EXCLUSIVE: Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network has named Mauricio Rios, a veteran executive most recently at Telemundo’s Universo Channel, as its VP programming and acquisitions.

Before his three-year stint at Universo, where he was director of programming and scheduling, Rios had exec stints at NBCUniversal and Fox Latin America Channels.

Rios replaces Dan Kozlowski, who was director of programming and acquisitions for four years. Since its founding in 2013, El Rey has taken some big-budget swings with original shows like From Dusk and Matador. In terms of the outlook under Rios, plans call for a doubling of the number of original hours on the network in 2019 and an expansion into new genres.

Rios was previously director of joint venture channel operations at Comcast/NBCUniversal International, where he provided oversight and guidance for programming, marketing, online, on-air, and operational requirements of international joint venture channels in Latin America, South Korea, Israel and Canada. He also spent 11 years at Fox Latin American Channels, where he led the acquisitions and programming strategy for a portfolio of channels, including Canal Fox, FX, Fox Life, National Geographic and Speed Channel. A native of Colombia who emigrated to the U.S. at age 12, Rios holds an MBA in international business and received his bachelor’s degree in film from California State University, Northridge.

“As a film fan, I’ve always been inspired by the book Rebel Without a Crew.  Robert Rodriguez’s no-holds-barred, make-your-own-rules approach to the creative process made me believe as a Latinx that I too had a place in the industry,” said Rios.  “I’m passionate about being part of a team at El Rey Network that exemplifies these ideas, and I look forward to helping collaborate and guide the channel to its next frontier and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to have Mauricio join the El Rey Network family. His expertise and vision in programming for young, diverse viewers will further propel El Rey’s commitment to be a voice in the industry for U.S. Hispanic audiences,” said Daniel Tibbets, President and GM of El Rey Network. “Latinx influence many aspects of American culture, and Mauricio’s experience in this arena is crucial to the growth of El Rey Network”