Emilio Nicolas, Sr.
Pioneer of Spanish Language Television in the United States
- Emilio Nicolas, Sr. was born to Mr. and Mrs. Constantino
Nicolas in Frontera, Coahuila, Mexico on October 27, 1930. He is one
of five children.
- After finishing High School in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
in 1948, Nicolas came to the United States to learn English and seek
an undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology with a minor in math
from St. Marys University in 1951 and in 1952 a Masters degree
from Trinity University.
- Nicolas went to work for Southwest Foundation doing research
on arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. He also worked in
the development of the polio vaccine.
- He married Irma Alicia Cortez in 1953 and they have been
married for 50 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
- Nicolas left Southwest Foundation in 1955 and began working
at KCOR_TV channel 41 in San Antonio where he produced the live shows
at night and directed the news departments of the Radio and the Television
stations during the day. In the mid-sixties he also handled the Spanish
advertising and production for all clients of Pitluk Advertising, San
Antonios largest Agency at that time.
- In 1961 a group of businessmen including Nicolas bought
the station from Mr. Cortez and Nicolas renamed the station KWEX. He
had wanted it to be KXEW in honor of Don Emilio Azcarragas first
radio station in Mexico City fondly known as "La XEW", but
those call letters were taken in the states.
- Nicolas or "Nicky" as he was known to close
associates became the stations President and General Manager.
- Both Nicolas and his partner Rene Anselmo began lobbying
Congress to mandate that all Television sets come equipped to receive
both VHF and now UHF channels. The success of this effort changed the
face of UHF Television forever.
- In 1975 Emilio Nicolas, Sr. initiated the Teleton Navideno
in order to raise much needed funds for the under privileged of San
Antonio during the Holidays. He invites Archbishop Patrick Flores
to co-sponsor the event. This event continues to provide much needed
help to San Antonians.
- 1976 Nicolas initiates first national broadcast of a
Catholic mass as a public service for its predominantly Catholic viwers
on the SIN Television Network. This mass continues to be broadcast from
the Cathedral in San Antonio and broadcast on Univision stations.
- In 1976 KWEX and San Antonio became the center of operations
for SIN, the first Satellite interconnected Television Network in the
United States. San Antonio and KWEX remained the center of operations
for the Network until late 1987 when Emilio Azcarraga Milmo moved everything
to Laguna Nigel in California.
- Nicolas was Chairman of the National Association of Spanish
Broadcasters (NASB) He has served on the Board of Trinity University
for 25 years. He was on the Board of San Antonio Savings Association,
The University of the Incarnate Word, Southwest Research Foundation,
The University of Texas College of Communications, The University of
Texas Health Science Center, The Mexican American Legal Defense and
Education Fund or MALDEF, The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, The National
Board of the USO and many others.
- Nicolas has received numerous awards for his efforts
in Advertising, Television, Civic causes and more.
- Nicolas is credited for his National editorials on matters
affecting the Spanish speaking people of the United States. These editorials
aired on SIN and called National attention to U.S. Immigration laws
and discrimination among other issues. Former San Antonio Mayor Henry
Cisneros said "Nicolas could be credited with instigating two crucial
U.S. Congress conference meetings which resulted in the killing of the
latest immigration reform bill. (S.A.Express News from an article 10/17/84
by Wilfredo Ramirez.)
- Between 1986 and 1987 as President of Spanish International
Communications Corporation, Nicolas orchestrated and consummated the
sale of the SICC television stations across the United States to Hallmark
Greeting Cards of Kansas City, Kansas.
- Following the Sale, Nicolas stepped down as President
of the Company he had helped build.
- Hallmark then threw Nicolas a wonderful dinner with an
equally wonderful list of Friends, Family and former business associates.
- After Nicolas and Azcarragas two year non-compete
with Hallmark was over, they met and decided to make Galavision the
third Spanish Language Television Network in the United States.
- Nicolas Communications Corporation was formed (NCC) to
affiliate with Galavision.
- Nicolas bought several Low Power Television (LPTV) permits
and entered into a ten (10) year contract with Galavision to distribute
- KNIC, channel 17 was built in San Antonio along with
stations in Austin and Corpus Christi.
- In 1997 Nicolas and Azcarraga severed ties after a 40
year relationship and NCC affiliated with The Home Shopping Network
(HSN) and its sister network Americas Store (AS)
- In 2002 Univision and Entravision entered into a contract
to purchase two (2) of NCCs stations for Telefutura, the nations
Fourth Spanish Language television network.
- In 2003 NCC sold two more stations to the Pappas Telecasting
for their affiliation to Azteca America, the Fifth U.S. Spanish language
Today, Nicolas is semi-retired, working with his son, Guillermo and enjoying
life in San Antonio and on his ranch with wife Irma.