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Radio One to launch local Telemundo affiliate

March 8, 2013

Indianapolis will have a commercial Spanish-language television station again when Radio One Inc. launches a Telemundo affiliate March 11.

WDNI-TV Channel 19 will offer Telemundo's full lineup of dramas, news, sports, entertainment and specials, and Radio One plans to add locally produced content over time, Vice President and General Manager Chuck Williams said.

An urban-market broadcaster, Silver Sping, Md.-based Radio One owns five radio stations in Indianapolis and currently programs WDNI with music videos. Williams said he's been searching for a way to serve the Hispanic market for the past 18 months and sought out the Telemundo affiliation. Indianapolis will be one of 70 independent affiliates around the country. Radio One declined to disclose financial terms of the affiliate agreement. 

"What we have is a vibrant Hispanic community. It's growing by leaps and bounds," Williams said.

The 2010 U.S. Census found that 9.4 percent of the Indianapolis population is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

WISH-TV Channel 8 parent LIN TV Corp. operated an Univision affiliate in Indianapolis for about five years, but WIIH-TV Channel 17 dropped the Hispanic programming in late 2008 when it couldn't reach a deal with the national network.

None of Radio One's radio stations are Spanish-language, but about a half-dozen of the company's 100 local employees are bilingual, Williams said. "We have all kinds of assistance from the community," he said.

Telemundo Indy has formed a strategic partnership with the Hispanic Business Council and is forming a community advisory board with leaders from the education, health, immigration and media fields.

The first locally produced content will likely consist of news vignettes and community updates, Williams said. Depending on advertising revenue, the station could add a full 30-minute newscast.

The Telemundo affiliate will not be the only Spanish-language programming available from local stations. Not-for-profit public television station WFYI has a Spanish-language digital channel called V-me at 20.2.

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