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Monday, January 21, 2019

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Guadalupe Venegas graduated from San Diego State University in 2004. (Photo: Erik Good) Guadalupe Venegas graduated from San Diego State University in 2004. (Photo: Erik Good)

Alumnus Co-Anchoring New Local Spanish-Language Newscast

Guadalupe Venegas (‘04) is the new co-anchor of San Diego’s Telemundo 20 station.
By Erik Good

While the news team awaited final adjustments to the studio lights, Guadalupe Venegas (‘04) had a moment to reflect on his circumstances. Venegas recently became the co-anchor at Telemundo 20, a new Spanish-language news station in San Diego. Returning to the city where his alma mater is located to take on this new, public-facing role, Venegas couldn’t help but think back to where his career began as a student at San Diego State University.

New beginnings

As a Mexican-American growing up in Ontario, California, Venegas was the first in his family to leave home for college, wanting to forge a new educational experience on his own. Venegas was no stranger to San Diego when he first arrived on campus in the fall of 2000; he had lived around the city during his formative years and still had numerous relatives living near the border. 

While it was partly this familiarity that led him to choose SDSU, Venegas said he was also motivated to attend after being accepted into the university’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

“I was the first person in my family to go to college, so I was going to go wherever I could figure out how to pay for it,” Venegas said. “Between EOP, financial aid, and a few other grants and scholarships, I was able to come to SDSU.” 

Having one of the largest Educational Opportunity Programs in the United States, SDSU currently serves more than 3,300 qualified students. 

“EOP understands a unique characteristic of students who come from a minority background, which is that coming to college is a little more difficult for us,” Venegas said. ”Culturally, our families don’t understand what it’s like to be in college.”

As an avid reader and student of the arts, Venegas was attracted to SDSU’s communications program, as well as the opportunity to study Spanish.

“I wanted to be a journalist, but I wanted to work in Spanish media,” he said. “There was no Spanish journalism program in the U.S., so I created my own path.”

After taking classes with mentors like celebrated Mexican poet José Mario Martín-Flores, Venegas knew that he would have to dedicate himself to studying the Spanish language if he wanted to reach his career goals.

Personal growth and exploration

While at SDSU, Venegas studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. Thanks to the help of SDSU’s International Student Center, Venegas was admitted at the prestigious Tecnológico de Monterrey at their Guadalajara campus, where he had the opportunity to fully immerse himself in the local culture.

“What I learned being in Mexico has served me to this day,” Venegas said. “Everything is different, the way you dress, the way you speak. Realizing that really helped me blend into Latin American society.”

Forging his own path

After returning to the United States and completing his degree at SDSU in 2004, Venegas entered the broadcasting field. After honing his skills on networks like LATV, the Esquire Network, and TLC Asia, Venegas’ career took off hosting entertainment news at Telemundo network as part of the Al Rojo Vivo team. In Miami, Venegas covered the Miss Universe contest and other high-profile events.

Here in San Diego, Venegas will work out of the new KNSD studios in Kearny Mesa. As part of the Telemundo 20 team, he will report on local breaking news, as well as stories affecting Mexico, particularly those living in the border region.

“The border has so many stories to tell”

Working alongside NBC 7 reporters, the team at Telemundo 20 is in a unique position to highlight stories often overlooked by traditional media sources, Venegas said.

“The border has so many stories to tell, not just on a local level, but on a national level,” said Venegas. “We are one of the voices that will speak to our community, and that the rest of the country will look to when it comes to issues like the wall, how NAFTA might change, and how that might affect our community.”

Telemundo 20 launched July 1, and Venegas and the rest of the Telemundo 20 team will make their on-air debut on July 3. The station will air four half-hour newscasts each weeknight at 5, 5:30, 6, and 11 p.m.