the domestic and international operations of Disney’s offline and online businesses. He also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and has served as a member of the Governing Committee of the Forum on Communications Law of the American Bar Association. Avila graduated cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor degree in Philosophy, and received a Juris Doctorate from the Harvard Law. He also holds a diploma from the University of Salamanca in Spain. This is Avila’s second MPIL Award.



HELEN HERNANDEZ President & Founder The Imagen Foundation Under her leadership, Hernandez has led the Foundation’s Imagen Awards the past 23 years which have become one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry. Hernandez was raised in Azusa, Calif., and began her professional career as a labor union official before going into entertainment where she worked for Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio at Embassy Communications. Hernandez has been recognized by the United States Congress in the Congressional Record for her work on behalf of the Latino community in the entertainment industry. In January 2008, she co-founded HMH Media and is the co-publisher of Inside Latino Entertainment & Media Magazine. This is Hernandez’s second MPIL Award.

KATHRYN F. GALAN Executive Director National Assoc. of Latino Independent Producers Galan has been NALIP’s Executive Director for seven years, establishing it as the preeminent national Latino media organization by taking it from an NCLR special project with a steering committee to an autonomous and substantial advocacy and professional development organization. She has been an independent producer (French Kiss, Squanto, Daybreak), new media consultant and studio executive. She was head of production for Atlantic Entertainment Group and a production Vice President at Walt Disney Studio’s Hollywood Pictures, She ran Meg Ryan’s Prufrock Pictures and her own consultancy firm, EKR Strategies. She is a graduate of Amherst College, and did initial media studies in video art at SUNY Buffalo, then MA studies in film history and criticism at UCLA, specializing in World Cinema. This is Galan’s second MPIL Award.

PATRICIA BOERO Executive Director Latino Public Broadcasting Boero’s expertise lies in the intersecting fields of philanthropy, filmmaking and socially responsible business. She was Director of the Sundance Institute’s International Program, and Senior Program Officer at the MacArthur Foundation, where she managed media programs, including funding for major public radio and television series. She was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Boero directed Hispanics in Philanthropy’s Transnational Program, and was Senior Manager for Global Public Affairs at the Levi Strauss Foundation. Boero was also Director for International Corporate Social Responsibility at the Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle. She studied film, arts and law in Sydney, Australia, where she directed documentaries for Film Australia and the public TV station SBS. She was a founding member of LPB’s Board of Directors, 1998–2006. I


lavio Morales never set out to be an entertainment executive. He doesn’t cite Citizen Kane or The Battleship Potemkin as inspiration for his getting into the industry. He doesn’t walk around with a viewfinder up to his eye. And he doesn’t dream about making it on Broadway. No, Morales became an exec the old fashioned way: he fell into it by being damn good at it. Morales will tell you the main reason he got into it was that it simply sounded fun. That, and the fact that he could get free passes to concerts and clubs. His beginnings were humble. He’s the son of illegal immigrants, growing up in East Los Angeles. A close family, he and his brothers later helped his parents gain citizenship. “My parents are very positive,” says Morales. “They’ve always encouraged us to do whatever we wanted to do. Back in high school we got cable, and I was introduced to public access. I remember asking my mom if I could go get an internship. She didn’t know what that meant, but said okay, and told me to go figure out what that is. And I went and got an internship at the cable company that was, at the time, owned by Moctesuma Esparza.” So at the ripe old age of 17, Morales began hanging out at the cable company’s public access studios. During his senior year in high school, he and buddy Richard Estrada decided to spend spring break at the studio putting together a show. The general manager told 38


them if we were going to do it, he’d give us an afternoon shift and they could air their productions. The show started as a kind of radio show, but the boys soon learned about video, and began integrating taped segments. From there they learned the tricks of getting music videos, and talking to record labels, and they were off and running, producing their own show. “At the time,” tells Morales, “we would go out and shoot the local rock shows, interview local artists, and cover things that we thought were relevant that we had access to.” He began making contacts. Sure, the contacts were young upstarts with little experience, just like him, but they were young upstarts at record companies and other entertainment businesses around town. And if there’s one thing this industry always teaches us, it’s that smart people don’t stay in the mailroom very long, and soon his contacts were rising up the ranks.

