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Love what you do, the art of TV

After his retirement in December 2022, Humberto Yépez is dedicated to consulting with the aim of guiding new professionals.

Today, from the home studio and adapting to another stage of his professional life, Humberto Yépez Viteri, electronics and telecommunications engineer and former general manager of Telecuador Cia. Ltda., remembers at 63 years old and with great emotion, his first approaches to television, his career, his family, his greatest anguish and the happiness he has found for more than 40 years in the workplace. In the beginning, the joy of "doing what you love" was found by fixing wires and putting connectors. According to Humberto, this is how "a whole working life of experience and learning began to develop".

The transcendence of his life began on September 19, 1959. Years later, in the mid-1960s, he entered what would be his first approach to the academy, his basic and secondary studies were carried out in two emblematic institutions of the city of Quito, the Eugenio Espejo and the Municipal College "Sebastián de Benalcázar". At that time the Municipal School "Sebastián de Benalcázar" was built in response to the need for an educational service based on a deep secular thought, independence from the religious and conservative ideas of the time.

In 1980 and with the idea of training in Systems Engineering, and under the reflection of the successful career of his father (who had been one of the pioneers of this profession in his native country), Humberto entered the National Polytechnic School. His plans, back then, would change. Well, it was being a student and thanks to the invitation of a good friend who went to work at TC Television, where he was for 4 years. There he started as an assistant and technician.

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By that time, Yépez said: "I was already repairing my first U-matic machines. In the Old Sony Format." In turn, he recalled: "the first machine I managed to repair was a three-quarter-inch Sony U-matic video player. It was a very large and very complicated machine, with a lot of electronics, but with a lot of mechanics." At that time many transmissions were made with microwaves. According to the engineer, there were days when the number of transmissions were very high. "In a presidential election, for example, in one day and through a mini mobile unit we made more than 18 transmissions. So it was one of the most fun things and with the most beautiful memories I have of hard work, since this involved climbing the hills and making microwave links for the transmitters."

Years later, and closing the cycle of his university career, he went to work at Ecuavisa, one of Ecuador's flagship channels. In April 1993, and after a long relationship with cables and connectors, he assumed the management of Gamavisión leading the transmission project for the Copa América soccer tournament.

In 1995, and after having closed the company he had set up with some friends, he joined Telecuador, a company where he was for more than 27 years and where he said goodbye to his working life. By 1996, a project anecdotally marked his career. The complexity of transmission required in surgery in patients with chronic diseases exposed greater effort and sensitivity. Humberto recounted: "We did a transmission in a hospital. It wasn't outside the building, it was a transmission of an operation at the Solca Hospital. So, we put cameras in the lamps and ellipticals, we put sound, we did things and we broadcast to a group of students who were in a room on the side. So, that was also very valuable and life was leading us to learn from other things, such as electronic security."

On December 15, 2022, after 27 years, he ended his professional life. "I think that Telecuador was where I could do things the most, because we developed several television channels, we were pioneers in implementing educational television channels, they were two projects that we started from scratch and left the channels 100% operational. Additionally, a lot of very nice projects have been done, but the one that takes a very big part of my heart is the public channel, because it is a story of struggle. It was always my dream to fight for him."

A public channel, a life project designed for society

Talking about communication, Broadcast and engineering is more frequent than many of us would believe. However, the struggle to implement projects with social impact, which more than informing and entertaining, allow educating and making visible the magic of television and the art of storytelling, has been a constant struggle, a struggle that Humberto Yépez fought throughout his professional life. This project not only marked him in his work life, but also personal, it was what moved his vibes from beginning to end.

"Several times, on different occasions, I presented projects for the implementation of the public channel and I did not succeed. But I was fortunate that an Ecuadorian president heard the concept and understood it. He was the one who opened the doors for me to be able to carry out the complete project of the public television of Ecuador".

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The engineer assessed that the canal today is no longer the same as it was when it was conceived. "When we created the project and dreamed about it, we did a very nice project, it is one of my greatest professional satisfactions". At the same time, he recalled that when they closed the opportunity to create the public channel, he felt a deep sadness. He emphasized: "I always dreamed of public television.
of Ecuador because there are many things that have not been presented to the community, because there was nowhere to show other content. Private channels have their primary objectives, which are commercials, while many public projects did not have high credit, but could be the sustenance of the strengthening of television in Ecuador, many of these could not be carried out. "

Faced with the criticisms he makes, he says that "it is difficult to analyze the industry at a time like this, in which open television is in clear decline, at least in Ecuador. I understand that in other countries it is still very valid, but in Ecuador it lost validity, first because we are not producing anything to export. Second, because broadcast television stopped understanding that the news does not have to be complementary to Twitter, they lost the opportunity to be the first voice, to create."

A family united by engineering

It was in the 90s that Humberto married Rocío, with whom he has been married for 32 years. As for his children, they inherited the love and vocation for engineering, just like their father and grandfather. Humberto, speaks in a slow voice and with an observable feeling of gratitude about his home. "Life has given me three wonderful children, the eldest of
They are 31 years old. She is a mechatronics engineer, working for General Motors. My second son is a graphic design engineer and is majoring in audiovisuals. And the third is half crazy (describing with affection and under laughter), he is a physicist and is doing his master's degree" and jokingly concludes: "Now let's hope soon he does his doctorate."

On the side of his parents, Humberto affirms that "unfortunately they are no longer with me, they both died more than 20 years ago and since then, I miss them every day." While he remembers nostalgically, he adds: "They were a fundamental axis for me, for my professional development, they knew how to instill in me very important values, such as the love of work."

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As for his family plans, he wants to have a place "where he opens the windows and sees the beautiful Cotopaxi Volcano or the Cayambe, some place with mountains or snow-capped mountains which is what I like. I also hope to be able to visit the beaches of my country is something that I stop doing it. I hope I can share with my wife many things that we stopped doing together for work."

A new direction

After his retirement, Humberto dedicated himself to consulting with the aim of guiding new professionals. As for his career and what is coming, he argued: "I loved working all my life and that's why, now, after forty years, I leave satisfied to have done everything. We all definitely have our cycles. We have to know how to retire and we have to be grateful for what life has given us."

He also concluded: "You have to find, you have to make that click with what you are doing, with what you like. I, for example, enjoyed these forty years of work so much, especially when I was on the television channels."

Andrea Ochoa Restrepo
Author: Andrea Ochoa Restrepo
Coordinadora Académica KNX. Editora en Latin Press, Inc. Candidata al título: Magister en Economía Aplicada, con amplia experiencia en medios de comunicación y Políticas Públicas. [email protected]

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