Telemundo changes stations, UPN joins Valley lineup - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Telemundo changes stations, UPN joins Valley lineup

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Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 1999 12:00 am

By VILMA MALDONADO

McALLEN Local Spanishlanguage television watchers will have to change their

channel surfing habits, but wont lose any programming as two stations get new

network affiliations.

After 13 years, XRIO Channel 2s broadcasting contract with Spanish Network

Telemundo expires May 1.

The station will now be affiliated with UPN (United Paramount Network), which

belongs to Paramount Pictures.

Our contract with Telemundo was not renewed because of low ratings, said

Eddie Gongora, XRIOs general manager. And we will be transmitting in

English, so we are becoming another option for the Valley.

Meanwhile, Telemundo will reappear in June as KTLM-TV Channel 40.

XRIO plans to broadcast a combination of movies and serials, but no soap

operas. Some of the movies will have Spanish subtitles.

We are bringing back some oldies shows which have never been seen in the

Valley, Gongora said. We will broadcast something to keep everybody

entertained, especially on Saturday and Sunday, when TV is packed with mostly

sporting events.

On Jan. 1, 1997 TCI Cablevision dropped Telemundo because of poor reception.

When we lost cable and started losing ratings we had some layoffs, but I will

be refilling these positions, Gongora said.

We dont feel that the Valley is going to lose anything. Instead, we believe

it will gain a full-time English station because Telemundo will still be

present, Gongora said.

Construction of the Telmundo-affiliated KTLM television studio continues on

the McAllen Texas State Banks seventh floor.

Telemundo will celebrate two cultures, the Mexican and American, said Ron

Oliveira, the stations chief operating officer and one of the owners of

Sunbelt Multi Media of Rio Grande City.

Im looking forward to redefining the way Spanish programming is viewed in

the world. Were in a unique place because we can enjoy both cultures.

Negotiations continue with cable company Time Warner Communications as to

where Telemundo will be positioned on cable.

We hope to be on the air in June. We are constructing a 1,900-foot tower with

a powerful transmitter and it will be digital-ready to prepare for the high

definition television of the new era, Oliveira said.

Oliveira said the Valley is the eighth-largest Hispanic market in the nation,

and Telemundo will provide unique programming that will be a great resource

for information and entertainment

The network will be heavily involved in the community and participate in

community affairs, he said.

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