Since taking over as president of Telemundo a little more than a year ago, Emilio Romano (above right) has already put his imprint on the network and its bilingual channel, mun2, as well as on Telemundo digital media. The new Telemundo is highly sensitive to the changing U.S. Latin demographic and increasingly interested in music, as evidenced by multiple new Telemundo ventures. They include “La Voz Kids,” a partnership with Warner Music Latin America to develop new musical talent; the rise of music-themed programming on mun2; and the increasing use of Latin acts within original Telemundo productions. Some thoughts from Romano during his business Q&A with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde.
On the challenges of entertaining today’s Hispanic market: “The Hispanic market is actually two markets: English-language and Spanish-language Hispanics. We’re obsessively focused on the Spanish-dominant half. That market is growing less vigorously than English-language Hispanics, but the problem people are having with that half is that they’re difficult to entertain as ‘Latins,’ since they like their entertainment in English like everyone else.”
On healthy competition: “We welcome stars from other companies. Things like the Billboard Latin Music Awards are bigger than just Telemundo. ‘Frenemies’ are becoming more mainstream. The old passionate enemy style is becoming a little outdated.”
On music’s place in telenovelas: “I don’t want to musicalize telenovelas; I want music to drive novelas.”