Hispanicize Lunch with Telemundo:
Have you heard of Enfoque?
Well, at Hispanicize 2017 in Miami, I attended a luncheon sponsored by Telemundo thanks to DiMe Media and blogging sensation Candypolooza. I sat next to unfamiliar faces, which is quite common at conferences. I recalled seeing a few gentlemen with chiseled faces, square jaws and game show host teeth sparkling under fluorescent lights.
At first, I thought one of them might be Jorge Ramos, the journalist who sparred Donald Trump a few times during the presidential election campaign. I asked a young woman next to me if she knew who those guys were. She replied that one was Jose Diaz-Balart. Naiveté set in, and I gave her my best-dumbfounded smile as to imply that I had no clue he was.
It turns out that she, Grace, is the producer for his weekly news show called Enfoque, which means Focus in Spanish. Think of it almost like a Meet the Press mixed with 60 minutes, except it’s only 30 minutes (but soon may be 60).
A few things came to mind: this young, Latina is a producer of a show? Awesome! I used to live in LA and my idea of show producers were old(er), white guys so my prejudice was wonderfully shattered. Secondly, what’s Enfoque and who is this guy Jose?
A few bites into lunch and the host welcomed Jose Diaz-Balart to stand up and speak. Impressive! I’ve never heard a TV host speak bilingually to a group. He started in impeccable English and ended in just-as-perfect Spanish. He’s message wasn’t about his show, per se. It wasn’t even about Telemundo. He spoke of making a difference in the world. He spoke of standing up to injustices in the government – all governments from the US to Latin America. The theme was not political in nature although he alluded to some of the undertones happening in the country today related to families being torn apart by the president’s immigration stance.
Latinas in Charge of Enfoque
During the lunch, I got to know Grace and another talented Latina named Leticia, who is the Executive Producer of Enfoque. I was blown away at how incredibly articulate they were in both languages. English is my first language and since my mother and grandmother were both born in the US, my Spanish skills aren’t up-to-par, especially in a professional setting. I admire and respect professionals proficient in multiple languages – it’s now a goal of mine to improve my Español.
Enfoque at Telemundo Studios, Hialeah section of Miami, Fla.
Leticia graciously invited me – although I kind of invited myself but she green lit the visit – to the taping of Enfoque at the Telemundo studios in Miami. I was overjoyed at the opportunity, even more so once I found out that Bernie Sanders was going to be a guest on the show.
Walking into the studio, I felt like a geek walking into CES for the first time. TV monitors surrounded me, airing different programming on each display. The studio was like watching ants running in different directions – controlled chaos.
Using my best New York City crowd control skills, I did my best to stay out of the way until taping. Grace, the producer and master of ceremonies, escorted me to the Mission Control room.
“Jose, can you hear me?” Jose was in New York City due to a speaking event so the coordination was a bit different than the in-person norm. Grace the MC led the orchestra and taping was in full force.
Feel the Bern?
I was a bit disappointed that Bernie Sanders was interviewed remotely from Washington, D.C. I thought he’d be in there next to me chatting over a beer and talking about how to truly make America great again. Oh well.
The show was interesting and had great guests. It was new to me and may be new to you. If you’d like to check it out, it airs on Sundays at 1pm.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Leticia, Grace, Jose and the entire staff at Enfoque for their hospitality and warmth. I walked away truly proud of their professionalism, success and most of all, their wonderful spirit. Gracias a todos!
Looking for other things to do in Miami? Try the Wynwood Walls.