María Elena Salinas will be stepping down early next month from Univision after a 36-year run, and she’s feeling duly emotional.
But the longtime news anchor is also relishing the moment of freedom for a while.
“First I’m going to pay attention to María Elena, the woman. I’m going to pamper myself,” she told El Nuevo Herald. “I’m going to travel on a Wednesday without having to wait for the weekend and return on a Tuesday. I’m going to go to a happy hour that starts at 5. I’m going to visit friends who live far away who I’ve been waiting for years to see.”
Salinas, one of the top Spanish-language journalists in the country, announced she was leaving the station in August. She is co-anchor with Jorge Ramos of “Noticiero Univision,” the highly rated evening news broadcast on Univision, the nation’s biggest Spanish-language TV network.
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“I have decided it is time to change course and begin a new chapter in my career as an independent journalist and producer and dedicate more time to philanthropy, among other things,” said Salinas, 63. “I am excited about this new phase where I will be working on projects that will allow me to reach new and diverse audiences across multiple platforms. I take with me a wealth of experiences acquired over more than three decades, and the pleasure of having worked with an extraordinary team of journalists.”
She also will also continue hosting a true-crime show, “The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas,” on Investigation Discovery, which began airing earlier this year. Her contract with Univision ends Dec. 31, but her last day will be Dec. 8 as she will use up vacation days, she said.
Salinas, originally from Los Angeles, began her career in 1981 at KMEX-TV Channel 34 in Los Angeles, the Univision affiliate. In 1987, she became co-anchor of Univision’s national news broadcast — when very few women were network anchors. She also co-hosts “Aquí y Ahora,’’ the weekend news magazine.
In February, Salinas put her Coral Gables home on the market for $3.4 million. She bought it with her then husband, WFOR-CBS4 anchor Eliott Rodriguez, in 1995 for $500,000. (They’ve since divorced and have two daughters.) The Granada Boulevard home is now listed for $2.95 million. The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home was built in 1937 and designed by Phineas Paist (Coral Gables City Hall, the Venetian Pool and the Charles Deering Estate, among other South Florida landmarks.)
Salinas may not miss the long hours but there are aspects of the job she’ll miss.
“A lot of my colleagues have become like a second family, plus the adrenaline of chasing down a news story,” she said. “But overall, I’ll miss interacting with the public.”