As it seeks to become the Spanish-language equivalent of Fox News, conservative media network Americano Media has hired several Spanish-speaking writers and editors from El American, a conservative, bilingual digital media platform with over 700,000 followers across its social media.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), the controversial newly-elected Latina congresswoman, also spent years building her far-right brand at El American before going into politics – suggesting El American may be a launching pad for bilingual right-wing personalities looking to break into more “mainstream” conservative spaces.
El American was founded in 2020 by TV producer Jorge Granier and entrepreneur Carlos Penzini as a bilingual digital media platform to serve as “an alternative for all Hispanics completely orphaned of reliable information” in “a landscape dominated by left-wing, biased, and unprincipled media.” In December 2021, El American announced $1.8M in seed funding and plans to launch a streaming platform and cable news channel, and in July 2022, El American was granted access to the Florida GOP’s Sunshine Summit Victory Dinner, an event that was reserved for select conservative media outlets. Less than a month later, El American announced an exclusive advertising partnership with the conservative network Newsmax.
A Politico report recently noted that Americano Media is launching an “aggressive expansion plan to shape center-right Hispanic opinion during the upcoming election cycle.” The plan includes hiring more than 80 Latino journalists and producers, expanding the network’s radio presence to television, and a $20 million marketing campaign to attract viewers and sway Hispanic opinion to the right. In October, just weeks before the 2022 midterm election, Emmanuel Rincón, Vanessa Vallejo, Orlando Avendaño, and Emmanuel Rondón – a group of conservative writers with large social media followings – left their jobs as Spanish-language editors and correspondents at El American to join Americano Media and team up with the outlet’s network of misinformative radio personalities.
Emmanuel Rincón, El American’s former editor-at-large for two years, joined Americano Media as a senior editor. Rincon, a conservative writer with over 220,000 followers across social media, steered El American’s Spanish-language team toward the right-wing fringes, leading them into ideological campaigns against LGBTQ rights, assault rifle bans, and, essentially, anything associated with the left, and, more explicitly the Democratic Party.
In August 2022, for example, during an interview with Gays Against Groomer's founder Jaimee Michell, Rincón claimed the U.S. was “facing a wave of the sexualization of children” thanks to progressives who “want to add the P for Pedophilia to LGBTQ.” In September, Rincón claimed President Joe Biden’s calls for a limit on assault rifle sales were “a declaration of war.” In October 2022, Rincón published his last article for El American and joined Americano Media’s digital news team, where he quickly resumed broadcasting translated right-wing talking points, including false claims that Democrats are pushing a ban on gas stoves.
Vanessa Vallejo and Orlando Avendaño, former co-editors-in-chief at El American, also joined Americano Media as deputy editor and deputy digital director. Avendaño posted about his departure on Twitter, where he reassured his more than 138,000 followers that the outlet “would continue [to grow] under the leadership of Granier and Penzini,” but also urged them to follow Americano Media on all social media platforms, claiming that “few other networks denounce the left’s crimes better than Americano.”
Vallejo’s arrival at Americano Media was also well-received by the network’s higher-ups, and she quickly resumed her work peddling a translated Trumpian agenda to the more than 180,000 followers she accumulated during her time with El American, where she wrote about culture war issues and hosted weekly live conservative programming on El American’s YouTube channel with over 10,000 followers. At Americano Media, Vallejo made her debut with a series of op-eds condemning abortion and the Black Lives Matters movement, claiming “women who abort … turn into mothers of murdered children,” and that “BLM stole hope from millions of young black people, making them hate the world."
Finally, there is Emmanuel Rondón, a former El American politics correspondent with almost 5,000 followers on Twitter who is now a columnist and editor at Americano Media. Rondón’s work at El American is a collection of right-wing falsehoods and opinion pieces praising right-wing “heroes” such as Kanye West and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Like his former El American colleagues, Rondón wasted no time settling at Americano Media, where he now peddles translations of Fox News-like right-wing talking points in hopes of ending the “left’s monopoly on information” in Spanish.