Merijoel Duran Named Co-Anchor of Univision 41 Wakeup News Program

12/7/05 Insights Team

New York, NY — Veteran reporter Merijoel Duran has been named co-anchor of “Noticias Univision 41 Al Despertar” (Univision 41 News at Dawn), the weekday morning (5 am to 7 am) newscast of New York’s premier Spanish-language TV station, Univision 41 (WXTV), it was announced today by WXTV news director Norma Morato.

Duran joins longtime “Al Despertar” co-anchor Antonio Martinez and weather reporter Jack Rico on the New York’s original Spanish-language weekday morning TV news program.  “Noticias Univision 41 Al Despertar” bowed in October 1999.  It is the leading Spanish-language early morning TV news program in New York in every key audience measure and enjoys a lead of 400 percent among adults aged 25 to 54 years old over its Spanish-language TV competition.

Merijoel Duran replaces Birmania Rios, a longtime anchor of the news program, who has joined “Despierta America,” the breakfast-time news and entertainment program on the Univision Television Network as a New York – based reporter.  “Despierta America” (Wake Up, America) is seen on Univision including WXTV Channel 41 from 7 am to 10 am weekdays.

A native of Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic, Duran was raised in Patterson, New Jersey and in Puerto Rico.  She began her broadcast career at Telemundo in 1994 as a production assistant, later promoted to weather reporter.  She has also been heard on the radio as a traffic reporter for KQAM in Wichita, Kansas, and on New York’s WSKQ (Mega) 97.9 FM and WPAT (Amor 93.1) FM.  Duran was a general assignment reporter for New York’s Spanish-language new-talk station WADO 1380 AM.  She joined Univision 41 in 1999 as a traffic reporter and shifted to general assignment reporting for “Noticias Univision 41 Al Despertar” in 2002.

Since joining Univision, Duran has distinguished herself with a number of feature stories, including a report on the unusually high rate of death in childbirth among American women of Hispanic origin and two exclusive interviews with Hippolito Mejia.  Her first took place when Mr. Mejia was serving as president of the Dominican Republic.  Duran’s second interview with Mejia was the first he gave after leaving office in 2004.  She enjoyed unprecedented access to the former president, spending an entire day with him and his family at their ranch to shoot the interview.

Univision Communications Inc. is the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States.  Its operations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 98% of U.S. Hispanic Households; TeleFutura Network, a general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network, which was launched in 2002 and now reaches 86% of U.S. Hispanic Households; Galavisión, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 67 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and 4 stations in Puerto Rico; Univision Music Group, which includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, and a 50% interest in Mexico-based Disa Records labels as well as Fonomusic and America Musical Publishing companies; and Univision Online, the premier Spanish-language Internet destination in the U.S. located at www.univision.com.  Univision Communications also has a 50% interest in TuTv, a joint venture formed to broadcast Televisa’s pay television channels in the U.S., and a non-voting 27% interest in Entravision Communications Corporation, a public Spanish-language media company. Univision Communications is headquartered in Los Angeles with television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit www.univision.net.

Contact: Ted Faraone
Faraone Communications
212-489-1313
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