How Flavio Morales became the “go to” guy for Latino youth marketing. BY BILLY COLINAS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN ROOT



wunderkind mun2’S LATINO

financed predominantly by my parents, and the kindness of strangers. Three-quarter inch tapes weren’t something you just bought at Wal-Mart.” As the show continued to grow, so did Morales’ skills. They began shooting music videos of local bands that weren’t getting the attention of mainstream, but were rising fast in the inner circles of urban Los Angeles. As their skills grew, so did their resourcefulness. (“We learned piracy at a very early age,” Morales told us with a twinkle in his eye.) Their show began to broaden, not only in appeal but in subject matter. They started covering the Chicano art scene. They shot comedy troops like Flavio has built a career on learning, networking, Culture Clash and the Chicano and being a guy that people just want to be around. Secret Service. They worked with spoken word artists like Marisela Norte and Rubén Martínez. Morales and friends soon became known around as “the guys with the video cameras.” Press credentials, requests for interviews and airtime were soon to follow. Unbeknownst to them, they were becoming hits, and they were even becoming important in the eyes of many. Morales’ work evolved into a little show “I remember doing the red carpet precalled Illegal Interns. Diligent searching on mier for Mi Familia,” Morales recalled the Internet and YouTube will yield a few fondly, “and having Jimmy Smits grab us interesting clips from those early days. It and walking us down the red carpet to seems Morales and company received the make sure that we’d get to everyone. I blessing of youth, that no one told them remember we got to meet, and flirt, with a they couldn’t do what they were doing, or young actress named Jennifer Lopez.” that they were doing it wrong. They just did it what they wanted to do and didn’t worry FULL SPEED AHEAD about anything else. Life would soon speed up for Morales. A friend “Never quite knowing it, we actually called, and it seemed someone from Epitaph started a business,” said Morales. “It was

“We learned piracy at a very early age.”



Records, then one of the hottest new indie rock labels, was looking for a consultant to help with a new project. It seemed they wanted to know more about Latinos and rock, and who better to consult? Morales got the gig, and while he contributed a lot, he also learned a lot. He credits that time for his learning of press, PR, and the business side of promotions. As a result, Morales’ own events began to flourish. Little 25 person concert parties grew to 100, 200, and 300 very quickly. Morales and his friends were quickly becoming Los Angeles celebrities, even being named one of the 100 coolest people in L.A. by Buzz Magazine. Soon more new and different offers were coming their way. Morales consulted with a couple of ad agency execs who met him for drinks in Beverly Hills, picked his brain for an hour on some commercials, and thrust $600 into his hands with their heartfelt thanks. He landed meetings at William Morris and CAA, who were interested in putting them in shows, such as In Living Color. In this last case, Morales and the guys didn’t know what to do. (That’s not to say they couldn’t decide, but rather they literally didn’t know what people wanted them to do. When asked if they wrote their own material, he replied, “No. We don’t write anything. It’s just whatever comes out of our mouths.” During this time, Morales kept a string of day jobs. He also bounced around from one junior college to another. The problem wasn’t grades, it was that whenever he’d get into a film or TV class, he quickly found he knew and lot more and had a lot more experience than the teachers. Morales continued to build his Rolodex as well as his bank of experience. He continued consulting jobs with various PR firms and ad agencies, where his promotional skills blossomed. The events got bigger, and so did the names he worked with. As an independent consultant, he was now making good money and being sought after for his knowledge. Around this time, Morales met up with Walter Ulloa of Entravision. Walter brought their show over from cable to an over-theair station, a station that was to become part of what is now known as LATV. Consulting continued, and the show grew.

AGENCY LIFE His next big move came when Morales was offered a fulltime job at Wieden & Kennedy, one of the country’s top ad firms. He moved up to Oregon, and began working on big national accounts. Soon he was in creative meetings on accounts such as Miller Beer, Nike, and Microsoft. Budgets weren’t in the hundreds of dollars anymore, or even in the thousands. Morales was at the big table where they were tossing around multi-million dollar ad budgets. During that time, Morales learned that the ad agencies were ahead of the curve—they understood the power of the young and emerging Latino market. He also learned that the content available was not really catering to the market. Telenovelas, while big with the more mature Latino crowd, did nothing for the kids. In fact, programs like his original Illegal Interns was much more of what Latino youths wanted. After a very fruitful stint with Wieden, Morales returned to Los Angeles and to LATV. He helped start up their first studio, quite literally a converted garage in a San Fernando Valley neighborhood. But Morales was able to use his old street video skills and produce all of the first programs for a total production budget of about $5,000. He also called in favors and IOUs, and began building more of a network. LATV was then able to attract funding, and soon upgrade programming and production facilities. Morales would spend a total of six years at the start up network. THE NEXT CHAPTER Morales has most recently landed at mun2, whose parent company is Telemundo. Antoinette Zel, formerly of MTV Latin America, then of Telemundo, told him that she thought he’d be perfect to help run mun2, and her pep talk worked. Now he’s officially the V.P. of Programming, and while he deserves that title, his down-toearth style and demeanor feels far too hip to be saddled with a such a corporate title. mun2 is a spin off from Telemundo, so that means they are also a part of the NBC Universal corporate family. As a part of coming to mun2, Morales said that they should not be headquartered in Miami,

