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Spanish Indies Make It Official

The newly minted Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association--about 20 dues-paying members so far--has elected its first board of directors.

The association was launched Last fall to lobby for the interests of independents given the growing power and influence of the Hispanic market and in the face of the growing clout of Telemundo and Univision/HBC, which together dominate the Spanish-speaking media market in the U.S.

Part of that means convincing advertisers that Univision and Telemundo are not one-stop shopping for their Hispanic media buying needs. Everybody knows about L.A. and Miami and New York, points out Acting Director Francisco Montero, but fewer know about burgeoning middle markets like Charlotte, Salt Lake City or Little Rock.

Board members were elected at the NAB convention last week, with FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on hand to lend support.

Montero, former head of the FCC's Office of Communications Business Opportunities and now with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, will remain acting executive director for now. The group is talking to a couple of candidates for permanent executive director, or it might enlist an outside management company to run the organization, though it is leaning against that route.

Its board will comprise Amador Bustos, Bustos Media (president); Ronald Gordon, ZGS Broadcasting (vice president); Rosamaria Caballero, Caballero Television (secretary); Tony Hernandez, Latin Entertainment Network (treasurer); Zenon Ferrufino, Latino Broadcasting; Alfredo Plascencia, Lazer Broadcasting; Jose Luis Muñoz, BMP Radio; and Abel de Luna, Moon Broadcasting; and Montero.

The association is open to anyone, but it is primarily for independent, non-publicly traded Spanish-language broadcasters. Still, Montero says that one of the people who sat through almost the entire morning session out at NAB was Michael Wortsman, president of Univision's TV group.

"The association should not be seen as anti-Telemundo or Univision or HBC" says Montero. "In fact, I see us working closely with some of those companies on a lot of issues because they affect all of us."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.