Tom Llamas to Serve as Primetime Anchor for NBC News Now Live-Streaming Service

Life is but a stream(ing news service) for Tom Llamas

The 41-year-old Cuban American broadcast journalist, a popular former ABC News anchor, has joined NBC News as a primetime anchor for its NBC News Now live-streaming service.

Tom Llamas

Llamas will work as a senior national correspondent and will also contribute reporting to the network’s flagship shows and breaking news and special events coverage.

The launch of his new show marks the first evening newscast for NBC News Now, which will face off against, among other competitors, a similar program anchored by Linsey Davis that is already running at ABC News — and which recently expanded its hours.  He will start May 3.

“Tom brings with him more than two decades of experience tenaciously covering the news across multiple platforms and for many different audiences,” said Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, in a prepared statement. “Our viewers expect us to bring them smart and trustworthy journalism, wherever they are, and we’re thrilled that Tom will be bringing his expertise and passion to NBC News, NBC News Now and beyond.”

Llamas had been working as a senior anchor at ABC News, leading its weekend World News Tonight broadcast and working as its chief national affairs correspondent. He also served as a breaking-news anchor for ABC News Live, that company’s live-streaming service. In January, however, he abruptly left the Walt Disney-backed news division, and the identity of his next employer had been one of the news industry’s worst-kept secrets.

Llamas began his reporting career with NBC News in 2000, serving first with the specials unit at NBC News and then as a political campaign reporter for MSNBC. He also worked at NBC Owned Stations as an investigative reporter and anchor at WNBC in New York and as a reporter for WTVJ in Miami.

His new assignment illustrates the new focus traditional TV-news outlets are placing on streaming video. NBC News launched NBC News Now in May of 2019 and in recent months has started to expand the live hours it offers as well as the personnel assigned to them.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez Named to President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board

Dr. Robert Rodriguez is ready to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a big way…

The Latino doctor, a native of Brownsville, Texas, is among the health officials named to President-elect Joe Biden‘s COVID-19 advisory board.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received their first briefing from the board on Monday morning in Wilmington, Delaware.The team will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administrator commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of medicine at Yale University.

Thirteen co-chairs and members will comprise the board, including Rodriguez.

He graduated from Harvard Medical School, returned home to the Rio Grande Valley as the number of people dying from coronavirus soared over the summer. He volunteered to help with the critical surge in the ICU.

He told ABC News in July that he saw at least one person die daily from the virus.

“Everybody is wearing masks here. The spread is not because people aren’t being responsible. I think it’s largely due to socioeconomic issues,” Rodriguez said at the time. “The best way you can take care of frontline providers and everybody else here in the hospital is by taking care of yourself.”

Currently, Rodriguez serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, where he works on the frontline in the emergency department and ICU of two major trauma centers.

According to a release from Biden’s transition team, Rodriguez has authored over 100 scientific publications and has led national research teams examining a range of topics in medicine, including the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of frontline workers.

It’s not clear whether or not President Donald Trump‘s administration will work with Biden’s task force. However, Biden says he plans to reach out to governors about a state mask mandate as soon as possible.

Monica Hernandez to Moderate the Next Democratic Presidential Debate

Monica Hernandezis getting political…

The Latina broadcast journalist and WMUR-TV anchor/reporter will serve as a moderator at the next Democratic presidential debate, alongside ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight’s David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and WMUR-TV’s Adam Sexton.

Monica Hernandez

The debate is set for February 7 at 8:00 pm ET in Manchester, New Hampshire, wedged between the Iowa Caucusesfour days before and the New Hampshire primary four days after.

The eighth debate of the primary cycle is hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. It is set at St. Anselm Collegein Manchester and will air on ABCHearst Television’s WMUR-TV, Apple News and on ABC News Live.

So far, all six of the candidates who qualified for the previous debate – Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren— appear to have met the fundraising and polling thresholds to qualify for the debate. Another way in per Democratic National Committeerules would be to score a pledged delegate in Iowa.

The qualifying criteria involving grassroots fundraising (225,000 individual donors with 1,000 unique donors or more per state) likely will keep out candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is self-financing.

The previous debate hosted by CNNat Drake Universityin Des Moines, Iowa on January 14 drew an estimated 7.3 million viewers, a slight uptick from the 6.17 million who watched the debate in December, sponsored by PBSand Politico, and the 6.5 million who watched November’s event, hosted by MSNBC.

