Ilia Calderón Joins 'Noticiero Univision'; Becomes First Afro-Latina To Host Weekly Evening News In U.S.

Born in an interracial and culturally diverse family in the Colombian region of Chocó, Ilia Calderón began her journalistic career in 1994 as a host of a local newscast in the second most populous city in the country, Medellín. Accumulating experience and with her great talent, she became one of the most respected television journalists on Univision.  

For her excellent performance, Calderón has been designated as the new co-host of the emblematic evening news of the Univision network, "Noticiero Univision." Calderón will occupy the chair of María Elena Salinas in mid-December, joining Jorge Ramos on the newscast from Monday to Friday at 6:30 p.m. East / Pacific.

With this achievement, Calderón makes history by becoming the first Afro-Latina to conduct national weekly evening news for one of the main television networks in the United States; she had already marked a similar milestone in her native country, Colombia, where she was the first black woman to present a national newscast: "Noticiero CMI." In addition to replacing Salinas in the "Noticiero Univision," Calderón will also be the co-host of the news program "Aquí y Ahora," together with Teresa Rodríguez, which airs on Univision on Sundays during primetime.

"For me it is a great honor, and a huge responsibility, to take the place of María Elena Salinas," said Calderón. "María Elena has been an invaluable voice for the Hispanic community in the United States, an icon of excellence in journalism and an exemplary figure for millions of Latina women, so I am aware that it is not easy to fill her shoes. This new challenge as co-presenter of the newscast that the Hispanic public of this country entrusts most to the millions of faithful viewers of the ‘Noticiero Univision,’ I promise to give the audience my best every afternoon, and continue to honor Univision's commitment to inform and empower the Latino population like no other news organization in the United States."

But why is it so important to note that Ilia Calderón is Afro-Latina? After her very mediatic encounter with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Chris Barker, in his house in North Carolina for a special edition of "Aquí y Ahora" where she was publicly humiliated by Barker when he used an offensive words against her, Calderón left very clear that being a black Hispanic woman or simply a black woman isn’t something that denigrates her, and without being intimidated she confronted her attacker as a professional, even though it was a tense and uncomfortable moment. "I did it because there are stories you can't tell from a television studio and there are stories that gain value by taking risks. You can't report about a hurricane from your bed," she told People En Español speaking about her interview. 

In 2001 Ilia moved to Miami, Florida, and started working as a host for Telemundo, where she was co-host of the weekend edition of the national newscast, becoming then the first Afro-Latina to host any type of evening news in a major TV network in the U.S., and then became co-host of the network's morning program, “Cada Día con María Antonieta Collins."

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.