María Elena Salinas Biography
María Elena Salinas is an American broadcast journalist, news anchor, and author. Called the “Voice of Hispanic America” by The New York Times, Salinas is one of the most recognized Hispanic female journalists in the United States. She was the co-anchor of Noticiero Univision, the primary evening news broadcast on Univision, and the co-host of the news magazine program Aquí y Ahora (Here and Now).
María Elena Salinas Age
She was born in August 1954, Los Angeles, California, USA. Salinas is 64 years now.
María Elena Salinas Spouse
Salinas is married to Eliott Rodriguez. The couple got married in the year 2007. Eliott Rodriguez is a Cuban-American television journalist who has received two Emmy Awards and two Edward R. Murrow Awards. Rodrigues was born in 1957 to Cuban immigrant parents in the Bronx, New York.
María Elena Salinas Daughters
Salinas and her husband Eliott Rodriguez are blessed with two daughters, Gabriela María and Julia María.
María Elena Salinas Philanthropy
Her philanthropic work includes providing scholarships for Latino journalism students, serving on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and collaborating with several Latino civic engagement organizations.
She continues her mission to inform, inspire, educate and empower the Latino community through her digital platform Mariaelenasalinas.com.
María Elena Salinas Awards
Salinas has won numerous awards and distinctions for both her journalism and philanthropic work.
- Salinas won a 2014 Peabody Award, Walter Cronkite Award and Gracies Award for her news and documentary special Between Abandonment and Rejection, a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges praised as “balanced and revealing.
- In 2014, she won the Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.
- In 2012, with her co-anchor Jorge Ramos, she received an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Earlier in her career, Salinas was part of the Univision News team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings in 1996.
- For her philanthropic work, Salinas is a recipient of the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others.
- In 2017, Salinas was a commencement speaker in American University and California State University, Fullerton and received an honorary doctorate from American University.
María Elena Salinas Net Worth
And for her long stint to the network, she has probably earned above the average salary. In February 2017, she listed her historical Miami-area mansion on the market for $3.45 Million. It resembles that she has accumulated an enormous amount of net worth.
María Elena Salinas Univision
Salinas left Univision in 2017 when her contract expired.TVNewser reported her resignation at the end of their night’s network newscast and I quote her words, “I haven’t been pushed out. I haven’t quit. I’m not retiring. And I’m not leaving to another place to do the same as I do here,” she said.
Salinas worked for Univision since 1981, starting at KMEX.In 1987, she moved to the network where she co-anchors the network evening newscast with Jorge Ramos and co-hosts weekend news magazine Aquí y Ahora.UNIVISION
After 36 Years, María Elena Salinas Is Leaving Univision
She got her start as an anchor at KMEX, Los Angeles’s Univision station, and over the next 36 years, Maria Elena Salinas rose to the highest on-air ranks of the network news division. Salinas be leaving when her contract expires at the end of the year.
TVNewser reports Salinas announced her resignation at the end of last night’s network newscast Noticiero Univision. “I haven’t been pushed out. I haven’t quit. I’m not retiring. And I’m not leaving to another place to do the same as I do here,” she said.
Salinas has been with Univision since 1981, starting at KMEX. The year 1987, she moved to the network where she co-anchors the network evening newscast with Jorge Ramos and co-hosts weekend news magazine Aquí y Ahora.
In 2012, Salinas became the first Latina to receive an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2014, she won a Peabody award and a Walter Cronkite award for her special about the mass migration of children from Central America to the U.S.
And earlier this year, she was inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. She confirmed that she will continue to be an anchor but working as an independent journalist. She now hosts The Real Story on Investigation Discovery.
María Elena Salinas Interview
How did your career get started in news?
First I worked in radio, in 1979, and then in 1981, I moved from radio to television, Channel 34 in Los Angeles. Back then it was a little tiny, tiny station. I was the only female. There [were] only two reporters, and I was doing everything.
I was anchoring, I was reporting, I hosted a daily public address program live, and then on weekends I did an entertainment program, so I guess that’s the way it is when you work for a little station [laughs].
