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Telemundo Stations Add Early Evening Newscast

Fourteen TV outlets owned by Telemundo Station Group debut local 5:30 p.m. newscasts November 3. It's the latest news expansion from the NBCUniversal-backed group, which has hired 30 new staffers to accommodate the increased output.

Manuel Martinez, President, Telemundo Station Group (TSG), called it a "new era" for Spanish-language local news. "The investment made at our local Telemundo stations, including launching new newscasts, arming our journalists with the best newsgathering tools and adding consumer units charged with fighting for our viewers," he says, "speaks clearly about our commitment to better serve our country's flourishing Hispanic community."

The large majority of the 17 owned Telemundo stations air early evening news at 6 and 11 p.m. ET. The partner network shifted its daytime schedule to make room for the new newscasts.

To win FCC approval of Comcast's acquisition of NBC in 2011, Comcast agreed to increase local programming, including Spanish-language local programming. Martinez says the latest expansion goes beyond the mandate.

"We feel our market is underserved with news and want to be the ones to bring it to them," said Martinez. "I think it will be a big differentiating proposition for our stations."

Stations getting new newscasts include ones in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston.

Several TSG stations have expanded news prior to this, including morning programs at KSTS San Francisco and early evening and late news at WWSI Philadelphia. The group also added bureaus in Washington, Mexico City and Miami, and launched a consumer investigative unit called Telemundo Responde.

"We want to be at the forefront of delivering Hispanic-Americans all across the United States the local news, weather and information they want," said Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "The strategic investment made at our local Telemundo stations have helped them achieve new levels of success as they provide the high-quality local news and information that Spanish-language viewers have been asking for and deserve."