The New Hampshire debate is the second of four in each of the key voting states. Next up is February 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC with The Nevada Independent, and February 25 in in Charleston, SC, hosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter.

Julian Castro Among Democratic Presidential Candidates to Qualify for Next Debate

Julian Castro has made the cut…

The 44-year-old Mexican American politician and presidential hopeful is one of 10 Democratic candidates who’ve qualified for the next debate.

Julian Castro

ABC News and Univision will give each of the candidates slightly extra time to respond to questions than they were given at the last event, and they’ll be able to make opening statements but not closing remarks.

Since no more than 10 candidates made the cut to qualify, there will be just a single debate, on September 12. 

It’ll air from 8:00-11:00 pm ET on ABC and Univision from Texas Southern University’s Health & PE Center in Houston.

ABC News has also announced where the candidates will be standing on the stage. The order, from left to right, will be: Amy KlobucharCorey Booker,Pete ButtigiegBernie SandersJoe Biden,Elizabeth WarrenKamala HarrisAndrew YangBeto O’Rourkeand Castro. 

Candidates leading in the polls — Biden and Warren — were placed at the center, with the other candidates fanning out from that point based on their ranking.

ABC Newschief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight anchor David Muir, correspondent Linsey Davisand Univision anchor Jorge Ramoswill moderate.

Candidates will be given one minute and 15 seconds to respond to direct questions, and 45 seconds for other responses and rebuttals, ABC News said. That is a bit more time than CNNallocated for its debate coverage on July 30-31, when candidates were given a minute to respond and 30 seconds for rebuttals. Some critics complained that candidates weren’t given enough time or had to abruptly finish when their time expired.

Netflix to Premiere del Castillo’s “Ingobernable” in March

Kate del Castillo is ungovernable

Netflix will premiere the first season of its Mexican original series Ingobernable, starring the 44-year-old Mexican actress, on March 24.

Kate del Castillo

del Castillo and Erik Hayser star as the First Lady and President of Mexico in the 15-episode fictional series set in the present-day.

del Castillo, a key player in the real-life saga of Mexican drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, portrays First Lady Emilia Urquiza, a woman who has big plans to improve conditions for the country through her commitment to fighting for peace. She’s a woman with a strong personality, conviction and clear ideas that make her capable of doing anything. As Emilia starts to lose faith in her husband, President Diego Nava, she finds herself at a crossroads where she’ll need to find a way to deal with a great challenge and uncover the truth.

The presidential couple will be joined by their two children Maria Nava Urquiza (Alicia Jaziz) and Emiliano Nava Urquiza (Alessio Valentini).

Other cast members include Erendira Ibarra (Las Aparicio, Sense8, La Vida Inmoral de la Pareja Ideal), Luis Roberto Guzmán (El Pantera, Ladies Night), Fernando Luján (Mirada de Mujer, Todo por Amor), Marina de Tavira (El Señor de los Cielos, Capadocia), Marco Antonio Treviño (The 33, Las Aparicio), María del Carmen Farías (Hostile Border, Las Aparicio), Aida López (Frida, Capadocia), Alberto Guerra Ramos (Hasta que te Conocí, Siempre Tuya Acapulco), Harold Torres (Crónica de Castas, Sin Nombre), Maxi Iglesias (Dueños del paraíso, Velvet), Alvaro Guerrero (Amores Perros, The Mission), Diego Cadavid (The Snitch Cartel, Blind Alley), Tamara Mazarrasa Lopez (Camelia la Texana, Everybody’s Got Somebody…Not Me), Marianna Burelli (Paramédicos, El Torito), Hernan del Riego (Cantinflas, Fantasma), Jeirmarie Osorio Rivera (Celia, Fast Five), Mitzi Mabel Cadena (Capadocia, El Señor de los Cielos), and Pablo Astiazarán (La Última Mirada, Goes And Runs).

The series was originally set to shoot in Mexico, but plans changed and production was moved to the U.S. del Castillo had told ABC News last year she was afraid to go to Mexico for fear of being arrested and prosecuted after she had come under scrutiny from the Mexican government over her connection to the notorious Mexican drug lord Guzman, which led to her and actor Sean Penn’s infamous secret meeting with El Chapo while he was on the run following his escape from a Mexican prison. El Chapo was eventually re-captured and extradited to the U.S. last month to face charges connected to leading one of the world’s largest narcotics organizations.

