The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) is pleased to announce the winner of its 2022 Broadcast Historian Award is Craig Allen, Arizona State University, for his book, Univision, Telemundo and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States.
The book is the first comprehensive history of U.S. Spanish-language television. Drawing from ten years of archival research, original interviews, and exploration, it reveals the inside story behind the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo, how they fought enormous odds, and finally rose as giants of mass communication in the English-speaking United States. The book argues that scholars’ study and understanding only of English-language television has hidden a key dimension of U.S. mass media, that they are extensively and endemically internationalized. Much of the book traces the rise of Mexican broadcast pioneer Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, who founded Univision as the U.S.’s fourth television network only a few years after the beginning of TV on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Chapters go on to recount events that demonstrate that, despite attracting virtually no attention or pursuit among U.S. media scholars, Mexico’s powerful Azcárraga dynasty fundamentally influenced and shaped the development of television in the U.S. The history further unfolds with exploration of numerous American figures who directed the emergences of Univision and Telemundo. Although unknown in media literature, here identified and delved for first time, they are among the U.S. mass media’s foremost pioneers. The account reiterates the endurance, innovation, and popularity of Spanish-language television, and that its story is essential to understanding not merely the Latinx but overall history of modern America.
The LABF supports a broadcast archive housed at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. Allen has graciously agreed to donate a copy of his book to the archives. He will be recognized at the Broadcast Education Association’s annual convention (BEA2022) in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 23.
In 2015 LABF and BEA partnered to establish the annual Broadcast Historian Award. With the support of LABF, BEA annually awards $5,000 to an educator who has published or produced work specifically related to broadcast history. The award is given to an author of a book or a producer of a documentary/multimedia project in alternating years. A call for the 2023 Broadcast Historian Award, for a creative project, will be available this spring. For additional information on the award, visit www.BEAweb.org.
Craig Allen is an associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and chair of the ASU University Hearing Board. He is a former associate dean of the Barrett Honors College, past president of ASU’s University Senate, and past member of the ASU General Studies Council.
Allen has written extensively on television history, political media, presidential communication, and international mass media. His books include Univision, Telemundo and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States (2020), News Is People: The Rise of Local TV News (2001) and Eisenhower and the Mass Media (1994). A review in Electronic Media recognized News Is People as the “best book ever written on the history of television news.” His works have appeared in the Journal of American History, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and Presidential Studies Quarterly.
The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) serves the philanthropic arm of the Library of American Broadcasting, the nation’s most extensive collection of broadcast history, policy and tradition, including historical documents, professional papers, oral and video histories, books, scripts and photographs preserved at the University of Maryland. In addition, the LABF, in conjunction with the International Radio & Television Society (IRTS), presents the Annual Giants of Broadcasting Event, which pays tribute to trailblazers in the radio and television industry. https://www.tvradiolibrary.org/