D.C. News Program a Success in Spanish and English

washingtondcA million Latinos living in the Washington, D.C., area can watch a half-hour news/public affairs show tailored just for them. In Spanish and/or English.

The show is called Hispanic Agenda in English, Agenda in Spanish, and is Washington’s only bilingual news program. Recorded weekly at WJLA, the ABC affiliate, Agenda airs entirely in English on Washington’s NewsChannel 8 cable channel (co-owned with WJLA), and then entirely in Spanish on Telemundo affil WZDC.

The program features bilingual anchor Alejandro Negron, as well as a team of bilingual reporters from WJLA and WZDC, and all guests and panelists are also bilingual.

The partnership began when both WJLA and WZDC were media sponsors for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure. “During that time,” said Abby Fenton, WJLA’s director of community relations, “we realized that we both had a very similar mission to be hyper-local.” “We recognized that it would make great business sense from both a content and sales prospective to join forces. We were intrigued by which clients that were solely on one station might be interested in exposure on both if we combined forces to sell advertising packages. For the next 10 months to a year, we began to have meetings to brainstorm a program that would be mutually beneficial in regards to sales revenue but also interesting to both television audiences.”

Hispanic Agenda launched in June of 2013. “It’s become a showcase for local businesses,” Nicole Quiroga, general manager of WZDC. “We have found this partnership to be extremely valuable, impactful and increasingly successful.”

But it’s a challenging feat to do the program bilingually. The program presents critical analysis and in-depth interviews with key community leaders, business owners, government officials and special guests. Topics range from education, immigration, jobs, domestic violence, the economy and health care. To see all episodes produced so far, click here.

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