When not holding down full-time jobs or parenting three children — ages 14, 4, and 11 months — Astrid Cordoba and Bernardino Rosario have another all-consuming charge. This particular one just scored a New York Emmy.
The married couple from Selden are co-hosts of a morning TV show called “Adictivo” (“Addictive”), which has aired Sundays on Telemundo’s flagship, WNJU, for the past three years. In April, the lifestyle-news show won its Emmy for a May 2017 edition about a minimally invasive surgical system known as the “Da Vinci” at Huntington Hospital. This was believed to be the first Emmy ever for a bilingual program in New York.
Rosario, who produces the show under his own company banner (Mass Radio Corp.), says “Adictivo” is also the first bilingual program directed at Long Island’s Latino population.
“When we won,” says Rosario, 39, who grew up in Rockville Centre, “my legs buckled under me” during the 61st annual awards ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis. “I was completely stunned. We were the true underdog.”
This true underdog was born in the Dominican Republic, then moved to the Bronx when he was 9. From there, he moved to Rockville Centre, where he joined a fast-growing Latino population on Long Island, now comprising nearly 20 percent of all residents.
After completing some coursework at Nassau Community College, Rosario — who now is a freelance producer for CNBC at the New York Stock Exchange — joined Telecare, the TV station of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre. While there, the core idea of “Adictivo” was born: an outreach program that could address the complex and growing assortment of issues facing the Latino community.
He later became director of production at Ronkonkoma-based WBON 98.5 FM — otherwise known as La Fiesta — where he launched a community outreach radio program with another twist: It was also bilingual. It was here that he met his co-host and future wife.
Cordoba and Rosario “addressed issues confronting Latinos in an environment and context where the listener was not afraid to come and talk about them,” says John Caracciolo, chief executive and president of JVC Media, which owns the station. Representatives from the Suffolk County Police Department were also on the show as part of their own outreach efforts, he says. The show “gave listeners an outlet to address their concerns, express their fears and contact authorities in a way that they weren’t exposing themselves to any potential danger.”
Long Island, Caracciolo adds, has a large population of second-generation Latinos who “may speak to their parents and grandparents in Spanish, but are bilingual at work or elsewhere.” This show — which is still on the air — was targeted at them.
“Adictivo” was launched shortly after both left the radio station. “With the TV show, we wanted to create something that would educate and talk about what Latinos are going through, but in a positive way,” says Cordoba, 34, who was born in Guatemala, grew up in Freeport and is now a vice president at Huntington-based Sheps Law Group. Cordoba says she’s involved in numerous community outreach programs that address spousal abuse and immigration issues, among other urgent problems in Long Island’s Latino community. In the otherwise high-energy upbeat flow of “Adictivo,” all those are addressed as well.
“We’ve been working at below-a-shoestring budget,” says Rosario of “Adictivo,” currently on hiatus because of World Cup soccer, but it will return in July. “We were able to do this because we willed it.”
“I’m so happy for him,” says Joann Beattie, Telecare senior producer, of the historic Emmy. “Maybe it’s the Eagle Scout in him, but I always knew he was destined for bigger and better things.”