Univision News has chosen Ilia Calderón as the new co-anchor of the Hispanic broadcast giant’s flagship evening newscast, Noticiero Univision, replacing news legend María Elena Salinas.
Calderón will take over Salinas’s anchor chair in mid-December, joining Jorge Ramos on weeknights at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT. The Univision news broadcast has wide viewership but Ramos earned it crossover coverage when he was ejected from a news conference by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
While the changing of the guard at Univision would already be news given Salinas’s stature as a Walter Cronkite-like figure on Hispanic TV, the hire is also historic as Calderón will be the first Afro-Latina to anchor an weekday evening newscast for a major broadcast network in the U.S. In her native Colombia, she was the first black woman to ever host a national news program in that country, Noticiero CMI. In addition to succeeding Salinas on Noticiero Univision, Calderón will also serve as co-host of Univision’s primetime newsmagazine, Aquí y Ahora (Here and Now), which airs on Sunday nights, alongside Teresa Rodríguez.
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In two decades as a broadcast journalist, Calderón has won an Emmy and other awards for her work. This past August, she got global attention for interviewing Ku Klux Klan leader Chris Barker in his home in North Carolina for a special edition of Aquí y Ahora. Greeting her with an epithet, Barker told Calderón she was the first black person ever to enter his property, and went on to insult and threaten her throughout the interview while she held her ground.
“We are delighted that Ilia Calderón will join Jorge Ramos at the helm of ‘Noticiero Univision’ beginning next month,” said Daniel Coronell, president of Univision News. “Ilia’s professionalism and experience, together with her personal charisma, journalistic integrity, knowledge of the U.S. Hispanic community and proven appeal with our diverse audience make her the ideal person to succeed María Elena Salinas.”
Calderón called it “a great honor and an enormous responsibility for me” and said Salinas has been “an invaluable voice for the Hispanic community in this country, an icon of excellence in journalism and a role model for millions of Latinas, so I know I have big shoes to fill.”
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