While mun2 is still very interested in the music scene, Morales, shown here with Mexico’s super group Cafe Tacuba, is helping mun2 become a more well rounded entertainment network.

that the new younger network should be based in Los Angeles. Shortly after joining mun2, they moved. Today his office overlooks Universal City’s famed City Walk, one of the hot attractions in Los Angeles. Stepping into their offices, one feels almost like it’s a clubhouse, and it sets the tone for what they’re trying to do. While music is still a big part of mun2 programming, Morales envisions a network of diverse entertainment and programming. While we can’t divulge the specifics of it, Morales gave one example of where a program they have developed for mun2 is being bounced upward to NBC’s cable and network offices, and could in fact become mainstream programming for the parent company. The implications of this are not lost on Morales. He realizes that he needs to keep his programming targeted on their audience, but their audience is not so very far from mainstream as it used to be. “We’re now a part of the discussion, and we have access to conversation at other parts of NBC Universal and their various networks,” said Morales. His keen understanding of Latino youth culture, largely due to his not only being a member of it, but also somewhat of a culture creator, has put him center stage to help shape it in the years to come.

“We did an extensive study with LookLook, and found that young Latinos first see themselves as just teenagers, then they identify with their family’s heritage, then as Latinos.” This focus has allowed Morales and the companies he’s worked for to view the market not as a simple ethnic demographic, but rather as real people who are growing and changing everyday. This can be seen more than ever at mun2, where topics like immigration, the war, and education, formerly subjects off-limits in young urban programming, have become a part of the programming, because it’s what their viewers are talking about. Morales admits that he didn’t even know the depth of his own identity until he was married and starting his family, when being Latino seemed to mean more to him than ever before. That we reflect on our family, our past, and our heritage when we become parents seems to be a universal emotion that transcends ethnicity, but one not lost on Morales and his appreciation for understanding the motivations of young Latinos. Flavio Morales is one of those individuals who has risen to the top of a mountain that he, as a kid, didn’t even know existed. He’s an expert at his craft, and more importantly, he brings an honesty and frankness to his work that has served him and his employers well.





A New Mayan Empire? Maya Entertainment is quickly building its empire as the only U.S.-based production/distribution/ exhibition company specifically focused on the Latino market.

BY BRIAN HEMSWORTH any art historians consider the Mayan art of the Classic Era (250AD to 900AD) to be among the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient new world. If Moctesuma Esparza has anything to say about it, works of art from Maya Entertainment will be the most sophisticated and beautiful of today’s new world. Maya Entertainment, not even a year old, is the latest extension of Esparza’s growing entertainment empire. Co-chaired by Jeff Valdez, formerly CEO of SiTV, the two are sculpting something new in terms of an entertainment company’s focus and structure. Maya Entertainment is now the country’s only vertically integrated entertainment company focused on and catering to the fast-growing Latino market. What does “vertically integrated” mean, and why is it important? Very simply, in the case of Maya Entertainment, it means they have the means to create feature film and television productions, to distribute them, to exhibit them, and even to sell them directly into the home markets. Vertical integration is a way of managing, and yes, controlling projects from start to finish. Why is this important? Maya Entertainment now has control of its own destiny, and quite frankly, the destiny of the projects that flow through their company. Rather than being involved with just one aspect of an entertainment product, they’re involved in virtually all.


