Karina Banda: The Emmy Award-Winning Journalist and TV Host

April 18, 2024
4 mins read

Karina Banda

Most people are familiar with Karina Banda thanks to her high-profile marriage to the actor and singer-songwriter Carlos Ponce. However, followers of the brunette will know that she has a successful career in her own right, as a media personality who has won six Emmy Awards to date – Best Presenter, Best Entertainment Journalist, and Best Weather Reporter to name just three.

Karina was born on 21st August 1988 in Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico, but moved to Monterrey, Nuevo León, with her family shortly afterwards. According to an official biography, the presenter was bullied by her classmates as a young child due to the size of her ears She began working as a radio commentator at just 13 years old.


Upon matriculating from high school, Karina embarked on a Comunicación Social (Social Communications) degree which she studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Nueva León. Prior to graduating, she was already working part-time on the Multimedios channel – and a few years later, Karina would become a familiar face at Televisa and Univisión, the two biggest networks in Mexico.

The journalist’s first live TV job was as a newsreader for Televisa Monterrey. At just 25 years old, Karina went from a local channel to a nationwide broadcaster after sending her CV and a work reel to the executives at Univisión. Before becoming a permanent fixture at Univisión, Karina relocated to Los Angeles, where she also studied acting. In 2018, the brunette made her grand debut as an entertainment and sports presenter at one of the most prestigious events of that year: the FIFA World Cup, which took place in Russia and lasted a month.

However, she ultimately decided to settle down in her home country and currently appears in the shows “Sal y Pimienta”, “TUDN”, and “El Gordo y la Flaca” amongst others.


First Marriage

In 2015, Karina became engaged – and married – to an American helicopter pilot named Douglas Riggs. At the time, she was one of the presenters on the morning show “A Primera Hora” and had already cultivated a dedicated fanbase, so naturally, the big day made national headlines.

Karina and Douglas’s religious ceremony was followed by an upbeat celebration, with the bride, groom, and guests dancing and parading along the streets of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato. Karina wore a colorful headband of flowers with chic brown ankle boots and a refreshingly modern above-the-knee wedding dress, whereas Douglas looked dapper in a grey suit jacket and blue pants.

However, the presenter and the pilot’s union came to an abrupt end mere months later. Although Karina avoided discussing the reasons behind her shock divorce, she and Douglas reportedly remained on good terms, with some fans speculating that the couple quietly broke up due to work reasons and cultural differences.

Image source

Carlos Ponce

In July 2018 and after months of speculation, Karina’s relationship with Puerto Rican heartthrob Carlos Ponce was finally confirmed. The brunette broke the news on her show “El Gordo y la Flaca”, which she co-hosts alongside the seasoned journalist Raul de Molina. Although both Karina and Carlos tried to keep their relationship a secret for as long as possible, it just wasn’t feasible due to the public nature of their jobs.

According to mutual friend and TV presenter Lili Estefan, Carlos was the first of the two to express interest and establish a connection. ‘On Valentine’s Day this beautiful woman [Karina] was at my house, and the next day Carlos Ponce called me to ask [about her],’ she said. [All quotes translated from Spanish]


Naturally, the 16-year age gap between the actor and the journalist became a hot topic of discussion. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in September 1972, Carlos and his family had moved to Miami when he was 14 years old, and he began acting in high school theatre productions shortly afterwards. After visiting a friend in Mexico in the early 1990s, Carlos began working with Televisa and appeared in telenovelas such as “Guadalupe” and “Sentimientos ajenos”.

Prior to his relationship with Karina, Carlos dated the Colombian actress, presenter and model Ximena Duque from 2010 to 2016. Despite Ximena having moved on with her current partner Jay Adkins by the time her ex went public with Karina, gossip blogs made sure to insinuate that there was bad blood between the two women.


However, we can’t discuss Carlos’s love life without mentioning his ex-wife. From 1996 to 2011, the actor was married to Veronica Rubio, with whom he shares four children: adopted twins Sienna and Savannah, and biological sons Giancarlo and Sebastian. Obviously, there was an overlap between his divorce from Veronica and the beginning of his relationship with Ximena, but according to sources close to the actor, he and Veronica were already separated when he began dating again.

In April 2019, Karina made another statement about her love life on “El Gordo y La Flaca”. As Raul and viewers of the show believed that an engagement announcement was coming, they were heartbroken to learn that Karina and Carlos were actually no longer together.


‘We’re not together anymore, but we didn’t have a fight. We ended on good terms, it was a mutual decision and we’re still friends,’ Karina clarified while discussing the news, adding: ‘We’ve both got very busy schedules, I recently spent a whole week in Colombia.’

By the time fans of the couple were getting over the split, Karina and Carlos were spotted together at an NFL game in September 2019, almost five months after breaking up. This time round, the dynamic couple appeared to be happier than ever as they vacationed together in Europe, spent time with each other’s family, and sparked engagement rumors yet again.

Although the brunette and the Televisa star did indeed become engaged, with Carlos popping the question in January 2020, the COVID pandemic put their wedding plans on hold. The couple’s civil ceremony took place in 2021, but due to travel restrictions and scheduling conflicts, there were plenty of missing faces, which was why their religious ceremony in June 2022 was so special: it was the first time all the members of the Ponce-Banda clan were together under one roof.

‘My parents and siblings hadn’t met Carlos’s children,’ Karina told People en Español magazine. ‘Having everyone here was priceless.’


Since then, Karina has been thriving both personally and professionally. In mid-December 2023, she and Carlos travelled to California and uploaded plenty of photos of the trip on their social media profiles; days later, the brunette went on the “Deja el Show” podcast to chat about upcoming projects, her Christmas plans, and related topics. As Karina has often discussed her desire to become a mother, fans also hope that 2024 will be the year she and Carlos welcome a new addition to their family.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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