Sad news for Latin media: the American Latino Media Arts Award, better known as the ALMA Awards, will not be airing in 2015. The awards show, produced by the National Council of La Raza, launched in 1995 with a focus on “improving Latino representation and opportunities in entertainment, both behind the scenes and in the limelight.”
Media Moves has a statement from NCLR's Delia de la Vara that suggests the awards show may be brought back in a different way in the future. “We recognize that a lot has changed in the media and entertainment industry since our 1994 report, ‘Out of the Picture, Hispanics in the Media’ and the 1995 launch of the NCLR ALMA Awards," says de la Vara. "The industry continues to change every day in how people produce media and entertainment, and where they access it. We are taking the time to step back and think about what’s changed since 1995 -- to think about our role and how Latinos participate in this new environment, and reassess the right course for the ALMAs going forward… We look forward to sharing more with you on the future direction of the ALMAs at NCLR over the course of the next year, so stay tuned.”
Initially called The Bravo Awards, the ALMAs were born from a research study conducted by the NCLR and the Center for Media and Public Affairs that pointed out “the lack of quantity and quality of representation that Latinos received in the media.” Then a relatively new face on the scene, Jennifer Lopez was the first host, along with veteran actor Jimmy Smits.
It’s not the first time the ALMAs have gone dark. After first airing on Fox in 1995, they skipped a year and aired again on the network in 1997. From 1998 to 2001, and again from 2007 to 2009, they enjoyed a successful run on ABC, before moving over to NBC, and finally, MSNBC. In the mid-'00s, they were revived with the help of Eva Longoria, who signed on as executive producer and host. In 2014, Longoria once again took on hosting duties with the help of Mario Lopez. That same year, the ALMAs celebrated their quinceañera, marking the show's 15th edition on the air.