A rising star on Spanish-language TV
July 10, 2009
By Pablo Jaime Sáinz
Susana Rivera Torres’s goal was to enter Spanish-language television to help improve the quality of life for Latinos in San Diego.
“We need more prepared bilingual people on television,” she said. “Even though I’m open to working in English, mi priority is to serve my people. I’m proud of my roots, and I want to continue representing and be the pride of Hispanics.”
And four years after starting as an intern in the local Univision affiliate in San Diego, Rivera Torres, who’s barely 22 years old, is already achieving part of her goals.
Recently, the journalist won her first Emmy for a series of segments on the environment, where she urged viewers to help take care of the planet, from how to save energy and gas to how to recycle trash.
The weekly segments aired on the local Univision news program.
“My environmental segments, titled C-Verde, were created after going green became popular and I knew that there was a way I could contribute,” Rivera Torres said.
The young reporter had to stop doing her segments because of time, since four months ago she received a great opportunity: Becoming the hostess of popular morning show Des-pierta San Diego, which airs daily at 6 a.m. on Univision San Diego.
“My day starts at 3 in the morning, so it was complicated for me to continue with the segments while I get used to the new schedule,” Rivera Torres said.
But hosting the show and producing her segments are not the only things that this multitalented journalist does: She’s also meteorologist for Univision affiliates in Palm Springs and El Centro. She does this via satellite.
Also, in the past she’s done a weekly entertainment segment, where she’s interviewed popular Latino stars, such as José José.
“Versatility is important because today the market is changing and being able to do a little bit of everything has helped me stay in Univision,” Rivera Torres said.
Born in Texas to Mexican parents, Susana Rivera Torres has lived in Chula Vista since childhood. Recently she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, with a concentration in Spanish-language media, from San Diego State University.
She began her career in media in Univision San Diego, where she started working in different positions behind the cameras until she got the opportunity to report for the news program.
For Alberto Mier y Terán, vice-president and general manager at KBNT Channel 17 Univision San Diego, what stands out about Rivera Torres is that she’s always willing to learn –and to accept criticism and suggestions.
“Susana is a person with a great attitude, who wants to learn,” Mier y Terán said. “She know she can always learn more, she accepts this, she sets a goal, she achieves it, and goes even further. She’s been able to take advantage of opportunities. And the fact that she started here as an intern just four years ago, makes it even more admirable. She has a very good future.”
That future will always be linked to the media, said the young journalist. But, she warns, always giving her best to help her Latino people, who, thanks to her work on TV, have accepted her and have turned her into a familiar face in Latino homes in San Diego.
“My dream is to continue in the media, continue developing, improving, and one day become a respected voice with more power to support and bring my community ahead,” Rivera Torres said.
To learn more about Susana Rivera Torres, visit www.susanariveratorres.com.