Azteca America Proves Crucial Survival Tool for Hispanics During Hurricanes; Increased Programming...

Azteca America Proves Crucial Survival Tool for Hispanics During Hurricanes; Increased Programming to Help Evacuees Illustrates Growing Importance of Hispanic Media


Houston, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–September 27, 2005–Upgraded programming by Azteca America, the fastest-growing Hispanic television network in the United States, is now providing new, unique, and crucial services for Mexicans and other Latinos in the wake of this year’s tragic hurricanes.

Azteca America has made a resolute effort on behalf of Hispanic-Americans to fill a void and provide potentially life-saving broadcasts that the major networks and their local affiliates cannot provide. With Hurricane Rita heading towards the Texas coast, more and more Hispanics must turn to Spanish language television networks to get their information, instead of to the traditional outlets, reports Azteca America.

This information can mean life or death for many thousands of people in affected areas. The Rita and Katrina experience is likewise setting the groundwork for future broadcast strategies in the event of disaster, be it an earthquake, a terrorist attack, or other hurricanes, to serve the needs of the Hispanic population.

“It is a fundamental human instinct in a crisis to want information in your own language,” said Luis J. Echarte, CEO of Azteca America. “After Hurricane Katrina, which displaced more than 150,000 Mexicans, we began broadcasting Public Service Announcements as well as increased our news coverage.

“Now, with Hurricane Rita heading for Texas, we are offering information to evacuees in the U.S. and their families in Mexico, and we will provide ample screen support to disaster relief organizations.”

Right now Azteca America has a correspondent, Alvaro Ortiz, on the ground in Galveston who will increase the scope and immediacy of information delivery on Rita for Hispanics throughout Texas. He is covering stories about the evacuation, hurricane alerts and the mayor’s press conference and is prepared to ride out the storm and provide updates.

“I’ve spoken to Mexican families and business people in the area,” Ortiz reported. “They are glad to know that news about their situation is reaching their families in Mexico. They’ve also said that having the news in Spanish has greatly aided their plans for evacuation.”

With Jose Martin Samano on the ground after Katrina hit, Azteca America was able to add a crucial half hour to its newscast Azteca America Ultima Edicion, with special coverage for Katrina’s Hispanic victims. Samano also provided information to other broadcast outlets, including NPR, focusing on how the disaster was affecting Mexicans.

The network has also been running public service announcements (PSAs) asking viewers to donate to the Red Cross to help hurricane victims. The PSAs are running an average of 14 times per day in Spanish and were launched immediately after Katrina struck.

Mainstream networks are certainly incorporating more Spanish content into their programming. However, for daily news and content, the Spanish-language networks are becoming the primary choice for Hispanic audiences.

Azteca America, for one, offers 24/7 programming through a growing affiliate network, which includes original shows for Hispanics in U.S., as well as dramatic shows, news, sports, entertainment, and talk shows.

Azteca America’s stations in Texas include KTDF Channel 18 in San Antonio, KADF Channel 20 in Austin, KBGS Channel 51 in Victoria, K64FM Channel 64 in McAllen, KYDF Channel 54 in Corpus Christi, KAZH Channel 57 in Houston and KODF Channel 26 in Dallas.

About Azteca America

Azteca America is the fastest-growing Hispanic network in the United States. The network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V., one of the two largest producers of Spanish language television content in the world.

Azteca America currently has presence in 39 Hispanic markets, including: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Phoenix, Brownsville-McAllen, Albuquerque, San Diego, Fresno-Visalia, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Denver, Orlando, Austin, Tampa, Corpus Christi, Tucson, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Monterey-Salinas, Hartford, Salt Lake City, Bakersfield, West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Omaha, Yakima, Naples-Ft. Myers, Wichita, Reno, Boise, Victoria, Oklahoma City, Charleston and Chattanooga.

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Azteca America Proves Crucial Survival Tool for Hispanics During Hurricanes; Increased Programming to Help Evacuees Illustrates Growing Importance of Hispanic Media