José Escalante, CEO of Miami, Florida-based Latin Media, who was recently honored with a Produ Award at MIP Cancun for his lifetime achievements, has the unique distinction of having popularized Asian TV content in the Americas and LATAM content in Asia.

VideoAge‘s Water Cooler spoke briefly with Escalante (pictured above) in Cancun, Mexico, and spoke more again before NATPE Miami.

“I believe,” said Escalante, “that there are many new things to come. The pandemic forced us to see alternatives that have proven to be good. Therefore I see many changes coming.”

Regardless, to Escalante, in-person events “are the best. Meeting with the clients in person makes a meeting more productive.” He continued: “We have been used to person-to-person meetings for a very long time, and after the pandemic people realized how good it was to attend a market and have meetings with many friends, clients, suppliers, and colleagues.”

Finally, he has some advice for NATPE Miami: “The market organizers need to adapt the rates to the new financial situations of the buyers. The pandemic has enormously affected most of the TV industry. Therefore, the market should not charge a fee — at least to a good number of buyers. Also, [NATPE] needs to review the list of buyers they have, as a lot of the markets have people in their databases who are no longer part of the industry.”

As for Escalante’s background, the Venezuelan-born TV executive founded Latin Media in 2009. That gave him the opportunity to distribute Asian telenovelas to Latin America, and allowed him to take his knowledge of the telenovela industry to Malaysia, where he has served as a drama consultant for various TV stations that want to produce or co-produce telenovelas, which have become very successful in that region.

As for what trigged the interest in Asian telenovelas, Escalante explained that it was “the content, the stories, and our marketing efforts.”

Previously, Escalante served as CEO and general manager of Dorimedia, which had offices in the U.S., Argentina, and Israel. Before joining Dorimedia in 2007, he was general manager and CEO of Venezuela’s RCTV International, a Miami-based company he joined in 1988 as a project manager.

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