Rick Bentley

Telemundo 51 launches local news

Vanessa Ramirez-Avila has been named news anchor/executive producer for “Noticiero Telemundo Valle Central on KNSO (Channel 51).
Vanessa Ramirez-Avila has been named news anchor/executive producer for “Noticiero Telemundo Valle Central on KNSO (Channel 51). KNSO

Fresno’s Telemundo 51 is getting into the news business.

The local Spanish-language station launched its first-ever local newscast, “Noticiero Telemundo Valle Central,” on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The one-hour telecast, scheduled to air 5:30-6:30 p.m. weekdays, is anchored by Vanessa Ramirez-Avila. She is a multiple Emmy-award winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in broadcast journalism. Among her previous jobs was working at Fresno’s Univision 21.

The new Telemundo newscast will be produced locally in partnership with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, which include the Fresno stations CBS47, KSEE24 and Bakersfield’s NBC affiliate KGET and Telemundo’s KKEY.

Aaron Scoby took over as the executive vice president and general manager of Telemundo 51 Fresno on March 1 and within a month was working on plans to start the local news program. He met with several local stations about producing the program.

“Noticiero Telemundo Valle Central” will start with an eight-minute block of local news. Stories will be produced by Spanish-speaking reporters at Nexstar. Weather reports will be provided by Candy Caceres who works at the Bakersfield Telemundo station.

Regional news will be produced through the Bakersfield station. Scoby is still looking at how much sports to report. At this point there are no plans for weekend news.

Not only will the local Nexstar stations provide the reporters to cover the news, the newscast will originate from the Nexstar offices where the news broadcasts for KGPE and KSEE are produced.

“Localism is our top priority,” says Matthew Rosenfeld, vice president and general manager of KGPE and KSEE. “With our team of outstanding reporters and state-of-the-art production facility, Telemundo 51 Fresno will be able to provide viewers with local content that is meaningful and a powerful extension of our extensive English-language news programming.”

Before the launch of the Telemundo news, the only local Spanish-language news was produced by the Fresno Univision station.

“Our next step would be to start a newscast at 11 p.m.,” Scoby says. “We want to produce an alternative Spanish-language newscast that viewers here have not had. If this goes well, we would continue to grow.”

Telemundo 51 Fresno is owned by NBCUniversal and operated by Serestar Communications Corporation.