Telemundo Stations Focus on Census, Voter Registration

Phone banks and shared stories get word out on key issues to Hispanic population

Telemundo Station Group is hard at work keeping its viewers informed on both the 2020 Census and voter registration in advance of the November election. The group is doing so both with on-air stories and phone banks. A July 21 phone bank dedicated to voter registration received 3,600 calls across the group, and helped some 800 people register to vote.

The phone banks happen weekly, alternating between voter registration and the Census. “We’re really seeing that there’s a need for this basic information,” said Ozzie Martinez, senior VP, news, digital and standards at Telemundo Station Group.

Naleo Education Fund and the Hispanic Federation are among the Telemundo group’s partners on the phone bank, as is the Telemundo network.

Tuesdays feature Census-related stories in local newscasts within the group, and Thursdays offer segments on voter registration. Martinez said the Telemundo group is deploying a “divide and conquer” approach to getting weekly stories out about these key issues. When the Democratic presidential field had some 20 candidates, a Telemundo station would produce a profile about one presidential hopeful in their market, and share it with the group, such as WNJU New York profiling Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Stories on the Census and voter registration are both general ones that are shared by the stations, and locally produced ones that are locally focused.

The 30 stations in the Telemundo group include KVEA Los Angeles, WSCV Miami, KTMD Houston and KCSO Sacramento.

Telemundo said Latinos will represent 13% of the electorate this year.

Early in 2020, Telemundo Station Group leadership got a peek at early Census numbers and got hustling. “The figures were a little alarming,” Martinez said. “We said, we need to bring attention to this. It’s why we do the weekly pieces.”

The pandemic’s arrival further set Census efforts back in the community. “There’s a lot of stress on families,” Martinez said. “This is not top of mind right now–they have bigger issues.”

Telemundo Station Group’s efforts make the issue more top of mind for viewers.