Much-honored news anchor Maria Elena Salinas departs from Univision

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MIAMI — Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. has lost one of its most prominent figures as Maria Elena Salinas retired Friday from Univision News after more than three decades of blending the role of anchor and advocate.

Salinas, who hosted the main news broadcast on Univision with co-anchor Jorge Ramos, had been weighing her departure for several years and says the time is right to pursue independent projects, including some in English.

"It's time to go find other audiences," the 62-year-old anchor said in an interview at the Univision studios outside Miami.

Her departure comes at a difficult time for many immigrants who view the nightly program as a lifeline for understanding current events. Some advocates say immigrants have lost an important voice.

From the anchor desk at Univision, Salinas and Ramos had a big audience that made them among the most-watched television journalists in the U.S. in any language, with their reach expanding dramatically in recent years as the Hispanic population has grown across the country.

Going forward, Salinas, the California-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, says she plans to pursue some independent documentary projects after taking a break to recover from a busy news schedule and spend more time with her two adult daughters.

She will start in January by working on the second season of her English-language series, "The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas," on the Investigation Discovery network.

"For years we have been informing the Latino community about their stories," she said. "Now it is time to tell their stories to different audiences in different platforms."

Salinas began working for Univision in Los Angeles in 1981 after two years in radio. She has interviewed a host of Latin American leaders and every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter apart from Trump, who has not agreed to sit down with her or Ramos and ejected her co-anchor from a news conference during the campaign.

Throughout her career, she has picked up many journalistic honors, including the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award, the Peabody Award, a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor and seven Emmy awards.


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