The big story at this year’s Northern California Emmys was the number of awards won by Spanish language stations. Sacramento Univision station KUVS Channel 19 took home 13 Emmys at Saturday’s awards presentation at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, more than any other station. KPIX CBS5 and KNTV NBC11 tied for second with 11. KGO ABC7 and KQED each won seven. KRON, KTVU and KSTS each had two.

The most honored individual was Santiago Lucero (pictured), a reporter for KUVS, who won five Emmys. (If you’re wondering how good of a reporter Lucero is, read this from the Sacramento Bee.) Lucero was followed by KPIX CBS5 investigative reporter Anna Werner and KUVS photographer Albert Garcia, who had four each.

Here’s a link to a list of all of the winners.

This Washington Post article by former LA Times staff wrier Joe Matthews may help to explain why the Spanish language stations did so well:

    As English-language news organizations — desperate to stop the declines of their audiences and ad revenues — cut back on news-gathering, they devote their time and resources to entertainment, celebrities, pets and crime (or, best of all, stories that combine all four). But Spanish-language TV producers, who serve a clearly defined, growing audience, have space to tackle weightier topics.

    The result: The sharpest coverage of state and local issues — government, politics, immigration, labor, economics, health care — is now found on Spanish-language TV. They compete hard on serious stories. As a labor reporter for the Los Angeles Times in 2006, the only competitors I routinely saw at major union stories were reporters for KMEX, KVEA and La Opinion, a Spanish-language daily newspaper. These outlets tell their viewers more about how the state and the region work, they are more persistent in demanding explanations from public officials, and their reports routinely include more interviews with more sources from more perspectives.

    The Spanish-language TV broadcasts are, for lack of a better word, more American.

Matthews kept track of the content of both the English and Spanish language newscasts.

    On a recent night, KVEA [Telemundo] did eight minutes on the Iraq war, spent five minutes on deplorable working conditions in Southern California car washes and had reports on narco-traffickers and the latest key legislation in the state legislature and Los Angeles City Hall. Meanwhile, the CBS affiliate had a reporter doing a trend piece on “night spas” that are open until midnight, and ABC was running an item on high-tech fitness equipment.

In the Bay Area, the No. 1 news station at 6 p.m. has long been KDTV Channel 14, the Univision affiliate, beating Channels 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11 in both total ratings and viewers in the 18-to-34 demo.

SF Press Club News

One Comment

  1. Pretty sad,

    KTVU used to win Emmys right and left for reporting. This year just two and none for reporting, very sad and pathetic.

    It’s good to see however that Spanish language stations are finding their niche.

    Perhaps the future for all serious journalists will be in reporting hard news to niche markets.

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