CNN’s new face - Monocolumn | Monocle


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2 December 2010

Thirteen years after its launch, CNN en Español (CNN’s Spanish edition for Latin America and the United States, run from the channel’s HQ in Atlanta) has decided to rebrand itself with a bold move. By adding a tilde – a curvy grapheme on top of its red and white logo – the network’s n’s have become enyes, a change that has given the channel a whole new persona, a gallant icon of Spanish nestling over one of America’s most recognised names.

Besides the change in image, the channel will also experience a transformation in content. Novelty programming will include CNN Dinero (exploring markets and business trends), NotiMujer (programming for women) and Europa Hoy (news from Europe), complete with a new lineup of anchors. An investment for new studios, a production team in Miami and HD technology has also been secured for the channel’s development. “Television is dynamic, and we have always been at the forefront of the business. This is a step into the future, maintaining the channel’s essence. We are evolving,” says Luis Carlos Vélez, anchor and producer for CNN en Español.

At a time when CNN’s ratings have been hit hard by the Fox News Network – quantified by a 43 and 42 per cent audience drop in the first quarter of 2010 in Larry King and Anderson Cooper’s shows respectively, two of the channel’s most popular programmes – Turner, CNN’s broadcaster, has chosen to delegate more responsibilities to its younger offspring. And with Spanish on the rise, the overhaul seems to be a buena idea.

Forty-six million residents in the US speak Spanish, 8 million more are studying the language (equalling more Spanish-speakers than in Spain), and it’s expected that by 2050, one in three of its residents will be of Hispanic origins.

“It has been customary in the US to expect ‘minorities’ to assimilate, lose their language after three generations and be absorbed in the wider Anglo culture. It isn’t happening with Latinos. They adapt very well to what it means to live in America, but are also changing the terms of the relationship,” says Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, author of What if Latin America Ruled the World? “Latinos aren’t merely a threat or a promise, or a marketable brand; they are a transformation. America’s face is changing; expect the new one to look more Latin. The US may be the next Latin American country. CNN’s move also means that,” he adds.

The 24-hour Spanish network currently reaches 25 million households throughout Latin America and around 5 million across the United States, a figure that has earned it a respect of its own. So far, CNN en Español has proved to be a good bet, but the makeover results are still to be seen.


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