She first worked at Procter & Gamble, moved to Miller Brewing Company and on to Colgate-Palmolive, in various brand management and marketing positions.
From there, she forged a career that spans all media: “I have always tended to take the unbeaten path and find ways to do things that have never yet been done, and through that mindset, I have traversed the media landscape from print, to television and now radio.”
Charlene Weisler: What was your experience in television?
Ruth Gaviria: I was recruited by Univision to establish a corporate marketing practice and rebrand the company during a critical time for television. The Univision brand identity had not been touched in two decades, and the expanded portfolio of broadcast and cable networks were not knitted to the master brand in any way. The work we did there still stands today and has provided an organizing principle of looking at content and distribution through a critical brand lens.
Weisler: What is the state of Hispanic media today, and where do you see it going?
Gaviria: Hispanic media is no longer about Spanish language. That model was disrupted by English-language content like “The Walking Dead,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Modern Family,” all of which have been ratings gold among U.S. Hispanics. The reality is that the new Hispanic America is an inextricable part of American culture, and not a standalone cohort.
If Hispanic media, specifically Spanish-language media, is going to reassemble a continuously fragmenting audience, it's going to have to take a page out of radio — the number 1 reach medium in America, which continues to grow despite digital and streaming services — and offer in-culture, relevant content that reflects the evolving portrait of its audience, every day and everywhere.
Weisler: What is Entercom?
Gaviria: Entercom is the 4th largest radio company in the U.S., with a footprint of 126 radio stations in 28 markets. Radio is the No. 1 reach medium in America, live and local, the least disrupted medium, with no cord-cutting.
Weisler: What is your marketing philosophy?
Gaviria: I firmly believe that you are the brand company you keep. Media provides a blank canvas of opportunity to co-create with brands, and for me to be an architect of new things.
Weisler: What do you see as the major trends in media?
Gaviria: In my mind, there are two major themes going into 2017 and beyond: mobility and unprecedented creativity. The convergence of mobility and radio that we see in NextRadio, an Entercom partner, is game-changing.
The recent aggregation and mergers between content, distribution and mobility platforms, like AT&T’s intent to acquire Time Warner and Verizon’s content play through Yahoo and AOL, has expanded the content and media ecosystem and is catalyzing the second major trend: hyper creativity. Brand creative will get better and better, as will content. We will become bolder and constantly disrupt ourselves. We are seeing it worldwide in fashion, design and fantastical storytelling in all media.