José Díaz-Balart '78, National Anchorman of Telemundo's Nightly News and Host of Telemundo's Sunday News Program, Enfoque.
“I am who I am today because of that spirit of independence and respect for intellectual challenge that I learned at New College. It’s a kind of education you just can’t find anywhere else.”
AOC: Political Science
Born to Cuban immigrants, José Díaz-Balart is one of the most renowned Spanish-English TV anchormen in the country. Each weeknight he anchors Telemundo’s national news, and every Sunday he interviews prominent leaders and experts from throughout the world. His interviews have been aired on MSNBC and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. He has also been a guest host on MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall and a guest correspondent on Jansing & Co. During the 2012 U.S. election season, he conducted one-on-one interviews with both candidates, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
Díaz-Balart made history in 1996 as the first Cuban-American to host a network news program when he became anchor of CBS’s This Morning. He was also the first person in the country to do both English and Spanish news full-time on TV, and he is one of few broadcasters who can perform simultaneous translations between languages during live interviews.
Díaz-Balart, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from New College in 1983, considers himself to be a true manifestation of the American dream. And he says that he owes his success to New College.
“I couldn’t have done all this without New College,” he says. “New College gives you the opportunity to invest intellectual capital into topics that maybe aren’t the ones you would find in the average textbooks. My teachers really stressed the importance of a strong intellectual foundation to life, always from a perspective of respect and of deep human concern.”
Díaz-Balart is the recipient of two Emmy Awards and four awards for Excellence in Hispanic Journalism. He has been named one of the best Hispanic journalists in the country by Hispanic Media 100 and one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine. He was awarded the Orchid award for best news anchor in the U.S., and he was given the Silver Circle Award in 2010 by the National Academy of Television Sciences.
“I’m very, very happy and I’m also very, very busy,” he says. “But what is fundamental for me being who I am today and being so motivated, is that spirit of independence and respect for intellectual challenge that I learned at New College. It’s a kind of education you just can’t find anywhere else.”