Latina (formerly Frecuencia Latina) is a Peruvian television network, founded on January 23, 1983.
The first station to broadcast on channel 2 in Lima came about in 1957, when Eduardo Cavero, owner of a network of radio stations, acquired a license for that frequency. On May 27, 1962, the channel launched, with an emphasis on variety shows and musical programs. However, the competition up the dial between América Televisión and Panamericana Televisión, on channels 4 and 5, would take its toll on the ratings at channel 2, and in 1966, the station was sold to Tele 2 S.A., a joint venture between the Spanish company Movierecord and the American Metromedia, which renamed the station Tele 2 and turned it into the first movie-focused station in Latin America; Tele 2 would broadcast movies in the afternoon and repeat them at night, plus a 15-minute newscast at the start of its broadcast day. With changes in Peru's military government in 1974, the station's license was revoked, and channel 2 in Lima would go dark.
1982–87: Frecuencia 2
In 1982, Compañía Latinoamericana de Radiodifusión (Latin American Broadcasting Company) was founded by Bernardo Batievsky, a publicist and filmmaker, with Baruch Ivcher (Israeli-born owner of mattress maker Paraiso) and brothers Samuel and Mendel Winter (owners of Winter's chocolate factory) as his financial backers. On January 23, 1983, their new station, named Frecuencia 2 (Frequency 2), took to the air; the inaugural broadcast was headlined by then-president Fernando Belaúnde Terry. The original station building was located in Miraflores Ward, Lima.
The programming mix of Frecuencia 2 blended a style patterned after the American superstation format with next to nothing in terms of national production, as it did not have any studio facilities available to produce major national shows. The station's approach to news was equally unusual: 90 Segundos, a 90-second newscast broadcast throughout the day (and supplemented with a main, longer edition in 1984).
1987–93: National expansion and a terrorist attack
The Frecuencia 2 signal covered Lima well, from Huacho in the north to Chincha in the south, but management wanted to think bigger. The sign-on of a retransmitter in Ica in 1987 was the first of many in the years to come, capped by the 1990 acquisition of a transponder on the PanAmSat satellite to cover the entire country, motivated by a desire to be the first to cover all of Peru.
The channel grew, in staffing, programming and local production, but most of the new programs were still filmed in theaters because there were still no dedicated studios available. One of the new shows, Contrapunto, a weekly news show, would remain on the air for 13 years. Finally, the first drama program launched in 1989, the series Matalaché, based on a 1928 novel by Enrique López Albújar aired, though it was still produced by a subcontractor. The launch of studio facilities in a larger lot at San Felipe Avenue in Jesús María Ward, acquired in 1989, was a major boon.
However, as things were looking up, a sudden turn of fortune came on June 5, 1992. A Shining Path car bomb left the new facilities mostly in ruins and three Frecuencia 2 employees dead. The facilities were reconstructed, and upon its reopening had become one of the nation's most modern, ending years of outside production for most of its programs, as the channel had by 1993 reached all corners of the country via satellite.
1993–97: Frecuencia Latina, first Ivcher administration
With the changing programming, national reach and elevated status, Frecuencia 2 changed names to Frecuencia Latina on October 31, 1993. At this time, Baruch Ivcher, new minor owner of the network, signed a contract with director Luis Llosa and his Iguana Producciones, a production company that helped lead to a wave of new and nationally produced dramas and fiction programs, headed by new stars that would go on to make their mark in many other programs.
1997–2000: The Winter brothers
Contrapunto was one of the most important programs at Frecuencia Latina, and when it exposed government corruption against Alberto Fujimori's administration in 1996, Baruch Ivcher, who had acquired Peruvian citizenship in keeping with a law that prohibited foreigners from owning radio or television stations in the country, had it stripped. Because of this, he lost control of Frecuencia Latina. Mendel and Samuel Winter, who had been minor owners of Compañía Latinoamericana de Radiodifusión since 1983, took control, bringing with them an update to the channel's logo.
Among the successes of the Winter years were the talk show Maritere, hosted by Maritere Braschi (who had come from Contrapunto) and Magaly Medina's program Magaly TV [es] (1998–2000).
2000–2009: Second Ivcher administration
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights heard Ivcher's case and called for the government to reinstate his citizenship and ownership of Frecuencia Latina, cease harassing him and indemnify him for the false accusations made against him. On December 6, 2000, Ivcher triumphantly returned to Frecuencia Latina, Peruvian flag in hand. With the Winter brothers out, Magaly (and many other personalities) left due to expiring contracts and the change in management. In the early 2000s, Beto Ortiz and Gisela Valcárcel also had programs on the channel; Beto's Vidas secretas (Secret Lives) was a gossip program that revealed facts about TV personalities, including those from Frecuencia Latina. While Gisela's remake of Big Brother, La casa de Gisela (Gisela's House), attained high ratings, she was fired after facts were revealed on Vidas secretas.
2009–2012: The Urrutia era
After director Javier Carmona resigned in 2009, Ivcher appointed the Chilean Javier Urrutia as the new general executive of Frecuencia Latina. The decision was met with concern, as it was suspected that Urrutia had ties to Vladimiro Montesinos and was a spy for Chile's intelligence service.
However, Urrutia clashed with key personalities. Philips Butters, a sports journalist who had been named "best sports journalist" in 2007 and 2008, was sacked after Urrutia wanted to change his program El Especialista, which covered sports. Even El Especial del Humor, a weekend fixture at Frecuencia Latina, was axed in 2010 when Urrutia objected to some of the content. Programs left the air as Urrutia and the hosts of Frecuencia Latina's programs butted heads. Eventually, Ivcher's patience ran out, and Urrutia was fired.
On September 14, 2010, Frecuencia Latina's HDTV feed signed on, using the ISDB-T system.
2012–present: New shareholders
On June 26, 2012, Ivcher announced that a controlling stake in Frecuencia Latina was being sold to Enfoca Inversiones, a Peruvian investment company headed by Jesus Zamora. In September, he acquired the shares that belonged to the Winter brothers in a liquidation resulting from a long judicial process, and immediately afterward Enfoca Inversiones exercised a call option to acquire them thus controlling all the outstanding shares of the company. In 2013, he stepped down from the board of Frecuencia Latina, ceding full control to the new board of directors headed by Jesús Zamora.
2014: as Latina
On the night of November 28, 2014, during the program La Voz Peru, the logo and the slogan of the channel changed, going from Frecuencia Latina to call simply "Latina" and its slogan changed from "Think Big" to "always more" respectively. The new logo was a big departure from the logo first used in 2010, it now featured a big letter L on a blue square background. By 2017, the blue L was changed to a green logo, the vertical line now changed to that of 8 power buttons.