WASHINGTON, D.C. - NAB announced today that Hispanic broadcasting pioneers Emilio Nicolas Sr. and the late Raoul A. Cortez will receive the "Spirit of Broadcasting" award at the NAB2006 Television Luncheon in Las Vegas, Monday, April 24. Emilio Nicolas Sr. and his wife, Alicia Cortez, will attend to accept the award.
"The phenomenal growth of Hispanic broadcasting in the U.S. can be traced back to these two trailblazing entrepreneurs," said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "NAB is honored to recognize these two men for playing such an important role in enriching the cultural fabric of America."
The "Spirit of Broadcasting" award recognizes general excellence and leadership and is given to individuals or organizations that have made lasting contributions to over-the-air broadcasting.
Emilio Nicolas Sr. and the late Raoul A. Cortez are being honored for their efforts to connect the airwaves to the people, places and events of Hispanic America. Their entrepreneurial initiative and creativity opened new doors for the broadcasting industry, eventually leading to the multinational media giant Univision. In 2005, Univision celebrates 50 years of Spanish-language broadcasting in the United States.
In 1946, Cortez formed KCOR-AM / San Antonio, the first full-time Spanish-language radio station in the United States. Nine years later, with the help of his son-in-law Emilio Nicolas Sr., he founded San Antonio's KCOR-TV, the nation's first full-time Spanish-language television station. KCOR-TV is also the longest-operating UHF channel in the nation.
In 1961, KCOR-TV was sold to a group of investors, including Emilio Nicolas Sr., and changed its call letters to KWEX-TV at which time Nicolas took over as GM. Additional stations were purchased in 1963 and the station group was named SICC, the Spanish International Communications Corporation. During the following years, Nicolas was instrumental in the growth of KWEX-TV and in 1975 it became SICC's flagship station and the network operations center for Spanish International Network (SIN), the nation's first satellite distributed network. Nicolas championed the growth of SICC's network of television stations around the nation, which grew to more than 280 affiliates by 1982. He later negotiated SICC's sale in 1987, spurring the formation of the present-day Hispanic broadcast network Univision.
The NAB2006 Television Luncheon is sponsored by Microsoft.
NAB2006 will take place April 22-27, 2006 in Las Vegas (exhibits open April 24). It is the world's largest electronic media show covering the development, delivery and management of professional video and audio content across all mediums.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a full-service trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air broadcasting interests in Washington and around the world. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.