Gabriel Sama: “Video will be huge for CNET en español”

CNET, the tech media website that publishes reviews, news and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics is launching a Spanish-language version in the fall.,  owned by CBS Interactive, averages 32 million unique visitors  in the U.S. and claims to have the highest unaided awareness for tech news among U.S. Hispanics, even before the launch. Portada interviewed Gabriel Sama, the Managing Editor of  CNET en Español . Sama will be one of the speakers at Portada’s 7th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference in New York City on September 26.

Gabriel Sama
Gabriel Sama, Managing Editor, CNET en español

Portada: What is your main goal at this new position?
Gabriel Sama, Managing Editor of  CNET en Español: “Our main goal is to serve US Spanish-speakers by providing them the most comprehensive and extensive tech reviews and information in their language of preference.”

Don’t you think that the language of technology, even for Hispanics, is English? What research/argument do you have providing a rationale that this is not (necessarily) the case?
G.S.: “Spanish is, by far, the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. [see research from the Pew Research Center]. There are almost 40 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as Spanish-speakers. Being that CNET is already in English, Spanish represents a great opportunity. Language is about comfort. There are certain things we, Latinos, are more comfortable doing, saying, or reading in Spanish. CNET en Español is the website for people who prefer to get their tech news in Spanish and it is a way to include everyone in the conversation. But, most importantly, we will focus in what our audience is interested or passionate about, the consumer technology information that is relevant to their lifestyle in the US, beyond language.”

How big will your editorial team be?
G.S.: “About a dozen members.”

How will CNET en español integrate with CNET’s overall editorial offerings?
G.S.: “Fully. We are part of the same newsroom and share the same resources. I already go to the morning editorial meeting, even before our launch. We will make the best use of the 20 years of experience CNET editors have in this industry, which will only play to CNET en Español’s advantage.”

Regarding content: Where will the main emphasis of your content offferings lie?
G.S.: “We will focus on what Spanish-speakers in the US need, want, and crave. There are many similarities Latinos share with the general market – like our passion for specific brands – but there are things that are specific to our community. One is the fact that we are always looking for better ways to communicate with our family and friends in Latin America. We will very much focus on servicing their needs via quality journalism.”

 What role will social media and online video play?
G.S.: “Huge. Our community is very active in social media and we plan to engage with them and constantly learn from those interactions, especially when it comes to what our audience is interested on and what they want to see and read on CNET en Español. Video has played a big role at CNET throughout the years and Español is going to leverage that experience, offering the best quality Spanish-language tech reviews and information.”