Want Latino News in English? Go to 'Exclusiva'
English-speaking Latinos are getting their news from "Exclusiva."
"Exclusiva," a news program on ABC News Now, is presenting stories on the Latino community that you would be hard-pressed to find on other network shows. That's because "Exclusiva" is the only show dedicated to providing English news on the Latino diaspora.
The brainchild of David Puente, who is the show's creator, anchor and producer, "Exclusiva" reaches ABC viewers through ABC News Now, a 24-hour news and information network available to nearly 34 million users across cable, broadband and mobile services.
"Millions of Hispanics are coming up English-dominant and they want to hear in English what's going on in Mexico [and other Latin American countries], whether it's movies or natural disasters," says Puente.
"Exclusiva" features stories about pet massacres in Puerto Rico, the deadly 7.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile, or Mexican and Caribbean undocumented people moving from the United States to Canada.
Puente, an ABC News veteran who was once a producer on "20/20," told the story of hundreds of Mexican and Caribbean undocumented people, who have lived and had children in the United States, moving to Canada. They move for fear that they'll be sent back to their home countries by the United States' beefed-up policing of undocumented workers.
Canada's Windsor city is seeing its city services for these people, many of whom now are homeless, reported "Exclusiva." In Canada, undocumented people are claiming refugee status, said Ronna Warsh of Windsor Social Services.
These people include Yanick Samedi, an undocumented worker from Haiti, who has lived in the United States for 15 years. Samedi has four U.S.-born children and moved to Windsor, Canada, with her children to claim refugee status. Windsor housed the Samedis in a local hotel, "Exclusiva" reported.
The in-flow of undocumented people in Windsor caused the local Salavation Army to prepare extra beds in the gym. For some Windsorians, who rely on the nation's public services, the influx is a problem.
"A Canadian sleeping on the floor and a Mexican with mattresses, with blankets and stuff, and the Mexicans get to sleep up in the palace up in beds and play their ghetto music. It's not right," "Exclusiva" reported a Canadian man as saying.
"I wanted to provide this kind of information from ABC News to people like me," says Puente.
Puente got the idea to create "Exclusiva" while he was a producer on "20/20." ABC News Now was looking for new content, so he pitched his idea. Originally from Newark, N.J., Puente remembers being a kid and rarely hearing news about the Latino community. He remembers an evening when Barbara Walters interviewed Fidel Castro.
"I remember the buzz in my Hispanic community about what Castro was going to say," says Puente. "Fidel Castro was almost the Saddam Hussein of the 1970s. For me, it was important because someone important was paying attention to the Hispanic world. It was top-rated news we couldn't get on Univision."
That interview influenced Puente to become a television news reporter. When ABC News Now said it wanted new content, he realized he had an opportunity to create a new product that would engage English-speaking Latinos.
"Whether it's politics, or Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony talking about their new film, or whether it's Vincente Fox [Mexico's former president] talking about corruption charges, a lot of young Hispanics are feeling there's someone telling me in English what my mom and dad are talking about in Spanish," says Puente.
"Exclusiva," like the Latino consumer, is poised to become a force in the way the public consumes news. Podcasts are one way people can view "Exclusiva" reports, and of English-speaking Latinos, 70.9 percent use mobile content, compared with 47.9 percent of the rest of the U.S. market, according to M-Metrics.
English-speaking Latinos are also more likely to get their news through a mobile browser, 18.8 percent compared with 9.6 percent of all subscribers, reported M-Metrics. "This pattern of above-average, active, engaged usage of mobile content is present in almost all activities, from ringtone purchases, photo messaging and trading video to frequently using mobile phones to access a wide array of news," reported M-Metrics.
ABCNews.com, which also features "Exclusiva," is seeing an increase in traffic, although numbers directly linked to "Exclusiva" viewership were not available. ABCnews.com increased unique visitors by 21 percent, to 15.7 million in October 2007, versus the same time last year. It also received 150.8 million page views, up 19 percent from the previous month and 9 percent year-over-year, reported ABC.
Puente sees that "Exclusiva" is developing market awareness among young, upwardly mobile English-speaking Latinos.
"One of the big segments [of viewers] that e-mails me are students at universities," says Puente, who attributes that to the unique coverage "Exclusiva" has. "It's the only program of its type at any of the U.S. networks. We're the only one covering this part of the world in this way, in English. From the e-mails I've been getting … I think we're getting younger Hispanics and people who are interested in international news.'"