Profile: Jaime Méndez
1995 Broadcast news co-host
Jaime Méndez ’95 co-anchors Seattle’s only Spanish language nightly local newscast, “Noticias Univision Seattle” on KUNS 51/Univision Seattle.
He got his start in broadcasting at Evergreen’s KAOS community radio station, where he launched his own two-hour program, featuring talk, music and guest appearances in both Spanish and English. In his first year on-air, he was voted “Best New Talent.”
Méndez graduated from high school in Bogota, Colombia. In 1987, he moved to New York City, spending three years studying English and working towards a career in business. After relocating to the Northwest, he took business courses at Bellevue College. Needing an elective, he enrolled in a theater class. “It’s the best thing I could have done,” he says. He switched to communications, then transferred to Evergreen to earn his BA.
He found the college very welcoming. The traditional classroom system he’d been in hadn’t encouraged him to speak up. At Evergreen, it was different. “In seminar, your opinion counts. I could ask questions and it was okay,” he says. “What you say makes a difference, and I’ve found that is true over and over in my career.”
After graduation, Méndez got a job with Miami’s Caracol Radio, a major Colombian station in South Florida. He next landed in Seattle, where he originally hosted “Café y Noticias” on KXPA 1540 AM. Today, in addition to his evening television newscasts, he hosts the weekday morning radio talk show “La Voz de Washington” on El Rey 1360 AM.
Méndez is an avid soccer player who played with Evergreen’s Geoduck team for two years. When Univision Seattle signed a multiyear agreement with the Seattle Sounders FC to broadcast games in Spanish, he jumped at the chance to do play-by-play commentary and host a weekly highlight show, “Sounders FC en Acción.” “I can cover something that’s a huge passion of mine,” he says, “and also be a great resource for the Sounders’ Spanish-speaking fans.”
Méndez regards all his broadcasts in terms of serving the public. “We’re always working to relate the news to what’s going on here in our region. Spanish-language news is one of the best resources for getting a message out to the Latino community.”