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, In The Thick, Latino Rebels and the Community Podcast Lab. As Vice President of New Business Development for Futuro Studios, he headed up the division’s new business initiatives, which have received industry accolades and have positioned Futuro for continued, sustainable success.
In 2011, Julio founded Latino Rebels, one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. In 2018, LR officially joined the Futuro Media family. He has hosted Latino Rebels Radio since 2014 and continues to do so. He also co-hosts In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa. 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.
Currently, he is also an MSNBC Opinion Columnist.
Before joining Futuro, 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 throughout his career.
In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Julio with its inaugural DALE (pronounced like Pitbull would say it) Award, “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.” A native of Puerto Rico, Julio spent his childhood between San Juan and the Bronx. He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe and a top publishing executive. Julio graduated cum laude from Harvard College.