Jacqueline Hernández is a Latina media titan for all generations
MÁS EN ESTA SECCIÓN
The world of media, business can be a fierce world. But it is also a place where major influence is won and harnessed.
Given that influence, it helps to have people in positions of power who reflect the growing diversity of the country.
Jacqueline Hernández is a real life representative of that.
A Latina in the media business whose career expands over a quarter century, through tireless work, Hernández has helmed some of the biggest names in the corporate media and publishing worlds.
The classic ‘American Dream’
Born and raised in New York City to immigrant Spanish parents, her father from Cartagena Murcia and her mother from the small town of Guernica in the Basque region of Spain, they were the classic example of the American Dream.
They were honest, humble, and hardworking people who came to the U.S. for a better life and opportunity, and looked to give her and her sister a life they never had. That kind of drive is what ultimately led to her father building from the ground up and running a successful contracting company.
Education was heavily encouraged as the ticket to a better life. Like most children of immigrants, Hernández was a first-generation student who was the first to attend and graduate from college and graduate school in her family. She even graduated a year early in both high school and college.
“I love studying to be honest with you. Even to this day,” she told AL DÍA.
Hernández got her Bachelor's Degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts in English Literature and Art History, and had initially gone with plans of going into international relations before everything changed with one marketing class.
“I tell young people that are going to college to really use the experience to find what you like and what you don't like and learn from that because it's very important for you to be passionate about what you do if you want to be successful,” she said.
Boston to NYC, and then TIME
Hernández remained in Boston after getting her bachelor’s degree, where she worked at The Boston Globe for two years. After the Globe, she missed her home of New York City and her family, and decided to go back where she got a job at The Village Voice. It was there that Hernández realized she loved the media, but also its business side. She decided to matriculate and began taking night classes at Baruch College in NYC in pursuit of her Master of Business Association (MBA).
“I really love how business is like a puzzle where you put the pieces together. And if you really have a vision and you execute it, it's incredible how you can see businesses grow,” Hernández said.
In 1995, Hernández began working at TIME Magazine, at the time known as Time Warner. She oversaw all international marketing for their global operations and magazine, which included Time Atlantic, Asia, and Latin America to bring them to the international audience.
“It was a great pleasure for me because it was the first time in my career that I was using my Spanish. Being able to travel across the region, especially in Mexico and speak Spanish was not only an asset, but it was a great joy,” she said.
Through Time, she began working on a protocol program with CNN and Turner Broadcasting, owned by Time Warner/Warner Brothers Discovery. Hernández was eventually recruited to the Turner side of Time at the beginning of the TV and digital tech boom in the news industry.
She got to work on CNN International, TNT Latin America, and Cartoon Network as VP of Integrated Marketing & Global Sales Sponsorships and VP of Interactive Digital Sales, again trying to bring the multicultural and Latino audience to the network.
“It's about educating and celebrating cultures, diverse cultures, countries and people and their heritages,” said Hernández. “And it's really the key to any business's success now and into the future as we continue to become even more and more diverse as a world.”
Jackie in charge
After five years at CNN/Turner Broadcasting, Hernández hit a point in her journey that she deemed to be “a real career changing moment,” when she went to work for People en Español.
For the first time in her career she was asked to run the entire P&L (profit and loss statement), overseeing every little detail of the business operation. During her four years there, Hernández was also asked to take on a second job running Teen People Magazine for an interim year in which she drove the publication to immediately grow advertising revenue and improve the publications operating cash flow.
Again, it was also about attracting the Gen Z and growing Latino population to the publication.
“It really started my passion for always being on top of the next generation. Ten years ago, I was very focused on being a millennial expert. Now I'm extremely deep in understanding Gen Z, because it is the next generation that is defining the future of businesses, future trends, and culture that we live in,” she said.
Telemundo and NBC triumphs
Her successes at those two publications led to her next position as Chief Operating Officer at Telemundo Media. She came to the company at a time when Telemundo was second to Univision and ultimately looked to close the gap between the two Hispanic media giants, and furthermore, develop a vision that would take them to number one.
By the time she left six years later, Hernández had done just that.
Another key highlight of her career at Telemundo was acquiring the television rights to the FIFA World Cup. They’re rights Telemundo still holds to this day.
“When I went to Telemundo, the first thing my parents asked was — ‘Are you going to get the World Cup?’ said Hernández. “It was a highlight of my career to get the phone call from Zurich saying we won the rights.”
Following her time at Telemundo, she made the jump to NBC Universal, where she looked to increase the Latino audience and viewership among younger generations.
There, she created an initiative called America Reimagined. It looked at the population changes in diversity, multiculturalism, and with the younger generations in mind. It was extremely successful in driving growth in those areas, which she said was a big reason she eventually started her own company because of the impact she witnessed when working with leaders and companies on how to engage, connect, and bring new audiences to businesses and platforms.
After NBC Universal, she started that company, but was soon asked to helm the Hispanic MMA Sports Franchise Combate Americas. She did for two years, growing it into a global combat sports brand, and went on to sit on the board of directors for multiple companies, including Redbox, Isos Acquisitions, and Estrella Media.
She still currently sits on the board of directors at Victoria’s Secret.
New Majority Ready
But back to her own company, Hernández said it was started as a result of her more than a quarter century moving up the corporate ladder and guiding other massive entities in the media space.
Over three years ago, Hernández founded and is the current CEO of New Majority Ready. It’s a firm that is focused on strategic marketing, consulting, and helping businesses expand with the ever-growing multicultural and Latino population. Her previous work helped her find that passion.
At the center of that love for multiculturalism and entrepreneurship is her father, the original business founder in her life.
“In my office, on my bulletin board, I have my father's self-employment card. I was always very motivated by someone who came to this country speaking very little English, and was a blue-collar worker and ended up running his own business very successfully,” said Hernández. Because of that, I knew I had an entrepreneurial DNA in me.”
The name of the game now in media, and something Hernández hears a lot from clients is “transformation” when it comes to whose attention is desired.
With diversity, that also includes the need for more Latina and multicultural females to strive for and thrive in the business sector to further drive its own growth and diversity. The arena can be cut-throat for all Latinas and other females of color like Hernández, but she offered some advice for the next generation for AL DÍA to pass on.
“I remember once someone saying to me, ‘you're gonna have to work twice as hard as a man and even three or four times harder than a white man.’And I said: ‘You know what? I'm in. Sign me up. I love to work hard,’” said Hernández. “Preparing yourself, doing the work that you need, being diligent about it, and having a bar of excellence.”
As for her own future, Hernández will continue to run and grow New Majority Ready and has lots of plans. The company recently launched what it hopes to be a multicultural streaming service called New Majority Storytelling. It hopes to “authentically represent America, rich with diversity,” while “celebrating our cultural fusion of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities,” through scripted TV shows and more.
“We like to say, ‘Multicultural Content for Mainstream America,’” she told AL DÍA. “Our aim is to bring multicultural voices from incredible creators to the forefront.”