Maria Elena Salinas has announced her retirement from Univision News. For more than three decades, Salinas has played the roles of both an anchor and an advocate, and the Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. is sad to see her go.
Salinas has hosted the main news broadcast on Univision with co-anchor Jorge Ramos. Ramos wrote a heartfelt letter to Salinas on the eve of her final newscast.
“We have been an on-air couple for so many years and sometimes people get confused and call me Jorge Salinas. That’s always amusing to me. I have to thank her for putting up with me all these years. Nobody, ever, had done it like her and for so long,” Ramos said.
While 10,000 people reach the retirement age of 65 every day in the U.S., Salinas is only 62. She says she’s been considering her departure for several years but now is the right time to pursue independent projects.
Unfortunately, some advocates say that the many immigrants who view the nightly program as a lifeline for understanding current events are going to lose an important voice when Salina leaves.
Natalia Jaramillo, a spokeswoman for We Belong Together, a group that promotes the rights of immigrant families, said “She is someone who understands the situation. It’s refreshing and inspiring to have someone like her who can sway public opinion, raise her voice and represent the community.”
Salinas’ powerful views have been featured in opinion columns, her Twitter feed, and an open letter to Trump during the campaign after he referred to Mexican immigrants as drug dealers.
Salinas and Ramos had a large audience that made them the most-watched television journalists in the United States. While they had an audience of people speaking a variety of languages, their core viewership was made up of immigrants and first-generation Americans who mainly speak Spanish.
Throughout her career, Salinas has been awarded many journalistic honors, including the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award, a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor, the Peabody Award, and seven Emmy awards.
Salinas said she has plans to pursue independent documentary projects and spend more time with her two daughters.
In January, she will start by working on the second season of her series “The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas,” which will air on the Investigation Discovery network.
Salinas said she one reason she chose to leave is her desire to try new things while she still can.
“Now is the time to start over,” she said. “Sometimes you have to make a drastic decision to change.”