Telemundo Puerto Rico (TV channel)

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This article is about the cable channel. For the parent television station in San Juan, Puerto Rico that is branded as "Telemundo Puerto Rico", see WKAQ-TV.
Telemundo Puerto Rico
Launched December 1, 1994 (1994-12-01)
Network Telemundo (2006–present)
Owned by NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Latin America
Language Spanish
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters San Juan, Puerto Rico
Formerly called Telenoticias (1994–1996)
CBS TeleNoticias (1996–2000)
Sister channel(s) Telemundo
Syfy Latin America
Syfy Universal Spain
Available on select U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability

Telemundo Puerto Rico (also known as Telemundo Internacional) is an Latin American basic cable and satellite television network that is owned by the NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content subsidiary of NBCUniversal, which operates as a superstation feed of San Juan, Puerto Rico television station WKAQ-TV (channel 2). Telemundo Puerto Rico carries a variety of programs, consisting mainly of select programs from the Telemundo national schedule, along with local programming (including newscasts and infotainment programs) originally produced for broadcast in Puerto Rico on WKAQ-TV.


Origins as Telenoticias[edit]

Early years (1994–1998)[edit]

Telemundo Puerto Rico traces its history to June 1, 1993, when Telemundo Group (then owned by investment firm Reliance Capital) announced that it would launch a 24-hour Spanish-language cable news channel that would be distributed in Latin America, Spain and the United States; at the time of the announcement, Telemundo was in the midst of negotiations with Reuters and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to become partners in the planned network, which it initially scheduled a target launch for later that year. Telemundo planned to use resources from Reuters Television and BBC World Service Television to provide content for international news stories, with BBC contributing its the BBC Latin America Service's international newscasts and analysis programs.[1][2]

While the BBC ultimately did not partner in the network, Reuters (which acquired a 42% interest) would reach an agreement to develop the network with Telemundo (which also maintained a 42% stake). Three other media companies acquired interests in the new venture, Argentinan publishing and broadcasting owner Grupo Clarín (which owned 8%) and Spain-based Antena 3 (which owned the remaining 8%).[3][4][5]

On January 25, 1994, the partners announced that the service would be named Telenoticias.[1] The network launched on December 1, 1994, becoming the second 24-hour news channel to serve Latin America that was headquartered in the region (Canal de Noticias NBC, a venture launched by eventual Telemundo parent NBC on March 15, 1993,[3] was the first, as it operated from the Charlotte, North Carolina facilities of the NBC News Channel affiliate video service). Telenoticias – which broadcast its programming in Spanish and Portuguese – was operated out of Telemundo's headquarters in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, Florida. In addition to distribution on cable and satellite television, some Telenoticias programming was also carried by television stations in certain U.S. markets, including KUBD (now Ion Television owned-and-operated station KPXC-TV) in Denver; WSNS-TV in Chicago (which otherwise operated as a Telemundo owned-and-operated station); and KQBN-LP (now Azteca affiliate KUDF-LP) in Tucson, Arizona.[6] Anchors employed by the channel during this time included Marian de la Fuente, Jose Gray, Carlos Maria Ruiz, Rodrigo Vera, Pablo Gato and Susana Roza Vigil.

CBS ownership (1996–1998)[edit]

CBS TeleNoticias logo used from 1997 to 2000.

From the beginning, all five of the network's owners did not maintain a smooth relationship, disagreeing on Telenoticias' management and content; ultimately, the partners opted to sell of the network. In late June 1996, the companies sold Telenoticias to CBS, marking the company's first cable television venture since it ran the short-lived arts-oriented network CBS Cable (which it eventually named its new cable division) in the early 1980s. By this point, Telenoticias was available to 20 million households in 22 countries.[7]