Louis C.K. to Perform at This Year’s Stand Up for Heroes

Louis C.K. is taking a stand…

The 49-year-old Mexican American comedian, actor, writer, producer, director and editor will take part in this year’s Stand Up for Heroes on November 1 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Louis C.K.

Presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival, it will mark the 10th anniversary of the annual event that’s raised more than $33 million for wounded, ill and injured veterans, service members and their families.

Louis C.K. joins an all-star roster that includes Jim GaffiganJerry SeinfeldBruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart.

“We look forward to Stand Up for Heroes each year not only because it’s grown into New York’s biggest night of comedy and music, but because a decade of laughter has translated into a lifetime of immeasurable support for our nation’s injured heroes,” said Bob Woodruff, co-founder and ABC News correspondent. “As we commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and the wars that have followed, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that a small percentage of our population stood up for us — it’s now our turn to stand up for them.”

Woodruff and wife Lee established the Bob Woodruff Foundation after the then-recently installed co-anchor of ABC News was critically injured in 2006 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The Woodruffs partnered with the New York Comedy Festival founders Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox to stage the first Stand Up for Heroes event in 2007.

“We could not be more proud to partner with the Bob Woodruff Foundation to celebrate such an incredible milestone as the 10-year anniversary of Stand Up for Heroes,” says Caroline Hirsch, Bob Woodruff Foundation board member and founder of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “The organization’s remarkable perseverance, passion and contribution to wounded soldiers and their families is outstanding. Nothing would be possible without the time and dedication from all of the performers and supporters of the organization over the years.”\

After its start at New York’s Town Hall and, later, the Beacon Theatre, the event moved to MSG in 2013.

del Castillo’s Netflix Series “Ingobernable” to Film in the U.S.

Kate del Castillo’s latest project is heading north of the border…

Ingobernable, Netflix’s new original series toplined by the 43-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star, is heading to production with a twist.

Kate del Castillo

The series, whose star was a key player in the El Chapo saga, was originally slated to film in Mexico.

It will now shoot in the United States. According to Spanish-language reports citing del Castillo’s personal trainer, Ingobernable is expected to film in San Diego.

del Castillo, who recently became an U.S. citizen, lives in California and told ABC News in March that she is afraid to go to Mexico for fear of being arrested and prosecuted.

del Castillo has been under scrutiny by the Mexican government over her connection to notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, which led to her and actor Sean Penn’s infamous secret meeting with El Chapo while he was on the run following his daring escape from a Mexican prison.

“It’s a telenovela within a telenovela. It’s a strange turn of events for sure,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the height of the controversy in January, reaffirming the company’s commitment to film the series this year.

Ingobernable was picked up to series in summer 2015, long before del Castillo’s El Chapo ties were revealed. It was originally slated to begin shooting in early 2016, but production was delayed.

Vega Officially Named as Co-Anchor of ABC World News Tonight‘s Weekend Editions

Cecilia Vega is making world news

The Latina broadcast journalist, a correspondent for ABC News, has been officially named as one of the anchors for ABC World News Tonight‘s Saturday and Sunday editions, as well as serve as senior national correspondent.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 11.03.24 AM

Vega, who has interviewed everyone from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to Sylvester Stallone, will co-anchor the newscasts with Tom Llamas.

“Since joining ABC News in 2011, Cecilia has done fantastic work, deftly covering everything from the Olympics and papal conclave to the Occupy Wall Street protests and the election of President Barack Obama,” said ABC News chief James Goldston in memo to staffers. “Most recently, she has reported on the 2014 midterm elections, Ebola cases in the United States, the Sony computer hacking and fallout, and allegations against Bill Cosby.”

Prior to joining ABC News, Vega was an Emmy Award-winning journalist for KGO in San Francisco and award-winning print reporter. We’re very grateful that she’ll be making the jump from the West Coast to New York City for this new role as anchor and senior national correspondent.

Vega and Llamas will take the reins beginning this weekend, making official the posts they’ve filled with since last fall when David Muir became anchor of World News Tonight.