STRUCTURALLY SOUND Critical to the company’s success is the way 42

With Maya Entertainment, Moctesuma Esparza and company will control productions from development through distribution.

the company’s divisions are aligned. Utilizing a multi-platform structure, the company can develop, finance, and produce content for distribution on all platforms. This allows them to leverage the strengths and specialties of all its divisions and related companies, including Maya Cinemas, Maya Releasing, Maya Entertainment Home Video, and Maya Productions. (Maya Cinemas was founded a number of years ago and is under a related but different corporate structure. Maya Pictures also began earlier and has been rolled into Maya Entertainment.) “Because of the way we have structured the company,” tells Jeff Gonzalez, COO and CFO of the new company, “we are able to fully support the life of a film from the production through theatrical release and retail via home video, along with


other ancillary markets.” This vertical integration, while critically important, sounds somewhat clinical in nature. What’s no less important, but more visceral, is the company’s passion for serving the market. “We want to cultivate and support Latino filmmakers who have powerful stories to tell and that audiences everywhere can relate to,” said Jose Martinez, who heads up acquisitions and business affairs for Maya. While focused on catering to the underserved Latino market, Maya Entertainment is also interested in broadening the audiences of its properties. When asked about Sleep Dealer and Fraude Mexico 2006, Martinez continued, “Both have universal themes of struggle and validation that will resonate with Latino and non-Latino audiences.” Another key to Maya’s future success

may come from a different take on Latino marketing. Traditional marketers have tried, many unsuccessfully, to profit from the market’s growth, but have done so by being on the outside looking in. Maya is taking a different approach. “For too many years Hollywood has talked about the Latino Wave,” says Valdez. “We plan to capitalize on it. Latino youth are among the country’s fastest growing demographic. We get the market because our principals and employees are the market.” These various parts of the Maya strategy appear to have some early success. The company has already successfully distributed several films this year. Among them are How The Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer, starring Ugly Betty star America Ferrera,

Maldeamores, produced by actor Benicio del Toro, August Evening, winner of the Cassavetes Award at the 2008 Spirit Awards, Talento De Barrio, starring Latin phenom Daddy Yankee, and Amexicano, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. As of October, Maya Entertainment had already picked up 30 home video titles and 10 theatrical films. During the first year most of the focus has been on acquisitions. Several films are already in development for production next year. A POWERFUL TEAM Valdez knows a thing or two about this market. Starting his career as a standup comic, and later running his own comedy club, Valdez has learned to recognize the potential of the Latino market, as well as

how to leverage it in the entertainment marketplace. With experience ranging from local television producer to an executive post at Tri-Star Television, and as cofounder of SiTV Productions and cofounder of Sandbox Entertainment with David Zucker, Valdez is a formidable asset for Maya Entertainment. Esparza, the other co-chair on the Maya team, is himself a Latino entertainment icon with a prolific background. (See accompanying sidebar.) He is known in some circles for his prolific film work, producing such films as Selena, The Milagro Beanfield War, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca. In other circles, he’s known as a key player in the ’60s Chicano civil rights move-





ment. And still to others, he’s known for his tireless efforts as a business leader. He owned the first all-Latino-owned cable company and has served on the boards of countless business, cultural, and educational organizations. While Esparza and Valdez are the cornerstones of Maya Entertainment, the two have very quickly assembled a powerful

senior team to help with launching the company. Their board includes a myriad of Hollywood execs, including Martinez, previously of Palm Pictures, Gonzalez, former CFO at National Lampoon and Trimark, Michael Harpster, formerly of New Line Cinema, and Sonia Rosario, an Emmynominated creative development and marketing specialist.

MOVING FORWARD What we know for sure is that the team at Maya Entertainment is bright, experienced, and focused on their objectives. We also know that they’re creating a buzz not only in Latino entertainment circles, but in the industry as well. Many are looking to see if Maya holds the key to unlocking the Latino entertainment market.

