El Rey Network, the new general entertainment cable network geared toward young Americans that is set to launch on Comcast at the end of 2013, announced today Antoinette Alfonso Zel as its CEO. Zel brings to El Rey 20 year career in television, marketing and media experience with brands like NBC, MTV Networks, and her Latino-focused advertising agency, La Comunidad.
“We are very excited to bring Antoinette onboard as El Rey’s CEO,” said iconic filmmaker and El Rey founder Robert Rodriguez. “Antoinette’s remarkable track record in network management, her passion for youth culture and creative vision uniquely positions her to lead El Rey as it creates compelling images and inspiring stories that speak to America’s young Latino and mainstream audiences.”
Roberto Rodriguez has followed his vision to create a niche for Latinos while providing accessibility to all audiences and describes the goal for the network to have an impact where “when someone asks you who you are, you say ‘El Rey’ and people will know it and feel like they belong to something.” El Rey is owned, directed, produced, and will star Latinos while still appealing to mainstream young adult U.S. audiences. The network seeks to cover a void left by many traditional networks which experts feel do not have enough programming that attracts those that are at once young, bicultural, and bilingual.
“What’s great about this is that no one is doing this for an audience that is growing so fast,” Rodriguez said. “When you think that there’s nothing on television like this, it boggles the mind.”
Zel’s experience is expected to help achieve El Rey’s vision of being an action-packed, general entertainment for Latino and general audiences that includes a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music, comedy, and sports programming.
El Rey also announced that Dave Cassaro, who has decades of experience in the cable, entertainment, and advertising sales industries, will spearhead a team of veteran media executives to effectively communicate and collaborate with marketers, distributors and partners to aid in successfully launching El Rey.
“It’s really an important moment in time when the complete story of a Latinos can be told,” Zel said. And marketers, she added, “’are really clamoring for innovation and for solutions.”