Irma Nicolas, 88, Spanish Language Media Pioneer, Dies At Home In San Antonio

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October 27, 2020
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This story first appeared on the Texas Standard. An excerpt can be viewed below. To read or listen to the full story click here.

Irma Alicia Cortez Nicolas, who formed a media empire with her husband Emilio Nicolas, has died, according to a family publicist. She was 88.

Their son, Guillermo Nicolas, also shared the news on Facebook. “My Grand, elegant, kind, loving, generous & fun loving Mother, Irma Cortez Nicolas, passed away quietly this morning in her home,” he wrote, “held by her beloved daughter Jana Jaffe. Rest In Peace Mooda!”

Nicolas was born in San Antonio on Sept. 12, 1932.

Her father, Raoul Cortez Sr., founded KCOR-AM in San Antonio in 1946. The station was among the first full-time Spanish-language broadcasters in the U.S. and the first all Spanish-language radio station owned and operated by a Hispanic person. The TV station KCOR-TV launched in 1955 was the first Hispanic-owned Spanish-language TV station in the continental U.S.

KCOR was later renamed KWEX, the forerunner to Univision, which debuted as the fourth major media network in the U.S., following NBC, CBS, and ABC.