By: Marcos Lebron
Rossana Rosado, the former Publisher and CEO of El Diario-La Prensa, the nation’s oldest Spanish-language newspaper, who was confirmed in June 2016 by the New York State Senate after being nominated by Governor Cuomo in February took time out of her busy schedule on Tuesday to meet with Buffalo’s Hispanic Leadership and build bridges for the future.
In attendance was; Cesar Cabrera, Ed.D. City of Buffalo Majority leader David Rivera, Publisher Emeritus and Owner of Panorama Hispano News Edwin Martinez, Carmen Melendez, Executive Director of HUB Eugenio Russi, John Sanabria, Gilbert Hernandez, Ralph Hernandez, Provi Carrion, Dinorah Santos, Executive Director of the Belle Center Lucy Candelario, Fabiola Friot and Talia Rodriguez.
She started her remarks by saying “ things are really happening in Buffalo, The Governor has made Buffalo one of his top priorities as you can see from what is going on in Canalside, The Buffalo Medical Campus, Buffalo’s Westside and new development planned for the Eastside of Buffalo. I think in all, we have over $60 Billions in Public and private investment to build a better future for the residents of Buffalo and WNY”. As the Secretary of State, I am here to see how we can maximize the state’s investment in Buffalo and insure that people of color are part of the process and included in the robust growth of the region.
Edwin Martinez asked Secretary of State Rossana Rosado if she could help in insuring that the Governor’s high minority goals are enforced. “ We know that New York has some of the highest minority goals in the nation, but we have to enforce those goals, if we are to success” The Secretary of State said, yes.
Prior to her visit to Buffalo the Governor said. “Rossana Rosado is a respected, intelligent leader with the experience New York needs to lift up working families and expand opportunity,” Governor Cuomo said. “From becoming the first woman to serve as editor and publisher of the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country, to championing reentry initiatives, to her work as an award-winning producer, Rossana brings a depth and diversity of experience that is second to none. I am confident Rossana will be a force for positive and lasting change in communities across the state, and I am proud to welcome her to this administration.”
Rosado’s 30-year media career included 18 years with El Diario-La Prensa, where she was Editor in Chief prior to serving as Publisher and CEO for 14 years. She retired after leading the newspaper to its centennial and solidifying its role as a Latino thought leader. During her distinguished career she has won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award, among other honors. She also served in the mayoral administrations of David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani as Vice President for Public Affairs of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Rosado has an extensive background in working on behalf of formerly incarcerated men and women, as a volunteer, consultant and advocate. She has served on the advisory board of The Fortune Society and on Gov. David Paterson’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice. She also serves on the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and on the John Jay College Foundation Board of Trustees.
For more information on Rossana Rosado read the New York times story below.
PUBLIC LIVES; New Publisher With a Little Bronx Attitude
By JOYCE WADLER
HERE is the newly named publisher of El Diario-La Prensa, Rossana Rosado, perched in a most unpublisher manner on the arm of her couch.
Get off there, Ms. Rosado, you're management now, you want to tell her, but you can't interrupt, because nobody could, and also because Ms. Rosado, who until last week was merely the editor of El Diario, is holding forth on something important: her big mouth.
The incident goes back a few weeks, during the controversy over Hillary Rodham Clinton's condemnation of her husband's offer of clemency to 16 Puerto Rican militants.
''I'm one of the moderators at this conference where Hillary is speaking on women in the workplace,'' Ms. Rosado says, in a rush of words that could be counted as hurricane force if they would just slow down. ''I know I can ask a nice question -- look, who wouldn't want to be friends with the First Lady? But there's this compulsion, almost this physical thing where I feel I have to ask this question. This rumbling where the head is meeting your bile and you just have to say it or you can't live with yourself.
''So I ask, 'Mrs. Clinton, who are your Hispanic advisers in New York?' Her answer -- the first time she said this -- was none, and she wouldn't make that mistake again.''
Inspirational part, apparently heartfelt, regarding Hillary, here.
''I was so happy, I felt like such a journalist that day, and that's what I never want to lose, not being afraid to ask the question that's on your mind.''
Rossana Rosado part, delivered with the intonation that would make a comic proud, here:
''I said to my woman's group, 'You support your husband on Monica, then you oppose him on this?' ''
It is usual, in newspapers, to appoint as publisher either a relative or a graduate of a business school. Ms. Rosado, who at 38 is now the only female publisher of a major Spanish-language paper in the United States, is neither. Ms. Rosado was raised in the Bronx, her father a truck driver and her mother a hospital clerk. Ms. Rosado has been a journalist for most of her working life.
Also, a suit she is not.
Her style is kind of a Latina Rosie O'Donnell: large, opinionated, warm, direct, funny and, to the chagrin of some of her compatriots, loud. In a word, Ms. Rosado has attitude.
The Governor's office tips The Daily News that the new State Commissioner of Health is Dr. Antonia Novello, of Puerto Rican descent, and The News has it before El Diario. Ms. Rosado calls up the Governor's office and hollers her head off. She may be one of the few in the press corps who screamed at Cristyne F. Lategano, the Mayor's famously intimidating former press person.
DISCUSSING her marriage (her husband works in construction, there are two children) she is not embarrassed to tell you -- or maybe she is, but tells you anyway -- that it was she, in their youth, who chased him.
''I saw him on the first day of school, I pursued him aggressively,'' Ms. Rosado says. ''I asked him to the prom. He was shy. He didn't even kiss me goodnight. It was so disappointing. I was sooo puckered up.''
It is her husband, Ms. Rosado says, who did most of the child rearing. ''Our friends joke that somebody had to have the maternal instinct.''
As for journalism, Ms. Rosado came to it by default. As a girl she loved words, wanted to write books, and thought she would earn a living as an English teacher. When a Pace University adviser told her teaching was out of the question because of her accent -- ''Little did she know I didn't speak Spanish that well, I had no accent,'' Ms. Rosado says dryly -- she turned to journalism.
She arrived at El Diario in 1983, as a layout artist. At the the time, the paper had only one female reporter. Working simultaneously as reporter and layout artist for three weeks (i.e., working as a reporter without pay), Ms. Rosado scooped The Daily News on a child care center scandal and won herself a (paying) reporting job. Her Spanish at the time was not good, and much of her work had to be translated. Her nickname was ''el bombon de la redaccion,'' ''the gumdrop of the newsroom.''
But Ms. Rosado had a mentor in El Diario's editor in chief, Manuel de Dios Unanue, who in 1992 was murdered by a member of a Colombian drug cartel that he had attacked in print. Mr. Unanue was considered abrasive by many, but Ms. Rosado admired him for a word she will use often about him and newspapers, his ''passion.''
''There were drug traffickers in the community,'' Ms. Rosado says. ''He set up hot lines for people to call us and tell where they were, then he'd publish pictures of the corners they worked. When the photographer complained it was dangerous, he'd say, 'You want to be safe, go work in a bank.'
''The slogan of the paper is 'El campeon de los hispanos,' the champion of the people, he did that. There was a kid who had leukemia who was living with his mother in a shelter. Manuel called up somebody in the city government to cut through the red tape and get them an apartment. They said they couldn't do it.
''Manuel said he was going to put Felix's face -- the kid was named Felix -- on the front page every day until they found him an apartment. Every day, for 17 days, 'Felix Still Doesn't Have a Home.' A lot of people were embarrassed by that. But I was very comfortable with it. It was passion on the front page.''