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Joshua Mintz Director of Programming and Production Azteca America

Joshua Mintz joined Azteca America as director of programming and promotion in April. He previously worked in senior production positions at Televisa and Univision. Hispanic Television Update recently interviewed Mintz. An edited transcript follows:

Q: What was the first thing you did upon arriving at Azteca America?

A: The first challenge is always determining what resources you have and who you can count on. What I found at Azteca America is a unique opportunity. This network is not a diamond in the rough it is a diamond on the verge of being cut. There is so much to do. We are looking at co-productions and in-house productions specifically for the U.S. market because we have to have relevant programming. But, I am not going to reinvent the wheel. The telenovela will continue being the backbone.

Q: What are the programming challenges?

A: We have to work on all dayparts.

Q: What is the competitive landscape for Hispanic broadcast television?

A: The inertia that viewers have with Univision goes back many years. It is an addiction to Univision. I will go head-to-head with Univision. Azteca is super-competitive with its novelas. In two years we will have a 10% audience share. It is the same as when TV Azteca competed against Televisa for the first time in Mexico. Telemundo has had patience and the right strategy.

Q: What about the other part of your responsibilities? What about promotions?

A: There is a very clear promotional style in Spanish-language television in the US. It is very professional and very eye-catching. It is not easy to find talented promotional staff. We have a very good team and are expanding. We will be making an important change in the content and look of our promotions in the near future.

Q: Univision and Telemundo are based in Miami and Azteca America is based in Los Angeles. What difference does that make?

A: I have lived in Los Angeles and Miami. I love Miami and am fascinated by it, but Miami is a mirage. Everything is out of context. On the other hand, I can go to east L.A., walk around, eat a taco and have contact with my audience. Aside from that, it is the entertainment capital.