Arlene Santana and James Villalobos Win the Chance-of-a-Lifetime Opportunity From Nearly 200 Hopefuls
Fuse (www.Fuse.tv), a national television network for the fast-growing Latino and multicultural 18-34 audience, and Voto Latino (www.votolatino.org), the leading nonprofit organization empowering American Latino millennials by engaging them through civic media, today announced the winners in the Crash the Parties national search for two aspiring Latino reporters to cover the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Crash the Parties is a partnership between Fuse and Voto Latino created to inspire and encourage Latino participation in the upcoming Presidential election.
The winners are Arlene Santana from Los Angeles, CA, who will cover the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and James Villalobos from Springfield, MA, who will cover the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Ms. Santana is an accomplished host, having most recently hosted E! News Now for E! Online, as well as LATV Live, a music/entertainment television show geared toward a young bilingual Latino audience and Court Report for the Tennis Channel. Mr. Villalobos is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying journalism and is also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
“The outpouring of support for the Crash the Parties initiative has been remarkable,” said Fuse Media CEO Michael Schwimmer. “With nearly 200 nationwide submissions made, the level of interest speaks to just how seriously young people are taking this election, recognizing the issues at stake for their generation and those to follow. We look forward to Arlene and James taking the mic at both conventions and are proud to have them on board.”
Added Voto Latino President & CEO Maria Teresa Kumar, “We’re deeply grateful to Fuse Media for having the foresight to work with us to engage our community in this kind of endeavor, for being brave, and for recognizing the need for diverse voices in media. Crash The Parties is a testament to the amount of talent that exists in young, vibrant leaders across the country and we look forward to James and Arlene representing their peers at the national convention.”
After media training and orientation, the two winners will serve as Fuse reporters from the Democratic and Republican National Convention floors – appearing on television and online – offering an authentic perspective on the candidates and issues at the forefront of this election.
Public online voting narrowed down ten finalists from nearly 200 submissions received. An expert panel of judges then chose two winners from the finalists, judging them on verbal communication; appearance and presence; confidence and tenacity; personality and political interview preparedness.
The esteemed panel of judges included MSNBC host Rachel Maddow; Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and media publisher; Alejandra Campoverdi, current Director of Multicultural Content at the Los Angeles Times and former White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media; Maria Hinojosa, award-winning host of long-running weekly NPR show Latino USA; Lizza Monet Morales, actor, journalist, producer and social media influencer; and Katherine Vargas, former White House Director of Hispanic Media.
ARLENE SANTANA – DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
Arlene Santana was raised in Sullivan City, a small town in South Texas, then moved to Austin to attend college at St. Edward’s University where she earned her degree in Theater Arts. After graduating, Arlene moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion and has been working steadily as an actress and host.
As an actress, Arlene’s film credits include the blockbuster films Star Trek Beyond and Fast 5. Other film projects include the indie’sThis Path, Luna and Violeta. Arlene has also worked on many notable television shows like Scandal and Agents of SHIELD, has guest starred on NCIS: Los Angeles, Castle, Franklin and Bash and has recurred on Grey’s Anatomy.
Arlene’s love for sports and entertainment has guided her hosting career. She most recently hosted E! News Now for E! Online. She guested hosted on the popular online series, Live From E! and covered Sundance 2015 for the E! Network. Arlene began hosting on LATV Live, a hip music/entertainment television show that showcased music from all over the world and was geared toward the young bilingual Latino community. Arlene also hosted the daily sports segment, Court Report for the Tennis Channel, the only 24hour, televisionbased multimedia destination dedicated to the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis.
Additionally, Arlene has held true to her theater roots starring opposite Patrick J. Adams (USA’s SUITS) in the LA Premier of Bill Cain’s play, NINE CIRCLES. The production garnered a Best Production and Best Acting Ensemble nominations by LA’S Ovation Awards. She also performed in the Los Angeles premier of Edwin Sanchez’s UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE, in which she played the lead character, Maritza Cruz.
JAMES VILLALOBOS – REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
James Villalobos, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The son of Costa Rican immigrants and a first generation college student, he is studying journalism in hopes of one day becoming a broadcast journalist. He started pursuing a career in journalism after taking a broadcast journalism class his freshman year of high school.
Now as a college student, he is a reporter for Amherst Wire, an online student run publication at his university. Since 2013, he has been a proud member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Villalobos has interned with Western Mass News in Springfield, Massachusetts as well as WCVB NewsCenter 5, Boston’s news leader.
Villalobos has a covered a variety of different stories, both nationally and locally. Nationally, he has reported from the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore, on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Most notably, Villalobos reported from the South Lawn of the White House in April 2015, and again in March 2016.
He not only looks forward to being part of the wave of rising Hispanic journalists, but giving a voice to the voiceless and telling stories that spark public dialogue.
About Fuse Media
Fuse Media is an independently owned multiplatform media brand reflecting the wide-ranging tastes and attitudes of the fast-growing, multicultural and Latino 18-34 audience. The company reaches consumers directly via two cable networks, Fuse and FM, and video-on-demand (VOD), online, mobile, social media and live events. Fuse network is currently available in approximately 70 million households and FM reaches over 35 million households.
About Voto Latino
Voto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture, and grassroots voices, we provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change. Together, we aim to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy. To learn more about Voto Latino, visit www.VotoLatino.org. Also engage Voto Latino onFacebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.