Social Media

Cut Through the Noise with Content that Attracts, Engages, and Builds Your Brand. It may even be a Career Choice.

We hoped you enjoyed our Suncoast Spotlight Social Media Webinar, which was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. José Suárez and our powerhouse of panelists, Whitney Ashton, Brandon Launerts, and Brandon Lopez shared so much valuable information on all the ins and outs of social media, it was truly a webinar not to be missed! If you didn’t get a chance to see it, be sure to watch it when you get a chance.

José Alberto Suárez

President and General Manager, “Telemundo 51 Fresno / KNSO”; President and General Manager, “Telemundo 33 Sacramento / KCSO”; President and General Manager, “Telemundo Utah / KULX”

José Alberto Suárez is the President and General Manager of the Telemundo stations in Fresno (KNSO), Sacramento (KCSO), and Utah (KULX), the NBCUniversal-owned television stations that serve Spanish-speaking audiences in these markets. Suarez leads all station operations including news/digital, sales, marketing/promotions, human resources, community affairs, and technology/operations.
With more than 20 years of local television experience, Suárez has worked for television stations in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, and Texas. Before being named President/GM of KNSO, KCSO, and KULX, he worked as President/GM of Telemundo 60 / KVDA, where he transformed Telemundo 60 into a multi-platform local news station, and a strong local business by fostering a work culture of teamwork and innovation.

Before his success at KVDA, Suarez worked at NBC 6 / WTVJ, where he worked as Director of Creative Services and Local Programming, Executive Producer for the station’s local weekday entertainment show 6 in The Mix, and as an Executive Producer for NBC 6’s local weekday newscasts. While at NBC 6, Suárez successfully led the station’s marketing, sales promotions, and integration and community outreach teams to create unique and dynamic marketing and on-air promotional materials in English and Spanish-language to meet the South Florida market’s demographic demands.

Before joining NBC 6, Suárez worked at the Telemundo Station Group as Director of Digital Platforms, where he was responsible for managing the online editorial content for Telemundo-owned stations all across the country. Before this, Suárez worked as Director of Digital Media for NBC 6 and Telemundo 51 Miami / WSCV and played a pivotal role in creating content that helped promote the stations’ news properties and other entertainment and consumer platforms. Before joining NBCUniversal, Suárez worked as News Director for CW South Florida / WSFL, Fox Toledo / WUPW, and NBC 3 San Angelo / KSAN.  

An award-winning journalist, Suárez has received numerous accolades including a Lone Star Emmy® award for “Outstanding Achievement Overall Excellence” for KVDA in San Antonio, a Suncoast Chapter Emmy® award for “Outstanding Station Promotion Image” for his work at NBC 6, three Cleveland chapter Emmy® awards for “Outstanding Daily Newscast” (Market 41+), and numerous Associated Press awards for his work at Fox Toledo / WUPW.

Whitney Ashton

Whitney Ashton Irick is the regional audience development manager/editor for NBC Owned Television Stations. She’s a journalist and self-professed news junkie with a keen eye for digital trends, a deep understanding of social media and traffic analytics, and a desire to better understand and serve the audience. In her current role, she’s responsible for developing and executing digital, social, and search strategies that grow NBCU’s digital news audiences. 

She holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She is also a print, online, and broadcast journalism graduate of Pepperdine University.

Prior to working on NBC’s new audience development team, Whitney was the social media lead for NBC Los Angeles and Telemundo 52. In addition to hard news, crime, and policing, she’s covered the entertainment industry, including celebrity, arts, and entertainment, and worked as a social media reporter during Hollywood’s awards season.

She has previously worked as an NBCLA digital content producer, a news associate and has completed two digital news internships with the station’s web team.

Brandon Launerts

Brandon Launerts is a Producer at CBS News where he manages social media for “CBS This Morning,” CBS’s most successful morning news broadcast in more than three decades. Launerts began his career in high school where he helped run the school’s daily morning announcements. Shortly after graduating high school, he interned at NBC 6 before quickly being hired as an editor and then later being promoted as South Florida’s first social media editor. He later advanced to the market’s competing station (WSVN) to help lead their digital and social strategy. In October of 2016, Launerts packed his bags for New York City where he works closely with the network’s on-air talent and produces social media content for a global audience. He has worked on interviews with numerous high-profile celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, and many more. In his free time, he enjoys long bike rides around the city or laying low and hitting the beach. Launerts resides in New York City but is currently working remotely back in the 305 … with a cafecito in hand.

Brandon Lopez

Brandon Lopez began his professional career in media before he could legally vote. Fresh out of high school, he started as an intern at an award-winning local lifestyle magazine, where he was quickly promoted to Assistant Director of the Digital Marketing division.

From the magazine, Brandon made the switch to television, working in various positions at WSVN and WTVJ before moving north to West Palm Beach as Senior Digital Producer at WPBF.

He joined the station in the middle of the 2016 political season, affording him the opportunity to create digital and social media strategies, including for the Florida Senatorial Debate between Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy.

Brandon then returned to WTVJ and WSCV and served as a Duopoly Digital Producer and Reporter, where he maintained the station’s digital and social media platforms and contributed segments to NBC 6 News and the station’s lifestyle show, 6 in the Mix.

Now, Brandon returned to West Palm Beach and serves as the Digital Media Manager at WPBF, overseeing the station’s digital operations, implementing social and digital strategies, and more. 

Throughout his career, he has covered major events such as the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, the FIU bridge collapse, three Presidential elections, a Presidential debate and has covered much lighter stories, such as the red carpet at Premios tu Mundo, the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World and has interviewed many celebrities like Halle Berry, Sofia Vergara, and Prince Royce.

In his spare time, Brandon enjoys traveling, meditation, and visiting new restaurants in the South Florida area.