But my intention was not necessarily to go into news. I was working in radio before, and I had studied marketing. I was very much interested in what was becoming a booming Hispanic market in the advertising side, and I honestly thought that that was my way in. But once I began working in news, I became so obsessed.
So, how did you make the move from that local station to a national program?
When I started working at Channel 34, we didn’t have a network newscast. I was a contributor to the newscast, and at the end of 1986 there was a big shakeup in what was then Spanish International Network — now it’s called Univision, but the network at the time was called S-I-N, SIN.
There were a big shakeup and half of the staff left and formed what is now Noticiero Telemundo, and as part of the new group let’s say, I eventually came on board to anchor the late night news. There was a one-hour late night newscast.
It was an interesting time for that transition. We were owned by Emilio Azcarraga of Mexico, and he had warned that Jacobo Zabludovsky, who at the time was news director in Mexico City of Televisa’s newscast, was coming over to take over and be news director of our newscast.
Miami is a very political city, and at the time Mexican press was perceived as not being free, as being just a mouthpiece for the Mexican government, who in turn had a very close relationship with Cuba.
Basically, we got a lot of backlashes, and the headlines were, “The Communists are coming to take over our newscast.” So, half of the people left in protest, and of course, it never materialized, it never happened.
The protest actually worked, because Zabludovsky never came to the United States to take over our news department. But at that time, that whole transition is when I moved over from the local station to the network.
What did the landscape of Spanish-language journalism look like then compared to now?
In the beginning, people saw Channel 34 and the few affiliates that we had at the time as, you know, these little low-power stations with low quality that only undocumented immigrants watched. It was very difficult to cover, for example, a presidential election, because we’d always have to be explaining who we were: “Channel 30-what?” You know, people just had absolutely no idea who we were.
People who came into the industry always saw Channel 34 and Spanish-language media as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things. [Latinos] figured this is where we might learn a little bit about the profession and then move on to, you know, real TV: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN then was beginning to make a dent or to be heard.
And what happened is little by little Spanish-language media has grown so much that now it’s the other way around. Now you see people from ABC, CBS, and NBC moving to Spanish because it’s now the fastest-growing media or fastest-growing network in the country.
So it was very different back then. Very, very different.
Now, there are 50 million Latinos in the United States, as opposed to 14 million. Our buying power right now is $1 trillion. In Los Angeles for example, when I used to cover local politics there were no Hispanics at the local level at all, not in the Board of Supervisors, not in the Board of Education, not in City Hall. Now we have a Latino mayor, several assemblymen, several council members, and on the Board of Education and just everywhere.
And right now I think not only [has] the Latino buying power increased, but Latino political power has also increased to the point where we no longer have to give an explanation of who we are and what we do. Now the doors of the White House are open to us.
Now it is the politicians who reach out to us in order to get to the Hispanic vote. During the last election debates at Univision, [we had] both Democrat debates and Republican debates and that was unheard of.
Let’s go back for a second. How did the transition come about as you coming on as an evening news anchor?
January of 1987, I was a network anchor for the late-night show, and then in early ’88, a new news director came in and teamed up my co-anchor and me, Jorge Ramos. Jorge was already doing the 6:30 for a little over a year, and then I had been doing the 11:00 for about a year.
This was an 11:00 network newscast because we didn’t have local news at the time in our affiliate. So they teamed us up, and we did both newscasts together. We’ve been together ever since, so for 21 years Jorge and I have been anchoring together. So I have been a network anchor for, well since 1987, so that’s 22 years.
There’s a lot of conversation right now about the ascension of the female evening news anchor because of Katie Couric in the last few years, and Diane Sawyer at “World News”. But you’ve been doing this for longer than both of them. Was gender ever a discussion when you first started?
You know, it wasn’t. The Latino society is very macho, even though when you think about it, [in] Latin America, we’ve had female presidents, and in the United States, we haven’t yet elected a woman as president.
However, in the news business, I think that in a lot of Latin American countries you still have the male figure, which is a dominant figure, and if you ever do have a female anchoring a network newscast, it’s usually just a decoration.
really do have a lot of women in management and mid-management positions here at Univision.