Station Manager KVEA-TV, Channel 52
Just like Roman emperors of yore, Eddie Dominguez is a big believer in the power of bread and circuses. As station manager of KVEA-TV Channel 52, he's out to build ratings by giving viewers some free entertainment.
"It's a proven philosophy that sponsoring events like our Fiesta Del Sol party on the beach and the Domingos Allegres concert series makes good business sense," says Dominguez, the station's chief for a year and a half.
As head of the No. 2 Spanish language station, Dominguez has a tall order to fill catching up with No. 1 rated KMEX-TV Channel 34. In the course of its programming day, KMEX draws about 65 percent of the 1.3 million Spanish-language households compared to 26 percent for KVEA.
Dominguez is trying to gain ground with programs like "Solo Para Ninos" (Only for Children), a weekly educational show, and "Contrapunto" (Counterpoint), a debate forum similar to CNN's "Crossfire," which it co-produces with L.A.'s Spanish-language daily newspaper, La Opinion.
"Eddie Dominguez is perceived to be as much of a leader as a participant in the areas of arts, health, economic development and community participation," said Monica Lozano, associate publisher of La Opinion. "He has already made a mark in the community and certainly has the profile to be a top leader in L.A. life."
Dominguez has also sought to at once satisfy the interests of viewers and advertisers via an interactive telephone service called Contacto 52. It has recorded sports news, soap opera updates and contests.
Dominguez says he is especially proud of the station's January win of a Golden Mike award for a half-hour newscast produced by a newsroom with fewer than 70 staff members.
He also enjoys his ability to influence the development of the region's Spanish-speaking community. As an "American middle-class kid" growing up in East Los Angeles, Dominguez hoped to one day work in Spanish-language films or television, though he didn't know in what capacity.
He spent 1980 and 1981 in Mexico City, where he landed a job documenting the collection of the Rufino Tomayo Museum, "mainly because I spoke English."
After returning to L.A., Dominguez found work in the sales department of a now-defunct cable television company. While there, he was recruited by the Galavision Inc. Spanish-language cable network to work as its local manager. He was then promoted to marketing director.
He kept that position for seven years, devising marketing strategies for the network's more than 300 affiliates. From there, he became station manager of Galavision's local affiliate - KWHY-TV, Channel 22 - in 1993.
Then in 1995, he took the top post at KVEA-TV, which is owned by the Telemundo Group Inc.
As for the future, Dominguez has one eye on the growing international cable television market, but plans to stay with Telemundo. "At this point, the company is young enough and there is so much to do that I plan to stay and grow with it," he says.
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