An Advocate for Public TV

Apr 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Luca Bentivoglio’s journey to the position of executive director for Latino Public Broadcasting has been a lifelong venture.
“I basically started off my career in Spanish-language television,” said Mr. Bentivoglio, whose organization has helped finance 30 hours of Latino programming for 2004, including the award-winning documentary “Farmingville,” set to air June 22 on PBS. “Up until I got involved with Latino Public Broadcasting, my entire career has been with Spanish-language television.”
Mr. Bentivoglio, 48, was born and raised in Venezuela and first came to the United States in 1978 to attend the University of Southern California. After graduating in 1982 with a degree in film and television, he began working with Spanish International Network Television, now known as Univision, advancing to VP of marketing and promotions.
In 1993, Mr. Bentivoglio left Univision for its upstart rival Telemundo, eventually becoming VP of programming and production. Warner Bros. lured him away in 1996 with the chance to launch The Warner Channel Latin America and direct its programming, marketing and distribution.
While at Univision in 1988, Mr. Bentivoglio put up his own shingle, Luca Bentivoglio Productions. For the next eight years, at both Univision and Telemundo, he independently produced shows including “Salvese Quien Pueda” (“Save Yourself If You Can”), Telemundo’s popular Spanish-language sketch-comedy series in which he also starred.
Despite his success as an executive and independent producer, he began to feel the pressures of a marketplace contracting through consolidation. “In the Latin market you have the imported fare, which is maybe 70 percent,” he said. “The other 30 percent is done in-house, so guys like me disappear.”
In 2001, after returning from his work in Latin America with Warner Bros., he jumped at the chance to join Latino Public Broadcasting. “I come from the ratings world. In [that] world it was very stressful. It was always about ratings, especially in the latter part of my career,” Mr. Bentivoglio said.
Mr. Bentivoglio lives in Santa Monica, Calif., with his wife, Patricia, and their three sons.