Washington, D.C., May 15, 1999 -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has named Hugo Morales, founder and Executive Director of Radio Bilingue, the recipient of the 23rd annual Edward R. Murrow Award, public radios highest honor.
Morales was presented the award by Robert T. Coonrod, CPB President and CEO, at the Public Radio Conference here.
"Hugo is someone who is committed to community service both at its most fundamental human level, and also at a broad national level," said Coonrod. "He has achieved much of his success by creating and nurturing strategic alliances within the local and national Hispanic and public broadcasting communities."
Coonrod also commented on Morales role as a visionary in expanding public radios reach to diverse audiences, such as delivering programming by satellite. "Through his example, Hugo challenges us all to capitalize on the potential of public radio and new media opportunities to advance our historic public service mission, a mission that includes service to an increasingly diverse population," he said.
Since 1976, Morales has built Radio Bilingue, the Latino public radio network. Headquartered in Fresno, California, the network provides a national satellite service in English, Spanish, and Mixteco, an indigenous Native American language from Mexico. It serves over half a million listeners with its pioneering daily Spanish language national talk show, Linea Abierta, its independently produced news service, Noticiero Latino, and its rainbow of Spanish-language folk music for its national Latino audiences.
Begun with a handful of volunteer farmworkers, artists, and others, Radio Bilingue made its first broadcast in 1980, to listeners in the San Joaquin Valley. The goal was to provide news and information to farmworkers and other hard-to-reach, low income, Latino populations in California and across the U.S. Today, Radio Bilingue has a full-time staff of 25 and an annual budget of $2 million.
In addition to the Murrow Award, Morales received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994. He recently received the Susan Hadden Award from the Alliance for Public Technology and he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from California State University Fresno.
The Murrow Award honors individuals whose work has fostered the growth, quality, and positive image of public radio. Presented by CPB since 1977, it is named in memory of the veteran broadcaster, Edward R. Murrow, who was an outspoken advocate for responsible, courageous and imaginative use of the electronic media.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.