Moctesuma Esparza Co-Chairman and CEO, MAYA ENTERTAINMENT

ou can do all the homework in the world on Moctesuma Esparza, and you still won’t be prepared for an interview with him. He’s an enigmatic soul who has seen much, done more, and thought about it all. One could call him a filmmaker, but that’s not quite right. He’s more of a film communicator. You can tell this by listening to him speak. He chooses his words well. He chooses his thoughts even more carefully. Yes, Esparza is an important filmmaker, though in talking to the man, three words seem better to describe him: poet, philosopher, and professor. It’s my guess he’d be uncomfortable with these, but they accurately describe the sense one gets when you’re around him. He sculpts his words and thoughts as a poet might, taking the time to find the precisely correct way to share what he wants to say. He’s also a philosopher with truly original thoughts. One may not agree with every one of his opinions, but you can’t disagree with the profoundness of his convictions. He believes everything he says, deeply. To Esparza, language creates reality. And lastly, he’s a man with much to teach. And it is teach, not preach. He exudes a sense of understanding things, and he possesses the skills to share that understanding and make you think about it. The best teachers don’t just give you the answers, but challenge you with questions. Esparza challenges you with every idea. What began as a spark of creativity in East Los Angeles, Esparza flourished as a student activist and filmmaker at UCLA. He spent time making documentaries, and had a stint at Sesame Street. Moctesuma Esparza Productions, established in 1974, gave him the base from which he could launch Buenavision Cable Television. In turn, that gave him the base to create Maya Cinemas.




Esparza/Katz Productions is an on-going venture. Because these ventures aren’t enough for Esparza, he’s been active in everything from working with Robert Redford during the founding of Sundance, to being a founding board member of NALIP, to serving as a Trustee to the California State University system.

IN HIS OWN WORDS On His Early Interests And Links To Media “In high school I was a theater arts major as well as a math major. I was an actor in summer stock. I was also a singer and a musician. And I was a photographer. I was in student government and ROTC. In college, I was part of the organizing group that created the Mexican American Students, which became MECHA. I was part of the leadership circle that helped foster the walkouts of 1968. That led me to become the media representative for the political group I was a part of. I was the press liaison for the walkouts. At the same time, I had become a member of the editorial board of La Raza.” On Film Studies At UCLA “When I did enter the film school, it was really out of a political process that I participated in, and the campus-wide study on the impact of media images on minorities. The result of the study, of course, was that the images were biased. They had adverse affects on the community. There was a recommendation that came out of it to create programs that would address this by increasing both faculty and students in the School of Journalism and the School of Film and Television. I got an “incomplete” in a history course for citing texts that were not on the approved text list. So, I made a strategic retreat to film school just to graduate. When I graduated, I applied to public affairs and science graduate programs, and did not get accepted. I was surprised; I thought I was a good candidate. I had a good GPA. At the same time, I was facing life in jail from two Grand Jury’s secret indictments, and that might have influenced why they’d have turned me down. The film school, however, actively recruited me.”

Maya’s Vertical Integration What’s refreshing is that Maya doesn’t look like a rookie batter swinging for the fences. Rather, they appear to be a company mature for their tenure, with a confident poise and sense of purpose. They are playing to win, not to just look good while doing it. While success will be measured in the box office, awards, and units sold, success for Maya Entertain-

ment will also be measured in access, opportunity, and creativity.

BRIAN HEMSWORTH has spent the past 27 years working in entertainment, media and marketing. He’s written for dozens of publications, and is a member of the adjunct faculty of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

Maya Entertainment has strategically integrated its operations to include all major aspects of entertainment development, production, distribution, and exhibition.

PICTURES & PRODUCTIONS Maya plans a full slate of feature film and television productions commencing in 2009. Production is slated to ramp up to 8-10 productions a year very quickly.

On Becoming A Producer “The film industry is far more demanding and a challenge than it is for other artists. If you’re a dancer, you can dance. If you’re a writer, you can write. If you’re a painter, you can paint. Even if you’re an actor, you can act in a community theater. At least you get to express yourself. But as a filmmaker, you need huge resources, and that’s where a producer can make a huge difference. That’s how I came to go to graduate school, and to focus on being a producer. In making that choice, I made a commitment to myself, an existential stand, that I would transform the image of Latinos in Hollywood, and focus on producing programs that explored what it was to be human. That was the motivation and the platform from which I launched myself.” On Moving Into Mainstream “I spent about seven years doing documentaries. I was very successful and very blessed. My graduate thesis won an Emmy. My first documentary was nominated for an Academy Award. My first series of commercials, PSAs, won Clios. So I was able to build up some capital, and I was anxious to tell dramatic stories, because I felt it would allow me a larger audience and a deeper impact into the psyche and subconscious of the American people. That’s the power of film, that it penetrates the deepest part of our psyches. When you accept entertainment in a theater, in a dark room you surrender yourself and you give up all your defenses because you’re there to be entertained. As a consequence, what you watch touches you emotionally, as if it were real. The subconscious does not discriminate between a scare or a cry or a jolt that you get at the cinema or that you might get in real life. When you go to a film, you accept a dramatic shorthand of villainy, the representation of people as less than you, and it perpetuates the grosser, less kind tendencies of being human, and that’s what I was committed to addressing, by presenting three dimensional portraits, examinations of the behavior of humans under the most trying times.” On The Future Of Maya Entertainment “Right now we are at a stage where we are acquiring existing product that other filmmakers have made on their own, with their

