02.15.2006 10:07 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
NAB to honor Nicolas, Cortez with ‘Spirit of Broadcasting’ award

The NAB will honor Hispanic broadcasting pioneers Emilio Nicolas Sr. and the late Raoul Cortez with the "Spirit of Broadcasting" award April 24 at the NAB2006 Television Luncheon in Las Vegas.

The "Spirit of Broadcasting" award recognizes general excellence and leadership, and is given to individuals or organizations that have made lasting contributions to over-the-air broadcasting.

Nicolas and Cortez are being honored for their efforts to connect the airwaves to the people, places and events of Hispanic America. Their work eventually led to the multinational media giant Univision.

In 1946, Cortez formed KCOR-AM in San Antonio, TX, the first full-time Spanish-language radio station in the United States. Nine years later with the help of his son-in-law Emilio Nicolas Sr., he founded San Antonio's KCOR-TV, the nation's first full-time Spanish-language television station.

In 1961, KCOR-TV was sold to a group of investors, including Emilio Nicolas Sr., and changed its call letters to KWEX-TV. Nicolas took over as GM. In 1963, additional stations were purchased, and the station group was named the Spanish International Communications Corporation (SICC). Nicolas was instrumental in the growth of KWEX-TV. In 1975 it became SICC's flagship station, and the network operations center for Spanish International Network (SIN), the nation's first satellite distributed network.

By 1982, the network had grown to 280 affiliates. In 1987, Nicholas negotiated SICC's sale, spurring the formation of Hispanic broadcast network Univision.

For more information, visit www.nab.org.

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