Adam Aguilar, the head of CNN en Español’s broadcast business, shares his insights on the Spanish-language TV industry

The ability to spot the trend is a must if you want to stay ahead of the game. That was the key lesson learned from Adam Aguilar, VP of CNN en Español, as he took part in an exclusive roundtable discussion on the channel’s business with Bridget Sloan, co-founder and senior advisor of Idea Global Partners, Scott Monty, head of corporate communications for Verizon Media and Luis Ramirez, Chairman & CEO of Grupo Formula Global. Adam shared his insights on the broadcasting industry.

The first question was about local news. From what he knew, CNN en Español doesn’t have a monopoly on the entertainment genre. That’s the same where CNN is positioned as a global network. If there’s room for a local news channel, so be it. “It’s a good business to be in,” he said. “It’s not something that we’re going to get exclusive on. We want to give our viewers what they want to see.”

He explained that the channel has to go deeper into local market, touching on different things, including special projects and lifestyle shows. These are the things that local audiences will like, and that can be a good anchor point for CNN en Español to compete in the genre.

Another example is primetime entertainment shows. During his stint at the scene of the crime, Suarez will host his own primetime show, produced and produced by Orci. This is CNN en Español’s first-ever Hollywood-produced show for English and Spanish. It will feature authentic stories and entertainment stories, but the focus will be on the social, political and international angles to these stories.

“Now, when you think of primetime entertainment, people are thinking of English,” Aguilar explained. “But if there is a slice of the American market that isn’t interested in English, we want to focus on the Hispanic TV population, which are mostly from Latin America. We want to bridge the gap between English and Spanish.”

The guest said the toughest aspect about breaking into a market like the United States with a Spanish-language network is making sure that the content is translated correctly. In order to do this, the network will hire writers and producers from the same backgrounds as the main English audience.

“The main thing for us is getting the two cultures to cooperate. We’re going to translate this content to speak to the English language. We want it to be authentic to our audience,” he said.

As for the emerging economies of Latin America, Adam said there is “still room for growth” in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Those places have their own varied views on what’s important to different audiences. Now, they’ll have to seek the guidance of CNN en Español.

Read the full interview with Aguilar.

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