WAPA América Puts Hour-Long Newscast in Primetime

WAPA América has opted to provide Spanish-language television viewers with a primetime option other than a telenovela or live sports.

In doing so, the network has opted for the original reality programming -- news.

As of Oct. 27, WAPA América  is airing a 60-minute newscast at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT). Noticiero America, produced by WAPA-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will air exclusively on WAPA América. The newscast will put a special emphasis on news from Puerto Rico, in addition to stories of particular interest to Hispanics across the U.S.

"WAPA has the most advanced news technology in Puerto Rico and an award-winning news team that produces the most news on the island," WAPA Television president Jose E. Ramos said. "We saw the opportunity to leverage our unparalleled resources to produce a high-caliber national news program that caters to the unique interests of U.S. Hispanics."

Alan Sokol, president of WAPA parent Hemisphere Media Group, added: “Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Hispanic group in the U.S., and this is the first news program produced in Puerto Rico tailored for U.S. viewers. This underscores Hemisphere's commitment to innovate and invest in original programming which appeals to U.S. Hispanic audiences."

Veteran Puerto Rican journalists Pedro Rosa Nales and Monika Candelaria will co-anchor the program, which will feature special reporting from Guillermo Jose Torres Jr. and sports updates from Kefren Velazquez. Veteran meteorologist Deborah Martorell will present weather updates for key U.S. cities.

Launched in the U.S. a decade ago, WAPA América airs approximately 75 hours per week of original news and entertainment programming, as well as Puerto Rican feature films and telenovelas and coverage from Puerto Rico's basketball league.

In other WAPA América news, the has acquired the exclusive rights from Puerto Rico’s public television network, Puerto Rico TV, the locally produced programs Puertorriqueñisimo, Así Canta Puerto Rico and El Show de Chucho. Puertorriqueñisimo is a travel and history show that celebrates the spirit of Puerto Rico’s most iconic cities and landscapes and will air Saturdays at 6 p.m. (ET); Así Canta Puerto Rico focuses on Puerto Rico’s rich music heritage and will air Sundays at 8 p.m. (ET). Led by entertainer Armando “Chucho” Avellanet, El Show de Chucho features a rotating cast of singers, actors and comedians improvising alongside Chucho’s larger-than-life stage presence. The program will air Sundays at 9 p.m. (ET).

Each of the weekly shows are scheduled to premiere the weekend of Nov. 22.

“WAPA America is committed to acquiring the best local shows to complement our more than 70 hours a week of original programming” WAPA América vice president of programming Jimmy Arteaga said. “Adding these beloved cultural programs to our lineup helps keep the Puerto Rican community in the U.S. well-connected to their homeland.”