Ramos wanted to maintain a consistent branding for his media properties based around the "mundo" theme (the Spanish word for "world"), and chose to brand his new television property as "Telemundo" (in effect, translating to "Teleworld" or "World TV").
Ramos had tried to obtain a television station license as early as the mid-1940s; however, because of a freeze imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that suspended the filing and approval of broadcast license applications for new television stations in the United States and its territories due to World War II, he had to wait until 1954 to obtain the license.
(or , depending on the time zone) – placing them directly against late-evening newscasts on Fox, WB, UPN and independent stations in many markets – followed by a late-evening national newscast produced by cable news channel CBS Telenoticias; movies were also added during the to p.m.
Eastern time slot on certain weeknights to help bolster its late newscasts.
On April 14, 1983, Ramos sold WKAQ-TV to John Blair & Co.
In 1984, the owners of WNJU (channel 47) in Linden, New Jersey (serving the New York City area) and KSTS (channel 48) in San Jose, California formed Net Span, the second Spanish-language television network in the continental United States (behind the longer-established Spanish International Network, the forerunner to Univision).
In an effort to boost its tepid ratings and quell complaints from advocacy organizations such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition that criticized both networks for not featuring content relatable to American Latinos, Telemundo outlined a new strategy to better compete against Univision by increasing production of domestically produced programs.
In 1995, under the direction of executive vice president of programming Harry Abraham Castillo, Telemundo opened its first network studio on the West Coast.
Housed at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, the network began daily production of three shows on the lot that year: La Hora Lunática ("The Crazy Hour"), a daytime talk-variety show hosted by Los Angeles radio personality Humberto Luna, comedians Mario Ramírez Reyes "El Comodín" and Hugo Armando, and producer Jackie Torres; El y Ella ("He and She"), a daily talk show focusing on gender-related issues that was created and produced by Gigi Graciette, who co-hosted the program with Antonio Farre; and Dando y Dando ("Giving and Giving"), an audience and viewer participation game show hosted by Rafael Sigler.
The first wave of major changes to Telemundo came on August 11, 1997, when the network revamped its prime time schedule by cutting an hour of its prime time telenovela lineup; concurrently, local newscasts on the network's owned-and-operated and affiliate stations were moved an hour earlier to p.m.
The network then launched an image campaign using the slogan "Lo mejor de los dos Mundos" ("The Best of Both Worlds"), with several billboard ads being erected in cities such as Miami and San Francisco as part of the campaign, heralding a "new era" for Telemundo.
Tortorici dramatically overhauled Telemundo's schedule in an effort to boost its viewership among American Spanish language audiences, as its total audience share had slid from more than 40% early in the decade to less than 20% (and only a 13% share during prime time) by 1998.
The network also began to produce its own original telenovelas, the first of which to premiere were Angélica, mi vida ("Angelica, My Life"), Marielena, Guadalupe, Señora Tentación ("Lady Temptation") and Tres Destinos ("Three Destinations").