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An Urban cross-over

If your English-language station is losing share to the increasing number of Spanish-language programming alternatives, Robert Rose has a solution: a show he's syndicating called Urban Latino.

The English-language show is targeted to the younger U.S.-born Hispanic TV audience. Rose and others say that, for the most part, that audience speaks English primarily and Spanish as a second language.

The weekly magazine show examines the diverse elements of U.S. Hispanic culture and is designed for cross-over appeal to Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike.

According to Rose, president of Artist and Idea Management, which distributes the show, Urban Latino
will debut Oct.7 in more than 70% of the U.S. Hispanic-household universe. Groups clearing the show include ABC, CBS/UPN, Hearst-Argyle Television, Post-Newsweek, Clear Channel, Tribune, Cox and Emmis.

Rose says that, of the 36 million Hispanics living in the U.S., 21 million were born in the U.S., and most of them are under age 35.

Here's the core of Rose's pitch: "Advertisers can't just buy Spanish-language TV and say they're reaching the entire Latino market. If your target is younger-skewing and you do that, you're missing 25% of the market."

Probably the program's best scheduling spot is at KABC-TV Los Angeles, which plans to air it Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

In Miami, , where 52% of the population is Hispanic, it will air on Viacom's duopoly stations WFOR-TV, a CBS station (where it's stuck at 2:35 a.m. on Saturdays) and UPN station WBFS-TV, a younger-skewing station where it will get a much better 10:30 p.m. slot on Saturdays.

The show's younger-skewing appeal makes it well suited for a UPN affiliate, Rose said.

The show is being offered to stations for barter. He is circumspect on progress to date. "There's a lot interest and a few commitments."

The show is a venture of Rainbow Media Holdings Inc.'s MetroTV cable channel in New York, Urban Latino
magazine, Rose's company and Latino Media Ventures. PMG Media, New York, will sell ad time in the show.

In New York, the show will air on MetroTV, serving 4.4 million subscribers, or roughly half the New York market.