Saralegui Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award

New York – She's already won 12 Emmy Awards. She's fought against spousal abuse and for a cure for AIDS on her Spanish-language talk of nearly two decades on air, El Show de Cristina.

That translates to The Cristina Show. And that career Thursday earned Cristina Saralegui the Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable award for an Outstanding Lifetime of Achievement at the Fifth Annual Hispanic Television Summit held here at the Marriott Marquis.

She was self-deprecating in accepting the award from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable publisher Larry Dunn. Speaking of Univision Networks, which employs her, she said, “I can't believe these people have put up with me for all these years.” Why? “Because there is no connection between my brain and my mouth.”

But she clearly is comfortable with the question-and-answer format. Unlike recipients at events like the primetime Emmy awards, Saralegui, in short order, opened up her mike to questions from the floor. She predicted, in the give-and-take, that the next generation of viewers would be pulling in video programming in from the Internet and displaying it on large screens at home.

In fact, she said her son was already doing this, over a wireless Internet connection, in his bedroom.

In the Hispanic community, Saralegui has taken social causes seriously. She and her husband, Marcos Avila, started the “Arriba la Vida/Up with Life Foundation,” which is devoted to raising AIDS awareness and education among Hispanics. Two years ago, she received the Valor Award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in recognition of her pioneering efforts in educating her viewers on gay and lesbian issues.