People to Meet: Emilio Romano, Telemundo

Emilio Romano
President, Telemundo Media

Emilio Romano has been the boss of NBC-backed US-Hispanic network Telemundo since last October. As president, Telemundo Media, he oversees the core Telemundo network as well as the company’s international, digital and news and sports divisions. His remit also extends to mun2, the youth-skewed cable net. Romano’s previous experience includes a stint at Televisa, where he was in charge of the Mexican company’s mergers and acquisitions. He also has experience of the US Hispanic TV market, having served on the board of Univision. A Miami resident, Romano will be speaking at NATPE.

TBI: The profile and spending power of the US Hispanic population is growing at a tremendous rate – how will Telemundo capitalise upon that and differentiate itself from its rival US Hispanic and other broadcast networks?
ER: Telemundo’s strategy is simple and clear: to remain relevant to the evolving and vibrant US Hispanic audience. The production of original content is a critical element of our overall strategy and our audience is responding. In 2011 Telemundo delivered its best primetime ratings performance in the network history and ended the year as the fastest-growing broadcast network year-over-year, regardless of language.

TBI: What role will original, as opposed to acquired, programming play in Telemundo’s growth?
ER: The ability to create our own content is a main differentiator for Telemundo and a driver of our growth. Hispanics in the US want content that appeals to them, relates to their experiences, entertains them and informs them. We are the only Spanish-language network in the US that produces its own original novelas. Having control of the content allows us to remain relevant to our audience which explains the success of our original productions such as La Reina del Sur, Donde Esta Elisa? and, more recently, Una Maid en Manhattan.

TBI: What are your targets for 2012?
ER: Our goal for 2012 is to increase the volume and quality of our productions and continue to strengthen our position in the international market. We will be more active than ever in developing synergies to create international coproductions given that Telemundo is the only company in the US Hispanic media market with real capacity to coproduce with multiple companies globally.

With a clear strategy anchored in providing our audience with the relevant and compelling content they want, when they want it and where they want it, Telemundo will continue to build on its successes and strengthen its leadership position in  the US and international markets.

TBI: There is huge interest in digital media and services – how important is it for Telemundo to reach out to its target audience beyond the TV screen?
ER: Extremely important. As content producers, we know that as long as we create compelling content, our viewers are going to find it. US Hispanics are evolving quickly and over-index across all digital metrics. We want to make sure our content is available in as many ways as possible, traveling from one platform to the other in a seamless 360° Telemundo “experience.”

TBI: You are speaking at NATPE – what will be your message to delegates?
ER: That with the support of NBC Universal and fueled by the impressive growth of the US Hispanic market, Telemundo is poised for tremendous growth. The network redefined the industry landscape when it launched its unique original content model over eight years ago, establishing itself as the number one producer of primetime Spanish language content in the US and the second-largest provider of Spanish language content around the world.