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UCR Prof is TV Host

UCR Professor is TV Host in Spare Time

(May 9, 2002)

Josh KunLike some kind of academic superhero, UCR English professor Josh Kun has an alter ego. When he is not teaching and doing research about African-American and Latino music and literature, he hosts The Red Zone, a weekly show of alternative music with Latin roots which debuted May 4 on MTV Español to three million U.S. homes.

MTV Español offers around the clock pop and rock music predominantly in Spanish, although Kun’s show is mostly in English.

The Red Zone, developed originally on radio, highlights what has been dubbed by the industry as 'Latin Alternative or Rock en Espanol' - Latino influenced, alternative based rock, hip-hop, rap, reggae, ska and electronic music. It was created by Tomas Cookman and Chelina Vargas of Cookman International and can be seen at 5 p.m. (PST) each Saturday, with repeats Thursdays at the same time.

The show features music videos, news, and live interviews from Latin alternative artists from around the world. The show is hosted primarily in English, with some Spanish thrown in for flavor.

Kun, a fluent Spanish speaker, has written about the genre since 1993 both as a scholar and as a music critic for SPIN, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Village Voice, LA Weekly and numerous other publications. He hosts another show, “RoK-A-MOLE,” which airs on Los Angeles cable television at 8 p.m. Fridays.

His scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal and the book Everynight Life, as well as the forthcoming books Latino Popular Culture (NYU Press) and Transforming Popular Music (Duke University Press). He has served as an on-air Latin rock consultant for television (ABC, UPN, FOX Latin America) and radio (BBC's The World).

MTV Español, a Viacom cable network, is broadcast into more than three million U.S. homes, making it the leading Spanish language music channel in the United States. The channel is currently carried by over 500 cable systems around the country and by satellite television carriers DirecTV and Dish Network.

Josh Kun can be reached at the University of California, Riverside at (909) 787-5301, ext 1907.

MTV-Espanol Contact information: Jessica Roffe (305) 535-3856

LA TV Contact information, (310) 943-5288 or online at

Photo courtesy of LATV.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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