Gaby Natale is only 36 years old and has a successful seven-year-old Spanish-language show, Lo Mejor de SuperLatina (SuperLatina), which, as of July 2014, airs in 43 U.S. markets and in Puerto Rico. She has come a long way from that first show which was produced by her and her husband in a carpet storage closet at a mall. After using a loan from a small credit union to buy a camera, a microphone, a tripod and some wood to create a rolling set, she persuaded an Odessa, Texas, CBS Univision station manager to take on the weekly half-hour Spanish language TV talk show. When the filming was done, the set was wheeled out and the carpet was moved back in!
Fortunately, SuperLatina eventually caught the attention of TV Azteca and Telemundo, and the show transferred to a wider market in Dallas. When the economic crisis hit in 2008, Gaby, who had been a part of Argentina’s economic and social crisis in 2001 in Buenos Aires, used lessons learned in that recession and began syndicating her show so that it was available to fill TV station time slots that suddenly became available when the stations’ budgets were cut for producing original programming.
The show began airing in Texas, then in New Mexico, and Gaby was nominated for six Emmy Awards and has over 25 million YouTube views. In addition to being the host of this nationally syndicated television show, she and her husband own a small television studio in Fort Worth, and she is also President of AGANAR Media, a content development and experiential marketing company. We sat down with Gaby to get a better understanding of what drives her. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
HipLatina: What is the driving force that has made you a successful Latina entrepreneur?
Gaby Natale: I’m the #1 fan of Latina women! So many young Latinas already have the intelligence and dreams, it just takes a bit of confidence and a belief in yourself to succeed.
HL: How have you been able to share this wisdom with young people?
GN: Through the advertising vision of Comunicad and PCBCampbell, we executed their vision with Ford Motor Company. The Ford Fund targets schools with large Latino populations with motivational speakers, giveaways, and other engagement programs to help them clarify who they want to become and what they want to achieve. This has been effectively done through the Dream Board, a visual element that seeds the idea of possibilities for them.
HL: Do you think there are differences between the Miami market with it’s Caribbean influences vs. the rest of the US with more Mexican American roots?
GN: There is more dancing in Miami! But seriously, I believe the American dream is universal, and these are the connecting points for all of us striving to succeed in the USA.
Gaby’s show, independently produced in Dallas, airs at 3:30 p.m. Saturdays on the PBS-affiliated Spanish language network Vme. It is available on DirecTV (Channel 4400), AT&T U-verse (Channel 3015) and Dish (Channels 846/9414) and reaches over 70 million U.S. households. It features interviews with Latino celebrities like Emilio Estefan and Enrique Iglesias. She dearly hopes to one day attract headliners such as President Barack Obama and Pope Francis.
Born in Argentina, the daughter of lawyers, Gaby graduated with a master’s degree in Journalism, having studied film production at night. Although part of the then unemployment rate of 24 percent, she helped a friend by handing out fliers for a political marketing event, and that led to a job opportunity in Washington, D.C. because she had an impressive command of English. A delegation from George Washington University needed her bilingual skills and sent her freelance translation work until one of the professors with his own PR firm offered her a job in the U.S.
After three green-card applications and a citizenship test, Gaby became a U.S. citizen in 2013, which means she knows more about US history than 90% of all American Citizens. This is one Latina we are lucky to have!