Following the closure of the CBS purchase, the network was rebranded CBS Telenoticias on January 1, 1997. As part of the sale agreement, Telemundo entered into an agreement to outsource production responsilibities for the Telemundo network's national news program, Noticiero Telemundo, whose main anchor Raul Peimbert subsequently joined Telenoticias; the deal allowed CBS Telenoticias to produce the two weeknight-only newscasts, which aired at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time (the latter having been moved into prime time as part of a programming realignment that removed an hour of telenovelas from the network's evening schedule to accommodate the move of local newscasts on Telemundo stations into the 10:00 p.m. hour), replacing an existing production agreement with CNN. The network also began utilizing resources from CBS Newspath to provide story content to supplement the newscasts, and based a small unit of reporters at the affiliate news service's headquarters in Washington, D.C. The network expanded its distribution into the United States in the fall of 1997,[8] with the launch of a service that emphasized news content focusing on the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico that launched on the same date as CNN en Español; the U.S. service featured two issues-focused talk shows, along with rolling newscasts.

In late 1997, CBS Telenoticias began providing news programming content to Radio Unica, a radio network that launched in December of that year as the first nationally distributed Spanish-language radio network in the United States.[9]

In 1997, CBS launch a Brazilian version of the channel, CBS Telenotícias (differing slightly from the standarized name, due to its use of a diacritic mark above the first "i" in "Telenoticias"), which broadcast for 14 hours of programming per day. The network gained a major coup early on, when it reached an agreement with Jornal do SBT to share content resources. However, it faced a major setback when Net Brasil – a major cable provoder owned as a joint venture between several of that country's major media companies – refused to carry the channel, possibly due to a preference to exclusively carry the Rede Globo-owned news channel GloboNews.[10] In addition, the channel's launch was delayed several months as the satellite that was to transmit CBS Telenotícias, PanAmSat 5 – which went into orbit in August 1997 – did not become fully operational until October 12, and cable providers obtained satellite receivers to receive the signal beamed from PanAmSat 5 later than expected.

Bankruptcy, and sales to Grupo Medcom and Telemundo (1998–2000)[edit]

During the first quarter of 1998 alone, Telenoticias and fellow CBS Cable-owned channel Eye on People lost a combined $9 million in revenue.[11] In late 1998, CBS sold a 70% interest in the channel to Mexican-based Grupo Medcom, a concern operated by the Serna family; under the deal, CBS continued to provide news content resources through CBS Newspath (CBS also sold its stake in Eye on People to Discovery Communications, which subsequently rebranded the network as Discovery People[12]). Financial problems ultimately trickled into Telenoticias' operations; by July 1999, some of the telephones at one of the network's news bureaus were disconnected, employees received salary paychecks later than scheduled; and reimbursements were never paid out. By the end of that month, CBS Telenoticias laid off 77 staffers; several days later, the network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[13] Despite the filing, the network gained affiliations with a few low-power television stations, such as K19BW (now KLEG-CD) in Dallas.

CBS sold its stake in Telenoticias to Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media in February 2000 for $2.35 million; the deal was approved in federal bankruptcy court, placing Telenoticias back under the auspices of Telemundo, which Sony and Liberty acquired months after Telenoticias' sale to CBS.[14][15]

Reformatting as Telemundo Internacional (2000–2006)[edit]

In September 2000, the network changed its name to Telemundo Internacional, abandoning its original focus as a news channel to convert into a bilingual general entertainment network. At that time, the rebranded network began airing programs from the Telemundo broadcast network and later, its sister cable channel mun2; it also carried some shows produced by the Telemundo Internacional production division, such as the talk shows Hoy en América ("Today in America") and América en vivo ("America Live") as well as four daily newscasts – some of which were rebroadcast on Telemundo, including a Mexico City-based late-night program Noticiero Telemundo Internacional (which ran on the Telemundo network until its cancellation in 2011, and aired as a substitute for local newscasts on some of the network's broadcast affiliates). Senior anchor Marian de la Fuente was the last anchor to also serve as the managing editor for its news operation.

In 2005, Telemundo reduced news programming on the cable network and dropped the mun2 shows; it then began to air some older telenovelas produced by Colombian production company RTI, which maintained a content partnership with Telemundo that included co-production agreements for some telenovelas seen on the broadcast network.

