CEO Q&A: Don Browne, president, Telemundo

Telemundo president Don Browne talks to Kimberly Maul about changes at the Spanish-language network and how comms serves as his "wingman"

How has Spanish-language television changed since you joined Telemundo in 2003?

In 2003 and 2004, we reinvented Telemundo to become a content company. Until then, we were acquiring content from other people. We decided to control our own destiny by producing our own content, particularly our novela content. That has fueled a tremendous amount of growth within Telemundo.

What business challenges do you face? How does communications help?

Telling our story, particularly when we speak to the buying and ad communities. We want people to understand how compelling the growth in His- panic is, and how effectively we reach acculturated, bilingual, bicultural, and Spanish-only audiences. Embracing Hispanic media is probably the single greatest opportunity any business has to grow quickly.

The efforts of Alfredo Richard, SVP of communications and talent development for Telemundo, and his team have been critical for the amount of change we've been able to create over the last five or six years. He is my "wingman."

Product placement and corporate partnerships play a role in your original content. How is that part of your communications strategy?

This year, we brought the clients to our studio in Miami to see our productions. The writers, producers, and directors are in the room. We listen to their business. Then we sit down to create product integration, organically from the ground up, and combine their product so they live naturally and organically in the product. We create something together and have a shared equity. That's a tremendous commu-nication piece.

What are your goals for Telemundo?

We've been so busy creating our story, we're very excited now to tell it. Five and half years ago, we didn't have studios, didn't have international, didn't really have cable, and really weren't a viable entry. Now we're a multimedia, international company that is a major player in media. l

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