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Rick Sanchez, Agua Media to Deliver Content From Latino Perspective

Rick Sanchez has plenty of experience working for mainstream news outlets like CNN, Fox News, and Univision, but now he’s ready to deliver his own content.

Eduardo Razo

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In Sports Media, several recognizable figures use the name they’ve created for themselves at mainstream outlets to launch their podcast network or media company. People like Colin Cowherd, who has The Volume, and Dan LeBatard with Meadowlark Media.

On the news media side, there’s Dan Abrams, who has Mediaite and Law&Order; however, his ventures don’t steer off the path of news, which is why Rick Sanchez could be considered something different. 

Sanchez brings plenty of experience working at news media giants like CNN, Fox News, and Univision. Nonetheless, now he’s out on his own as the CEO of Agua Media, beginning his lifelong dream of creating his content. 

The former host spoke with Barrett News Media discussing how the underrepresentation of the Latino population in media played a role in this new venture with his business partner Solomon D. Trujillo.

“Why is it that we are 20-percent of the population, but only two percent of the guests on television,” Sanchez said. “And this is what I want to change. I know the reality of America. Latinos are the bridge to the new American mainstream.”

Despite Sanchez being all in on this venture, it was Trujillo that talked him into the idea of taking this leap into having their network. The now-chairman of Agua Media showed Sanchez that they needed to fill a void when it comes to the content they can produce. 

Furthermore, Trujillo didn’t want to jump into this project with anyone else, citing Sanchez’s background, whether it’s being a refugee or his ability to share and create ideas that no one else can. 

“For the past ten years, Sol has been talking about how important it would be for us to do this,” Sanchez said. “Sol kind of talked me into the idea that we could succeed. I talked myself into the idea of how necessary what we are going to do is.”

After many years working at news media giants, Sanchez added that he would be “crazy not to” take this venture, considering he knows the market. However, despite having a background working in the news, Sanchez wants to clarify that it won’t be a news-centric network.

“Investing in news would be like investing in a typewriter company,” Sanchez said. “There’s too much of it, nobody believes in it … and whatever audience you get will be restrictive.”

The former host added that by being a network that focuses on news, they would be “separating yourself to a small audience.” He went on to say that diving into news wouldn’t be something that would do well, in his opinion. 

Although Agua Media will be creating content from a Latino perspective, the network plans to target people from all walks of life regardless of their background. In addition, they plan to have podcasts that cover everything so a listener can have a buffet of what they might like.

Agua Media will have podcasts covering current events, true crime, horror, lifestyle, and humor; they plan to be the platform for podcast listeners and podcast creators who make up the new American mainstream.

In the background, Sanchez is bringing in Workhouse Media, who are working with the likes of Dan Patrick. He’s also collaborating with someone who has worked alongside Oprah Winfrey. Agua Media plans to work with people who know the podcasting business inside and out.

When it comes to putting together a content creation company, Sanchez is looking in his backyard of Miami, bringing in people who have worked at Univision and Telemundo. 

“These are brilliant writers, who have been writing Latino-based stories all of their lives, and we are bringing much of them in to do much of our narrative pieces,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez doesn’t want to stop there, as he wants his network to be a home where Latino influencers can have a home to create content and famous Latino athletes to tell their stories. 

Although Agua Media is starting to get off the ground, the podcast network already has content ready to be created. Here’s the list of what’s to come from the company:

  • “Underrated” – A five-part fictional series on gamer Melinda Gutierrez, who beat the odds to make it to the top of the gaming world.
  • “Los Heebie Jeebees” – A supernatural phenomenon narrative where true crime and horror come to life from the dark corners of Mexico.
  • Best-selling author and activist Julissa Arce produces a podcast on the untold history of U.S. Latinos and the impact that history still has on those communities today.
  • “You Are Amazing!” – A podcast that quenches the need to be uplifted through aspirational stories of success, coproduced by Agua CCO and former Oprah Winfrey Executive Producer Corny Koehl.
  • “Campeones” – The real-life stories of Latino sports legends—from Valenzuela to Canelo to Ronaldo
  • “The Rick Sanchez L’Attitude!” – A rarity in American media, Sanchez shares a wider lens perspective on trends and events the Latino+™ community has been waiting to hear

As Agua Media finds its place in the podcasting network world, it will be interesting to see who else might jump onboard and what type of content will be produced heading forward with what they already have planned. 

