KCAL9, Saturday 3/30, 7PM
KCBS, Sunday 4/7, 4PM
by Elia Esparza
Sitting at one end of the ¡HOLA LA! table is none other than multiple-Emmy Award winning journalist, Naibe Reynoso!
First things first, how do you pronounce your name?
Naibe: NIE – E – BEH. I believe the origin of my name is Lebanese. Someone once told me it meant ‘female warrior.’ Not sure if that’s really what it means but I like it and sticking to it! However, upon further digging Naibe is derived from the original name Najibe or Najib or Nahibe something like that… my parents knew a Lebanese family and that was the name of one of their daughters names and my mom changed the spelling to Naibe (thank God she picked a “b” and not a “v” LOL).
Any expectations for ¡HOLA LA!?
Naibe: I feel like it’s been such a struggle for Latinas to have a voice on major English- language talk show platforms. I’m hoping ¡HOLA LA! can be that show that the modern Latina has been thirsty for. A show that will give the audience a mix of opinions, viewpoints, and personalities because that’s what the four co-hosts represent! Yes we are all Latinas but we all have our own unique perspectives on issues and in life, and I’m hoping all women can identify themselves in us, because we are not just Latinas, we are also American.
Personally, what does being a part of the ¡HOLA LA! host ensemble mean to you?
Naibe: Wow! It’s a complete honor and a great responsibility to be part of the ¡HOLA LA! host ensemble. I know Bel Hernandez (show creator/co-host and executive producer) has worked for many years trying to get a Latina talk show on a major network and she accomplished her mission! This is her baby, and I feel like I have to work my hardest to see that I give it the respect it deserves. Our voices will be heard by many and what we say can have a tremendous impact on our community, so we need to be informed, know what we are taking about, and have a sense of social responsibility.
Naibe: Yes, there are many other talk shows out there but what makes us different is that we are going to be talking about things from a viewpoint rarely seen on television: a Latina perspective. It still boggles my mind to think that Latinos make up almost 17% of the U.S. population, we are this countries largest minority population and still our opinions don’t seem to count on mainstream media. It seems like when there is a Latina on a network news program, her perspective is watered down, and her participation minimized. In essence it’s hard to find a Latina on a major English-language network that takes front and center on a talk show, news, or morning magazine format. That needs to change. Latina journalists have been relegated to the corner, and nobody puts baby in the corner!
You, go girl! Who would be your dream guest to have on ¡HOLA LA!?
Naibe: Oprah! I would ask her how she was able to break through the barriers that existed for African American broadcasters when she first started, and what advice she can give us to create a paradigm shift that will give Latinas the weight and respect we deserve on network television.
Are you aware that you are an inspiration for many Latinas out there! What would you say to someone who is trying to break into the industry?
Naibe: I would tell them that you really have to be in love with it. Journalism is a career that will probably not make you rich, you will probably get fired from many jobs and you will have to look at any position you have in this business as temporary. Not because I’m a Debbie downer, but our business is very unstable and more so now because with the advancement of technology our industry is going through many changes. Now anyone can set up a podcasting session from their house and even shoot and edit using their iPad and laptop! Old rules do not apply and new ones are being invented every minute, even as I write this sentence! But Journalism is also a wonderful career that can take you to exotic locations and allow you to meet and interview people you admire. You can also make a positive impact in your community.
What is your favorite story that happened during one of the tapings of ¡HOLA LA!?
Naibe: Recently, two incredible things happened during ¡HOLA LA! tapings that I will never forget! I got the chance to go to a coffee plant and get a lesson on coffee tasting. Coffee is my addiction! On another shoot, I got to let loose and interview Grammy award winning band Quetzal! At the end of the interview, I sang with the Band! I couldn’t believe I was singing with a Grammy award winning band! (Needless to say I’m keeping my day job!)
Your favorite inspirational quote… We’re looking for that recipe for success… got one?
Naibe: When you find yourself trying too hard, going against the grain, and feeling like you’re walking thru mud—you have to stop, regroup and think ‘what am I supposed to learn in this moment?’ Then you let go and let life lead you where it may—but in order to be happy you must enjoy the very circumstances you’re surrounded with, count your blessings and tell yourself ‘I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and I’m grateful, and I embrace what God has given me.’ I wrote this a long time ago myself and it helps me through rough patches.
Thanks, Naibe! Keep up with Naibe by reading about her exciting adventures on her popular blog “Naibe Roams L.A.”
Something you may not know about Naibe:
She was on an episode of Oprah in 1995 when she was a production assistant for The Drew Carey Show!
In 2003 (October 9 and 10) she was asked to audition for the position of co-host on ABC TV’s The View. She lost out to Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
Aside from being one of the ¡HOLA LA! co-hosts, she does double duty hosting as a national Spanish morning show on Azteca America called El Cofi Breik. Naibe reports for several outlets including Mamiverse and Fox News Latino on stories ranging from being a mom to entertainment.
Special thanks to Mary Chuy who also contributed to this interview.