Don Emilio Nicolas, Sr.
Who would have thought that a young Mexican immigrant from Coahuila, seeking to become a chemist and biologist would become one of the leading pioneers to spearhead the first Spanish Language television station in the United States. Don Emilio Nicolas, Sr. graduated from St. Mary’s University in 1951 with a minor in Math and then received his Masters degree from Trinity University. Nicolas quickly started working for Southwest Foundation where he worked in the development of the polio vaccine. But his destiny was far from being in a lab wearing a white coat. After a couple of years, in 1955 Don Emilio left Southwest Foundation and began working at KCOR TV channel 41 in San Antonio where he produced the live shows at night and directed the news departments of the Radio and the Television stations during the day.
In 1961 a group of businessmen, including Nicolas bought the station from Mr. Raoul Cortez and Nicolas renamed the station KWEX. Nicolas or “Nicky” as he was known to close associates became the stations President and General Manager. Soon after, both Nicolas and his partner Rene Anselmo began lobbying Congress to mandate that all Television sets come equipped to receive both VHF and now UHF channels. The success of this effort changed the face of UHF Television forever.
Among the many projects Mr. Nicolas initiated, the Teleton Navideño. An event to raise funds for the under privileged of San Antonio during the Holiday’s. In 1976 Nicolas also initiated the first national broadcast of a Catholic mass as a public service for its predominantly Catholic Viewers on the SIN television Network, Spanish International Network. This mass continues to be broadcasted from the Cathedral in San Antonio and broadcast on Univision stations.
Several years later, Nicolas and Emilio Azcarraga’s collaborated to make Galavision the third Spanish Language Television Network in the United States.
Nicolas bought several Low Power Television (LPTV) permits and entered into a ten (10) year contract with Galavision to distribute its signal.
In 2002 Univision and Entravision entered into a contract to purchase two (2) of NCC’s stations for Telefutura, the nations Fourth Spanish Language television network
Nicolas was Chairman of the National Association of Spanish Broadcasters (NASB) He has served on the Board of Trinity University for 25 years. He was on the Board of San Antonio Savings Association, The University of the Incarnate Word, Southwest Research Foundation, The University of Texas College of Communications, The University of Texas Health Science Center, The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund or MALDEF, The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, The National Board of the USO and many others.
Today, Don Emilio Nicolas is semi-retired, working with his son, Guillermo and enjoying life in San Antonio and on his ranch with wife Irma of over 50 years.