HOLA! LA Rides the Latina Power Shift to an Imagen Award Nomination

By Vanessa Verduga


KCAL9 made history when it became the first English-language network to broadcast, ¡HOLA! LA an all-Latina POV talk showThey continue to make history as they become the first network to receive an Imagen Award nomination for this talk show hosted by four Latinas, ¡HOLA! LA  is a co-production of Latin Heat Media/CBS Broadcasting, Inc./Los Angeles, California, and has been nominated for Best Informational Program.

On Friday, August 16th, the hosts and production team of ¡HOLA! LA will attend the 28th Imagen Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills to see if their show will walk away with one of the coveted awards.

¡HOLA! LA features four dynamic and talented Latinas as hosts, a once radical of experiment, that is now starting to make noise inside and outside the Latino community. This talk-fest features, Bel Hernandez, award-winning journalist and CEO of Latin Heat Media, Dyana Ortelli, comedienne and actress, Naibe Reynoso, Emmy-winning journalist, and Kikey Castillo, actress and philanthropist.

It seems like a no-brainer that the network would welcome ¡HOLA! LA, a show of progress and of unlimited advertising potential, especially since Hispanics are an important group for marketers, and leading the growth within this vital segment are Latinas, according to a new report recently released by Nielsen (a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy). Nielsen’s report, Latina Power Shift, highlights the role of Hispanic women, their growing numbers, economic condition, purchasing behavior and consumption. Hispanic viewers are going to reach $1.5 trillion spending power by the year 2015. In addition, women are in the majority, reaching 26 of 50 million total viewers.

The Changing Latino-Latina Market

KCAL9/CBS2 President and General Manager, Steve Mauldin had the foresight to understand that a show which represents 16.6% of the U.S. female population was the the way to go, especially in Los Angeles where Latinos make up 49% of the population.

As it would happen, CBS2/KCAL9 took a chance and it paid off nicely with an Imagen nomination and with a big story in the mainstream media. “We know America is ready for a show like ¡HOLA! LA,” says Bel Hernandez. “We started off as a web show [Let’s Talk], got an Imagen Award nom, then we catch the eye of CBS2/KCAL9 brass and become the first TV talk show on English-language broadcast network to feature the Latina POV – and we get another Imagen Award nomination!”

Hernandez goes on to thank the Imagen Awards and Foundation for their long time dedication to honoring not only high profile TV and film projects, but for also embracing Latino independent producers. “What other awards show does this?” asks Hernandez. “I cannot think of one.”

“The network welcomes the background of our Latino perspective, because the end result is a genuinely organic show with a different twist.” – Executive Producer Enrique Castillo

Timing is everything, and ¡HOLA! LA is here because ya era tiempo! As a current Los Angeles local show, ¡HOLA! LA is poised to take advantage of the changing demographics. According to The Latina Power Shift reportLatinas are a key growth engine of the U.S. female population and are expected to become 30 percent of the total female population by 2060. Latinas are outpacing Latino males in their educational pursuits and career development, reporting 73 percent of Hispanic female college enrollment, which is more than Hispanic males at 61 percent and slightly more than non-Hispanic females at 72 percent.

nielsnteasesmallThe report went on to say that “The modern Latina is ‘ambicultural’”, meaning she has the ability to “seamlessly transcend between English and Spanish-language.” This is not only two distinct languages but also two distinct cultures, giving her a prime position in the consumer landscape. Mónica Gil, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations of Nielsen, went on to say, “Latinas are a key driver of economic influence, giving marketers an opportunity to establish new and loyal consumer relationships by acknowledging the needs and following the unique behavior trends of Hispanic women.”

Latinas are also transcending what advertisers have always known as the “nuclear family model.”  In 2011, 23% of all births were to a Latina mom, and 63 percent of Hispanic families have children under the age of 18, significantly higher than non-Hispanic Americans who reported 40 percent. Latinas are also becoming the primary income earners, a whopping 86 percent, which is changing the traditional male-dominated family, or at least evening out the burden of making financial decisions. Important financial decisions that influence advertising; as in purchasing food and groceries, insurance, electronics and appliances and healthcare.

Perhaps the most significant news is the fact that Latinas embrace this ambicultural role, and that 71 percent actually feel more “American” while 50 percent feel distinctly Latina. Indeed, this is a progressive trend in television and media and it directly affects advertisers, who must now adjust their campaigns to reflect the prominence of Latina culture.

