Former ‘Sabado Gigante' Host Don Francisco Coming to Telemundo

Francisco - whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger - will join the network as a senior news correspondent, according to reports.

Legendary television personality Don Francisco, the former host of Univision's long-running Saturday night variety program "Sabado Gigante," has sealed a deal with rival network Telemundo.

According to various media outlets, including Variety, Francisco - whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger - will join the network as a senior news correspondent.

Kreutzberger signed off from "Sabado Gigante" last September after 53 uninterrupted years on the air, including three decades in the U.S. on Univision.

“Mario is one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world and has been an innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career," said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision.

The show received a Guinness World Record in 2012 for longest-running variety show on television, broadcasting since 1962.

The show is also responsible for helping to launch the careers of many notable personalities, including NBC 6 South Florida anchor Jackie Nespral who began her TV career as a spokesmodel on the show 1987.

Kreutzberger's new Telemundo deal is twofold. In addition to his new role as a senior news correspondent, Kreutzberger will also help launch a joint production company to develop and product content across multiple platforms.

According to reports, Kreutzberger fielded several offers from numerous outlets, including Univision, before ultimately settling on the deal with Telemundo.

Kreutzberger, who turned 75 in December, splits his time between Miami and his native Chile.

Telemundo, a division of NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content, is owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of this site.

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