Ilia Calderon will replace Maria Elena Salinas as co-anchor with Jorge Ramos of Univision’s flagship 6:30 p.m. newscast Noticiero Univision in mid-December, the network announced Wednesday.
Calderon, a native of Colombia, becomes the first Afro-Latina to anchor an evening newscast for a major broadcaster in the U.S. It is a distinction she also achieved in Colombia, where she was the first black woman to host a new national program.
Calderon will also serve as co-host of Univision’s Sunday night newsmagazine, Aqui y Ahora (Here and Now), which airs Sunday nights, alongside Teresa Rodriguez.
Salinas announced last summer that she would step down from both shows at the end of the year when she’ll leave Univision after nearly 40 years at the network. Calderon is well-known to Univision’s viewers. She joined the network in 2007 as co-anchor of the weekend edition of the daily newsmagazine Primer Impacto. She became co-anchor of Noticiero Univision: Edicion Nocturna in 2011. Last summer, she conducted a headline-making interview with Ku Klux Klan leader Chris Barker in North Carolina for Aqui y Ahora. Using an offensive epithet, Barker told Calderon she was the first black person to set foot on his property, and proceeded to threaten her throughout the interview.
“We are delighted that Ilia Calderon will join Jorge Ramos at the helm of Noticiero Univision beginning next month,” Daniel Coronell, president of Univision News, said in a statement. “Ilia’s professionalism and experience, together with her personal charisma, journalistic integrity, knowledge of the U.S. Hispanic community and proven appeal with our diverse audience make her the ideal person to succeed Maria Elena Salinas.”
“It is a great honor and an enormous responsibility for me to sit in Maria Elena Salinas’ anchor chair,” added Calderon. “Maria Elena has been an invaluable voice for the Hispanic community in this country, an icon of excellence in journalism and a role model for millions of Latinas, so I know I have big shoes to fill.”