Local Hero: Alex Nogales

Alex Nogales

"Every day, someone brings me a new problem...Every day, I see a new challenge."

Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), was born and raised in the border town of Calexico, California to a family of migrant farm workers. Mr. Nogales spent the majority of his youth traveling the length of California, picking whatever crop was in season, and often experiencing frustration with the mistreatment of the Latino immigrant community. His life experience prepared and emboldened him for a future in civil rights and media advocacy.

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Mr. Nogales earned a degree in Film and Television from UCLA before beginning his career as a writer for Bicultural Children's Television, the entity that produced the Emmy-winning children's program, "Villa Alegre." He produced educational films for the Federal Department of Transportation and eventually became a full-time producer at KCBS Television in Los Angeles. During his thirteen-year tenure at KCBS, Mr. Nogales was heavily involved with public affairs programming, children's shows, and entertainment specials. His strengths in writing, production, and management earned him three Emmy Awards for such shows as "At Issue," "Troubleshooter," and "Kid Quiz". Mr. Nogales also received over thirty other commendations for excellence in television production.

In 1988, he became a senior producer, overseeing the work of non-news producers at the station. Alex left television in 1989 and became a successful businessman, engaged in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Elected President of the NHMC in the late nineties, Alex began to ardently advocate for the Latino community. Under Nogales' leadership, the NHMC has filed over fifty petitions to deny broadcast licenses with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), advocating for greater diversity in local news reporters and anchor jobs for Latino Americans. As leader of one of the more visible organizations under the umbrella of the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), for which NHMC acts as secretariat and staff, Alex was instrumental in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox in the year 2000.

Mr. Nogales also led the NLMC fight to force the A.C. Nielsen Research Company to address the shortfalls in limited Latino employment opportunities in English-language television, as well as the lack of Latino-themed programming. He highlighted the fact that Latinos were undercounted in both English and Spanish language television viewing by Nielsen, and urged the rating company to refine their research practices. Fox Television, Nogales' ally in the fight, recently signed an agreement with Nielsen whereby Nielsen committed fifty million dollars for improved training of its field representatives in regards to coaching Nielsen households on correctly using their measuring equipment.

Currently, Nogales is evaluating the diversity performance of the four major television networks, pushing for diversity initiatives, and focusing on the necessity of net neutrality. At the same time, Alex continues to do what he enjoys the most: he opens doors for Latino professionals and fosters their success in all areas of media and entertainment.

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