Mexico awards highest honor to Spanish Language TV Pioneer Emilio Nicolas, Sr.

Emilio Nicolas, Sr. will receive Mexico’s highest honor awarded a Mexican citizen living abroad, El Premio OTHLI. Mexican Ambassador to Washington Arturo Sarukan will deliver the award at a black tie gala hosted by the San Antonio-Mexico Council. Tom Frost, Chairman Emeritus, Cullen Frost Banks will be the Master of Ceremonies, David Rehr, President of the National Association of Broadcasters will introduce Mr. Nicolas, and a short film about the history of Spanish language television and Nicolas’s role will be presented.

Raoul Cortez, Sr. pioneered Spanish language radio in 1946 with KCOR-AM. In 1955 he pioneered Spanish language television in the United States. Son-in-law, Emilio Nicolas, Sr. was there from the inception of KCOR-TV. In 1961, Nicolas and four other investors, among them the legendary Don Emilio Azcarraga Vidaurreta, pioneer of radio and television in Mexico, and the late Reynold Anselmo bought the station from Cortez and changed the call letters to KWEX-TV. This station was to be the cornerstone of what would become the Univision Television Network and the center of operations for its predecessor, SIN. There were many battles in the early days: with UHF Nicolas and company pioneered a new spectrum, with satellites they pioneered a new method of interconnection. They were even the first to have a woman anchor the Spanish International Network news 25 years ago! All of this was motivated by pride in his culture and a sense of duty to preserve it. Most importantly, the television stations and network opened the doors for millions of Hispanics across the country. It gave them a voice and a sense of community, without which their incredible progress, as we see it today, would have lagged behind.

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