Gustavo Godoy, a pioneer of US Hispanic television, dies in Miami.
The renowned Cuban journalist Gustavo Godoy, one of the first communicators to promote Hispanic television in the United States, died in Miami (Florida) at the age of 79, announced this Thursday a source close to who was described as a “visionary” in the industry Of the media.
“The news was expected due to its seriousness, but it is nonetheless deeply painful. Friend Gustavo Godoy, journalist, publicist, and pioneer of Hispanic television in the United States, died on Wednesday night in Miami at the age of 79, “wrote journalist Wilfredo Cancio Isla, who knew him, on Facebook this Thursday.
Cancio confirmed to Efe that Godoy, who was the news director of Univision’s Channel 23 and winner of 4 Emmy Awards, did not die from the covid-19 pandemic.
“He had been ill for a long time” and had suffered a mental deterioration, said Cancio, a former professor of journalism at the University of Havana and manager of the digital medium Café Fuerte.
Gustavo Godoy leaves an extraordinary legacy of service. A visionary, a giant. He took a chance with me in 1984, gave gave me an opportunity that changed my life. Gracias Gustavo. #RIP #QEPD pic.twitter.com/g52BcsincK
— jose diaz-balart (@jdbalart) August 12, 2021
Godoy, a 17-year-old Cuban exiled in the United States, began his career in New York as a “traffic reporter” on the streets of the Big Apple, according to an interview with the Diario de las Américas conducted in 2019.
In his long and fruitful career in the US media, Godoy was one of the founders of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), of the Miami chapter of the Television Academy for the Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and, in addition, of Hispanic Broadcast Corporation, which would later take the name Telemundo.
«He was a person who always listened and cleared a possibility to advance in any project, no matter how utopian it might seem. Ultimately, utopias and dreams are nothing more than a postponed future, ”wrote Cancio, a current member of the Cibercuba editorial board.
Of Godoy, he added, it can be said that he was a “man bridge between generations of Cubans”, a “figure of dialogue, understanding, and peace”, a professional whose name and contributions are a mandatory reference in texts dedicated to the study of the media. Hispanics.
In a long conversation with the digital magazine Otro Monday and signed by Rafael E. Saumell, Godoy recalled his beginnings in New York working in a bank to fulfill “a family tradition”, after leaving Havana in 1960.
“Actually, I was always interested in electronic journalism, but my parents did not want to,” he revealed and recounted how he later started on channel 7 in Miami, an NBC affiliate, of “correveidile”, as a cameraman and reporter.
In the same interview, published in May 2011, Godoy referred to the journalist’s profession to express his conviction in “pluralism of ideas and criteria, but not in journalism on demand.”
“People eat à la carte, but they should not inform themselves in the same way. That limits the quality of the trial, “he added.
The journalist led the SIN News of the Spanish International Network, based in Miami. In doing so, he is largely seen as the architect of what later became Univision Network News. In 1986, he created Telemundo Network News in a simple warehouse in Hialeah and lived to watch it grow into the powerful news organization it is today.
Throughout his illustrious career, Godoy interviewed dozens of world leaders in Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and Turkey, while covering presidential elections, civil wars, and refugee crises in numerous countries.
He started out in the news world as a reporter for Channel 7 (WSVN). He then served as producer and head of the ABC News Latin America bureau in Miami, followed by a position as deputy news director on Channel 6 (WCIX), where he also produced and hosted Focus, a weekly newstalk program, until the Channel 4 (WTVJ) offered him a position as director of Latino affairs in addition to his own show, Viva. Eventually, he was news director for Channel 23 (WLTV) in Miami, and later, Channel 41 (WXTV) in New York.
The communicator was a protector of the concept of accuracy, integrity, and credibility in television news, a legacy that he left to those who worked under him.
Godoy was invited several times to the White House by different administrations to discuss the growing impact and influence of Hispanics in the nation.
He is also credited with launching the careers of numerous news anchors and reporters who have risen to stardom, as well as countless people who worked behind the scenes and carried his mark. Mentor to countless young journalists, he was gracious in criticism and generous with his praise.
“Gustavo, childhood friend, great conversationalist, a gentleman. He will be missed in the long wait to see Cuba free of tyrants, “said journalist Gloria Leal.
“Gustavo and I were friends for more than 40 years. He was an elegant gentleman who distinguished himself by his loyalty. Without him, Spanish television in Miami would not exist, ”said attorney Willy Allen.
“He was a great human being and an independent journalist in his judgments. I never heard him speak ill of anyone. We were great friends. He always felt a great love for his country and especially for his Havana ”, added the Reverend Marcos Antonio Ramos.
“Gustavo Godoy was above all a great friend and a well of information and journalistic wisdom in Miami. He was very helpful in my interviews with him for an article on Spanish television in the Encyclopedia of Spanish in the United States. 2008 Instituto Cervantes Yearbook. In the 90s, he formed from Telemundo, which he presided over, a powerful television network with NBC, of which he told me he was very proud. And very important to him was also his address of Vista Magazine, the first national Hispanic magazine. But although he emphasized Hispanic values throughout the country, his love for Cuba was always essential to his vision of life in exile, ”said journalist Olga Connor.
The journalist was an avid lover of the arts and a loving father and grandfather.