Obituary From the Herald
Gustavo Guillermo Godoy June 16, 1942 - August 11, 2021
Miami, Florida - Award-winning and legendary newsman Gustavo Godoy passed away peacefully on August 11th surrounded by his loving family, always by his side. Born on June 16, 1942, as the only child to Marta Andrews and Gustavo Joaquin Godoy in Havana, Cuba, he immigrated to Miami, FL with his parents in 1960.
A true icon, Godoy was among the first high-profile Hispanics to work in U.S. news media and is widely considered a pioneer of Spanish-language television news. His news career began as a reporter for Channel 7 (WCKT), later becoming Producer and Chief of the ABC News Latin America Bureau in Miami. As Assistant News Director at WCIX (Channel 6), he created, produced and hosted "Enfoque", a weekly news talk program. He moved on to Channel 4 (WTVJ) where he was offered a position as Latin Affairs Director, giving him his own show called "Viva." He brought his passion, charisma and experience working in general market television stations to a Spanish-speaking television audience, serving as News Director for Channel 23 (WLTV) in Miami, and later, for Channel 41 (WXTV) in New York. When presented with the opportunity, Godoy took the reins to lead the Spanish International Network's Noticiero (S.I.N.), into a highly respected news organization based in Miami. In doing so, he is largely considered the architect of what later became Univision Network News. In this capacity, he created a series of "firsts" for Spanish-language TV: the first town hall meeting, the first network morning show, and the first exit poll covering presidential and congressional elections, in addition to organizing live coverage of the Republican and Democratic Conventions. In 1986, he went on to launch Telemundo Network News from scratch in a simple Hialeah warehouse and lived to see it grow into the respected news organization it is today. During his long and illustrious career, he met and interviewed dozens of world leaders throughout Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and Turkey, while covering presidential elections, civil wars, and refugee crises in numerous countries. Godoy was fiercely protective of the concept of accuracy, integrity, and credibility in TV news, and instilled it in his colleagues. Many of those who worked under him believe his legacy is still felt in Spanish-language television newscasts across the country, considered not only competitive with their general market counterparts, but oftentimes, exceeding them in ratings. Godoy was invited on several occasions to the White House and met with numerous presidents and advisors to discuss the growing impact and influence of Hispanics in the nation. He is remembered by an army of his colleagues as a "brilliant" trailblazer in the world of Hispanic television in the US for shaping Spanish-language news programs into first-rate newscasts. He is also credited with launching the careers of numerous well-known news anchors and reporters that have gone on to stardom, as well as nurturing the successful careers of countless others who worked behind the cameras and carried his imprint forward. He was Editor and Executive Publisher of Vista Magazine, the first bilingual monthly magazine for the U.S. Hispanic market, with a national circulation of 1.1 million copies. In 2013, he was a Gold Circle honoree, a prestigious award given to professionals that have devoted half a century or more to the television industry and have made a significant contribution to broadcasting. A mentor to innumerable young journalists, Godoy was considered gentle with his criticism and generous with his praise. He was an avid lover of the arts, and a loving father and grandfather. He was preceded in death by his wife of many years, Virginia Flores, and is survived by his children: Gustavo "Tito" Godoy, (Margie), Maria del Rosario "Rosy" Godoy Medina (Ronald), Michelle Godoy-Zucco (Joe), Francisco Jose "Paco" Martinez-Agullo, Jose Luis "Pepe" Martinez-Agullo and his grandchildren: Nicholas, Andres and Lucas Medina, and Tatiana, JonPaul and Julian Godoy.