Four Opinionated, Entertaining Latinas Speaking English!

¡HOLA! LA is nominated for an Imagen Award in the category of Best Local Informational Program along with four other excellent programs: #LAPREPA (Time Warner Cable Deportes/Los Angeles, CA), Families Matter: Getting Ready for College (KLCS-TV/Los Angeles, CA), NBC4 Life Connected Hispanic Heritage Month Special (KNBC-TV/Los Angeles, CA), and Vista L.A. (ABC7/Los Angeles, CA).

“This show is super special…I am very honored to be working with all these incredibility talented group of people. I’ve worked with Bel on different projects for the past handful of years and I keep coming back. ¡HOLA! LA has been able to crack the door open!” – Producer Lorena Alvarado

Sitting at the ¡HOLA! LA table are four exceptional women who have each earned their spot through their sheer perseverance and accomplishments working in a male-dominated non-Latina industry:

HOLA Ladies:  Kikey Castillo, Bel Hernandez, Dyana Ortelli and Naibe Neynoso
HOLA Ladiesat the ALMA Awards: Kikey Castillo, Bel Hernandez, Dyana Ortelli and Naibe Neynoso


Bel Hernandez, Publisher/Executive Producer is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Latin Heat Media. Bel is considered the Godmother for Latinos in entertainment for her pioneering work in founding Latin Heat, the entertainment trade publication highlighting the accomplishment of Latinos in Hollywood since 1992 and in addition producing one of the most successful entertainment conference in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Her focus has always been creating content by Latinos and about Latinos for universal audiences.

Dyana Ortelli, Comedienne/HAC… a Host, Actress and Comedienne. Dyana is one of the most visible and outspoken Latinas in Hollywood. She has appeared in countless television and film roles including her guest-starring roles in Saving Grace and the iconic films La Bamba, Born in East L.A., and Luminarias. Dyana more recently co-starred in the highly acclaimed web telenovela series Sin Verguenza which is also nominated for two Imagen Awards.

“I’d love for us to become a daily national show: ¡HOLA! U.S.A. has a nice ring to it! I hope we can address a wide range of topics and shine a bright spotlight on our Latino celebrities as well as our leaders—from Eva Longoria to Sonia Sotomayor!” – Dyana Ortelli

Naibe Reynoso, Journalist, an Emmy Award-winning on-air broadcaster whose multilingual background includes investigative reporting, TV production and entertainment/lifestyle reporter. She is currently also a host on TV Azteca’s morning show, Cofi Briek, and has a weekly radio segment on Caracol Radio in Miami. To say she’s one busy lady is an understatement.

 “On a personal level, I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this group of amazing women who collectively all contribute to this important and coveted platform for the Latina perspective.” – Naibe Reynoso

Kikey Castillo, Actress, who is also a philanthropist and the resident Sex in the City Gal! Kikey also serves as an entertainment host for LatinHeat.com and Latinobud.com covering some of Hollywood’s biggest events. She believes in paying it forward and frequently volunteers at some of her favorite non-profit organizations such as Los Angeles Music & Art School, Raising Latino Literacy Campaign, Young Storytellers, and Much Love Animal Rescue, among others.

“What excites me the most about working on HOLA LA! is the fact that the show is being watched by English-speaking Latinos, especially the women who like ourselves on the show are part of the acculturated Latino women who are outspending the general market!” – Kikey Castillo

¡HOLA! LA is proving itself to be the Latina connected show, the guardian of Latino culture, and a feminist-friendly show run by women who today consume the English-language media. In the words of the Latin Heat Media Institute, “Let’s empower our community and support this show!”

Now is the time for advertisers to use this show and reach a huge part of the Latino—and Latina market—by supporting a show that is destined to grow into a mainstream cross culture hit!

Watch the PILOT here.

¡HOLA! LA Pilot, Aired October 12, 2012
Show Creators: Bel Hernandez, Enrique Castillo, Latin Heat Media
Executive Producers: Bel Hernandez, Enrique Castillo, Otto Petersen (CBS2/KCAL9)
Producer: Dan Guerrero
Director: Manny Lujan

Associate Producer: Lorena Alvarado

Writer: Elia Esparza
Special Thanks to Olivia Campos-Bergeron, CBS2/KCAL9



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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).

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