own resources, and we are looking for the best of that product RELEASING to bring to the Maya has, in less than a year, successAmerican public and fully distributed several key movies, the world. Soon we including: How The Garcia Girls Spent will co-finance pictures Their Summer, Maldeamores, August that are generated Evening, Talento De Barrio, Fraude mostly by other filmMexico 2006 and Amexicano. makers. Thereafter, we will originate our own projects and finance them. We are CINEMAS looking to create entertainment in all Maya currently operates a Maya Cinema genres. One of the multiplex, with plans to acquire and/or things that is the test build a full chain of theaters. Current of whether or not freeplans include properties in California, New dom exists, where Mexico, Texas, Illinois, and New York. everyone is free from negative stereotypes, from the labeling of other people, from HOME VIDEO prejudices, is that you Maya Entertainment expects to distribcan tell stories about ute approximately 24 direct-to-DVD anything, and engage releases a year, as well as other home in all genres and all video properties. formats, and provide entertainment for all the tastes that are generally produced by mainstream Hollywood in a way that supports a creation of human, three-dimensional images and tell stories that entertain.” On Advising Young Latinos In Entertainment “The first thing to do is learn the language of the industry, and the easiest place to do that is in a university or conservatory setting. The language of every profession is the doorway and the password into that profession.” I FALL 2008 / INSIDE LATINO ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA



Production Hot Spots Film commissions offer many incentives for productions. Here are some prime real estate selections for Latino filmmakers and photographers. Shreveport-Bossier Film Office Main Contact: Arlena Acree, Director of Film, Media and Entertainment Phone Number: 318-673-7515 Recent Productions: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Soul Men, Disaster Movie, Leaves of Grass, W, The Year One Incentives/Special Productions: Louisiana state law grants a tax credit against state income tax for taxpayers domiciled and headquartered in Louisiana. If the total base investment is greater than $300,000, each investor shall be allowed a tax credit of 25% of the actual investment made by that taxpayer. A new law for employment/labor provides that a motion picture production company is entitled to a tax credit for the employment of Louisiana residents in connection with production of a nationally distributed motion picture, video, television series, or commercial made in Louisiana, as certified by the state of Louisiana. The credit is equal to 10% of the total aggregate payroll for residents employed in connection with such production. However, this additional credit shall exclude any salary that exceeds $1,000,000. Latest news from the locale: Superstar Bruce Willis will direct and star in the upcoming film Three Stories About Joan, which is currently being filmed in Shreveport. The psychological thriller also will feature Owen Wilson and Kieran Culkin. Shoot dates for that film are October 2 through November 10, 2008. Web site: 46

Newport, Rhode Island, is only a 35-minute drive from Providence.

“Smallest State, Greatest Backlot!” RHODE ISLAND FILM & TELEVISION OFFICE Situated near the center of the state, Providence, Rhode Island, is a city rich in history. Not only is Providence home to Stephen Hopkins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but the residents of this city were the first to spill blood in the American Revolution in the notorious Gaspée Affair of 1772. Two narrow, but significant waterways, Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket, snake through the city and converge to become Providence River, the head of the Narragansett Bay. Miles of beautiful coastlines and pristine natural resources can be accessed quite easily from Providence. The city is conveniently situated about an hour from Boston, 3 hours from New York City, and 35 minutes from the historic Newport Mansions in the picturesque city of Newport. Some of their recent productions are Brotherhood, Hachiki, Tell-Tale, The Clique, 27 Dresses, Dan in Real Life, Underdog, Evening, and Amistad. Some of the production incentives include: a tax credit of 25% for qualifying productions that have a budget of at least $300,000, film primarily (51%) in Rhode Island, and have a distribution plan. There is an annual $15 million cap of tax credits that can be issued. The Film Office offers one-stop and free permit. There is an on-line location and production guide at Rhode Island is a film-friendly state with fantastic relations with its cities and towns. Main Contact: Steven Feinberg, Executive Director Phone Number: 401-222-3456 Web site:


Inside Latino Entertainment & Media