News Print & Digital

Futuri Creates Program that Turns User Content into Video

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs.

Eduardo Razo

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Audience engagement company Futuri has created a new program called POST. The platform allows its users to upload audio, add texts and images and turn the content into video. 

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs. According to Inside Radio, more television companies look to capitalize on the growing audio medium to reach their audiences. 

“Today’s audiences don’t think of media brands only in terms of ‘TV’ or ‘radio’. Quality content, be it video or audio, is what gets consumers engaged,” said Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig.

POST comes equipped with scheduling tools, video tools, and search engine optimization. In addition to ingesting and automatically editing a TV newscast’s audio feed, Futuri says the TV version of POST will also swap out the television commercials with programmatic ad markers.

“The way we’ve customized the POST podcasting systems for the unique needs of television broadcasters will help them quickly capture the audience and revenue growth opportunities that the explosive growth of audio has created,” added Anstandig. 

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News Print & Digital

Washington Post Tells Staff to “Comply Now” with Work Policy

The Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require or face the consequences.

Eduardo Razo

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The Washington Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require; they can either come back or face “disciplinary action.”

In an email sent throughout the company, Post chief human resources officer Wayne Connell called on staff to “comply now” with the newspaper’s work policy. 

After re-opening its offices on March 15, the publication demands that its staff be in the office “at least three days per week.” 

“If you haven’t complied with our 3/2 policy since our March return, or you haven’t complied consistently, we’d like to underscore the need to comply now,” the statement read, per Mediaite

“Beginning this Monday, June 27, please ensure that you are in the office at least three days per week, assuming you are not on approved days off such as vacation time, sick time, etc. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.”

Connell adds that the Post is being fair with its demands to have their staff come in three times a week, striking the right balance by allowing employees to work from home and having the office experience that a Zoom meeting can’t replicate.

“We believe this companywide policy strikes the right balance, allowing both in-office collaboration and greater levels of flexibility than before the pandemic, and it’s only fair that we enforce this policy consistently,” the statement concluded. 

“We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3/2 model and reserve the right to make changes in the future. In the meantime, please do your part in helping us meet these expectations.”

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News Print & Digital

The Obamas Agree to Content Deal with Audible

The exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left Spotify in April. It didn’t take them long to find a new home for their content as the Obamas’ media company, Higher Ground, and Audible have reached a multi-year deal.

press release announced the exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

“At Higher Ground, we have always sought to lift up voices that deserve to be heard — and Audible is invested in realizing that vision alongside us. I’m looking forward to partnering with them to tell stories that not only entertain but also inspire,” President Obama said. 

“We are so proud of the stories we have been able to tell at Higher Ground, and there’s no one we’d rather write our next chapter with than Audible. Together, we will keep striving to tell compelling, provocative, and soulful stories—while doing everything we can to make sure they reach the folks who need to hear them,” Michelle Obama said.

The slate of Audible programs will reflect the companies’ shared task to convey meaningful and entertaining stories that promote diverse voices and backgrounds.

“We have long recognized President and Mrs. Obama’s historic capacity to captivate,” Don Katz, Audible’s Founder and Executive Chairman, stated. 

“We are thrilled to welcome two of the most profound voices of moral and intellectual leadership of our times into the Audible fold, and to be able to elevate President and Mrs. Obama’s singular ability to provide hope and uplifting guidance—needed now more than ever—through their voices.”

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