Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez apparently isn’t shy, declaring at NAMIC‘s annual awards breakfast Wed that El Rey Network will be "the home of some kick-ass television." Launching in Dec, the net targeting English-language Hispanics (watch out, J-Lo) will feature programming produced by and for "an extraordinarily diverse audience," said Rodriguez, who founded Univision -backed El Rey. The net is 1 of 4 minority-owned nets being rolled out by Comcast under NBCU merger conditions. Comcast evp David Cohen, sporting an "EL Rey Network" hat, said people of color represent around 40% of its workforce. "We are working to increase that number, especially at vp and above," he said. He also cited Comcast’s Internet Essentials program to bring affordable broadband to low-income communities, many of which include high minority populations. The program is doing well in Rep Doris Matsui‘s (D-CA) hometown Sacramento, according to the rep. Citing her recently introduced legislation seeking to expand the FCC‘s Lifeline program for universal broadband, Matsui said "we need to make it a national priority that no one gets left behind in the global digital economy." The message for the cable industry from Rep James Clyburn (D-SC): "Deal with communities in accordance with their needs." This year’s NAMIC Next Generation Leaders Awards recognized Christine Bragan, vp, marketing & communications, AMC Networks, in the cable programmer category, and Rich Jennings, regional svp at Comcast Cable’s mile high region, in the MSO category. The ’13 luminaries include execs like Ivan Bargueiras, svp, ad sales/gm, Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic; Maureen Carter, vp, digital brand creative, Nick; Kimberly Hulsey, vp, legal & gov affairs, Scripps Networks Interactive; Puja Vohra, svp, marketing, Oxygen; and Ritchie Yu, vp, ad sales research, Discovery Comm.