Channel 12 unveils newscast in Spanish
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 9, 2006
In response to rapid growth in the Valley's Latino population, Channel 12 (KPNX)
will offer a Spanish version of its 6 o'clock newscast tonight.
Three interpreters will provide live translation of the newscast over the
secondary audio programming (SAP) channel. Most contemporary television sets
include the SAP feature, which allows stations to broadcast an alternative audio
track, and it can be accessed through the remote control.
"In conversations with bilingual viewers, we became convinced that there was an
appetite for 12 News in Spanish," said John Misner, station president-general
manager. KPNX and The Arizona Republic both are owned by Gannett Co. Inc.
Channel 12 is the first Valley station to offer Spanish translation of local
news. Two Spanish-language stations, Univisión affiliate Channel 33 (KTVW) and
Telemundo's Channel 48 (KDRX), offer local news at 5 and 10 p.m.
Loui Olivas, an administrator and business professor at Arizona State
University, said the translated newscast should attract a different audience
than those who view local Spanish stations. Recent immigrants might choose
Univisión or Telemundo, which includes more news from Latin America, while
bilingual viewers and multigenerational households might prefer a different mix.
"It's a new chapter in the ongoing saga of reaching the Hispanic market, with
all its nuances. It's not a homogenous market," said Olivas, who has researched
the Latino market for 16 years.
Channel 12's foray into Spanish newscasting reflects a nationwide growth in
Spanish-language media. In September, ABC began offering its entire prime-time
lineup in Spanish (either dubbed or subtitled). In Phoenix, two additional
Spanish stations have announced plans to launch early this year.
While Channel 12 is responding to the growing Hispanic market, Misner said TV
ratings won't tell him how many viewers are choosing the SAP broad- cast.
"It's one of those things that you know is the right thing to do for a lot of
reasons, and we haven't spent a lot of time thinking about how we're going to
measure it," he said.
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