ABC News and Univision News agreed to a long-rumored joint venture Monday, May 7, that will be anchored by a 24/7 English-language news channel for bilingual Hispanics.
The JV between the news divisions of parent companies Univision Communications Inc. and the Walt Disney Co., which is as yet unnamed, will also include digital platforms targeting the 50 million Hispanics who make up this country's youngest and fastest-growing demographic. In fact, a website, mobile and social media content are slated to debut this summer, whereas the on-air channel won't begin broadcasting until 2013.
"It will deliver news content focused on issues, lifestyle interests and culture of importance to Hispanics and will feature the trusted, award-winning journalists of ABC News and Univision News," the companies said of the channel. "For the first time, Hispanic Americans will have a choice for uncompromising coverage of current events and lifestyle with a Latino perspective in English."
Hispanics represent 16% of the U.S. population and are projected to account for 30% by 2050. Their spending power, currently in excess of $1 trillion a year, has long been the focus of specialized media. But it took the 2010 U.S. Census, which attributed half of the growth in the total U.S. population over the previous decade to Hispanics, to bring the population's cultural and economic influence to the fore.
The JV partners said that in addition to sharing the news-gathering and production resources of ABC News and Univision News, the network will have anchors and correspondents in major cities across the U.S. Its management team is expected to be announced this summer.
Rumors of a JV-backed news channel surfaced early this year after ABC and Univision, in conjunction with pollster Latino Decisions, collaborated on surveys of Latino registered voters in all 50 states. It was then certain reporters started contributing to both networks.
Univision received financial advice from Guggenheim Securities LLC and took legal counsel from O'Melveny & Myers LLP. ABC News entered into the agreement in principle without outside help.