As Telemundo Puerto Rico (2006–present)[edit]

Despite losing some of its national coverage when satellite provider Dish Network replaced the network with CNN En Español, Telemundo Internacional continued in its existing format until early 2006, when the network was reformatted as Telemundo Puerto Rico, converting into a superstation feed of the San Juan, Puerto Rico station that its parent broadcast network lent its name from, WKAQ-TV (channel 2); the conversion was done in order to compete with another San Juan station, independent station WAPA-TV (channel 4), which was preparing to launch a national superstation feed of its own. That same year, Dish Network added Telemundo Puerto Rico back to its lineup on channel 837; as of 2013, the channel is once again no longer available on Dish Network.

Later that year, Telemundo Puerto Rico parent NBC Universal announced a corporate restructuring plan – known as NBCU 2.0 – that resulted in the reduction of costs and layoffs of company employees at several divisions.[16] Telemundo faced some of the most severe effects from the cutbacks through the reduction of local news content and staff at its owned-and-operated stations, with WKAQ-TV in particular cancelling the morning, afternoon and weekend editions of its local newscasts, titled Telenoticias, on December 1, 2006 (with simulcasts of those programs on Telemundo Puerto Rico being discontinued as a result).


Telemundo Puerto Rico's programming slate relies primarily on a variety of programming from the main Telemundo network schedule, consisting mainly of telenovelas, sports, talk and variety series and feature films. The network also carries simulcasts of most local news and enterainment programs that air on WKAQ-TV in the San Juan market, including the weekday 11:00 a.m., 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. editions of its Telenoticias newscasts; the hour-long afternoon gossip and analysis program Dando Candela; the 90-minute midday entertainment program Dia a Dia ("Day by Day") and the half-hour cooking show Operación Chef ("Operation: Chef").

Telemundo Puerto Rico does not carry any traditional advertising; breaks within programs consist largely of public service announcements (which comprise 90% of breaks), along with promotions for Telemundo Puerto Rico programs and video travelogues from the Puerto Rico Convention and Vistors Bureau (both of which make up 5% of the breaks).


  1. ^ a b "Telemundo Plans Spanish News Service". Los Angeles Times (Times Mirror Company). Reuters. June 2, 1993. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ Janet Stilson (June 7, 1993). "Telemundo joins net news race - Spanish style". Multichannel News. Fairchild Publications. Retrieved November 14, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. 
  3. ^ a b "Westinghouse Seeks Purchase". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). May 24, 1996. p. 6. 
  4. ^ "Company Town Annex". Los Angeles Times (Times Mirror Company). January 26, 1994. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Telemundo, Reuters and three Spanish-language broadcasters". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. January 31, 1994. Retrieved November 14, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. 
  6. ^ Robert Elliott (April 15, 1996). "TV news station geared for upper-income Hispanics". Inside Tucson Business (Wick Communications). pp. 12–13. 
  7. ^ Lee Hall (July 1, 1996). "TeleNoticias buy puts CBS into cable". Electronic Media. pp. 1–2. 
  8. ^ Lee Hall (March 10, 1997). "TeleNoticias plans U.S. launch". Electronic Media. p. 44. 
  9. ^ Jeffery Zbar (September 29, 1997). "U.S.' first national Spanish radio net readied for launch". Advertising Age (Crain Communications). p. 56. 
  10. ^ Mike Galetto (November 24, 1997). "Brazil squeeze for TeleNoticias". Electronic Media. pp. 8–9. 
  11. ^ "At press time". 'Electronic Media. May 4, 1998. pp. 1–2. 
  12. ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; CBS Is Selling Stake in Venture". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. December 31, 1998. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Dan Trigoboff (August 2, 1999). "Telenoticias files Chapter 11". Broadcasting & Cable. p. 7. 
  14. ^ Mary Sutter (February 2, 2000). "Telemundo buys CBS/Telenoticias". Daily Variety (Cahners Business Information). p. 4. 
  15. ^ "A federal bankruptcy judge last week approved the sale of 24-hour Spanish and Portuguese-language news channel CBS/Telenoticias to Spanish language Telemundo network". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. February 7, 2000. Retrieved November 14, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. 
  16. ^ David Lieberman; Peter Johnson; Gary Levin (October 19, 2006). "NBC Universal plans cost cuts, layoffs". USA Today (Gannett Company). 

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