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Journalist and Editorial Leader

As President for Futuro Media, Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela is responsible for the business side of the organization and plays a key leadership role in overseeing the company’s editorial vision, alongside Maria Hinojosa.


Previously, he was the company’s Editorial Director, leading the teams at  Latino USA, Latino Rebels, the In The Thick political podcast and the Community Podcast Lab. As Vice President of New Business Development for Futuro Studios, he also headed up the division’s new business initiatives, which have received industry accolades and have positioned Futuro for continued, sustainable success.


Currently, he is an MSNBC Opinion Columnist.

In 2011, Varela founded Latino Rebels, one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. In 2018, Latino Rebels officially joined the Futuro Media family. He also co-hosts “In The Thick” with Maria Hinojosa and is an MSNBC columnist. He is a frequent contributor to Latino USA, and as Digital Director for Futuro from 2015–2020, Julio expanded the show’s digital footprint, overseeing historic gains in online and social audiences.

Previously, Julio was Digital Producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” and his work has been featured in many global outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, ESPN, NBC News, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He has made numerous national TV appearances for Latino USA and Futuro Media.

In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Varela with its inaugural DALE Award, “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.” He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe and a top publishing executive. Varela graduated cum laude from Harvard College.