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Hispanic

Hispanic Media

By the Project for Excellence in Journalism

Overview

For the nation’s Hispanic media, 2008 had all the makings of a great year.

A population that already represents 15 percent of Americans was projected to keep growing. Hispanic television broadcasters continued to see audiences expand. Some newspapers and broadcasters made significant online gains. And in an election year, the nation’s largest minority group attracted special attention from candidates in the hotly contested – and record-spending — presidential campaign.

In the end, the year proved by no means dismal but neither did it match several years of strong growth.  And the outlook for 2009 was cautious.

Several newspapers saw circulation grow, and some smaller ones expanded their markets or transformed themselves from weekly papers into dailies. Seattle’s Sea Latino launched national editions in key markets with the ambitious goal of being the “USA Today of the nation’s Hispanics.”

ImpreMedia, a group of Spanish-language newspapers, launched Impre.com, a major online news portal hoping to appeal to the growing number of Hispanics online.

And a major television broadcaster, Univision, again outperformed its English-language counterparts in prime-time programming and in news ratings in key markets. Its rival, Telemundo, enjoyed a boost in ratings and struck a deal to export programming to Mexico.

The number of bilingual media outlets also continued to grow, at least through the first half of the year, targeted at a burgeoning population of second- and third-generation Hispanics.

But there were signs of troubles, too. The three biggest Spanish-language daily newspapers all had declines in circulation of varying degrees. And revenue declined at both major television networks. The Spanish Broadcasting System, a radio chain, was threatened with having its stock de-listed by Nasdaq. And in a year when all Hispanic media expected to be showered by ad dollars from the presidential campaigns, broadcasters did not benefit enough to make up for other losses and print received little benefit at all.

The television giant Univision headed into 2009 with challenges, although the company dodged a bullet early in the year. It settled a lawsuit by one of the largest media companies in Latin America, the outcome of which could have had a major impact on the Spanish-language television landscape. The settlement ensured that it would be able to keep the 40% of its programming that was at stake in the lawsuit.

Heading into 2009, the full force of the economic collapse remained to be seen. Especially vulnerable are the smaller, community-oriented Hispanic outlets that do not have deep capital reserves and rely on struggling small businesses for ad dollars. But Hispanic media have two advantages:  they offer information in a way the mainstream media do not and many have demonstrated an ability to adapt to a culturally and linguistically diversifying population.

Audience

Print

In a year of large circulation drops for many mainstream newspapers, several major Hispanic publications were able to hold the line.

Of the three biggest dailies, two experienced slight circulation declines but not nearly the 4.6% drop experienced by mainstream newspapers in the United States.1 The third, and biggest, La Opinión of Los Angeles, dropped considerably, something the editor attributed to a price increase.

New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, the oldest Hispanic daily newspaper in the country, had a daily circulation decline of one-half of 1 percent for the six-month period ending September 30, 2008, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The newspaper’s average daily circulation Monday to Friday fell to 52,857, compared with 53,122 in 2007. The circulation has been on a slow but steady decline since 2001.2

In Miami, El Nuevo Herald dropped slightly to 77,295 Monday to Friday, down from 77,566 in 2007.3

The third big daily, La Opinión of Los Angeles, fared much worse. After an increase in circulation in 2007, its average daily circulation fell 20% to 100,462 in the six-period month ending in September of 2008, from 124,784 in 2007.4

The drop was largely tied to the paper doubling the price of a single issue from 25 cents to 50 cents, a move designed to make up for the higher cost of newsprint and staff, according to executive editor Pedro Rojas. As a paper that relies solely on single-issue sales, the loss, says Rojas, could have been much worse. He said the paper’s management expects this to be a one-time loss with circulation holding steady in 2009.5

Circulation of Major Spanish-Language Dailies
For the six month period ended September 30 2001-2008
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations publisher’s statements

Some of this decline may also be related to the Southern California market. The major English-language paper in the market, the Los Angeles Times, had a decline in circulation of 5.2% during the period.

If the big Spanish-language dailies had a mixed year, the news was better among smaller outlets, although some of the numbers are un-audited. Some smaller daily papers were able to increase their circulations and expand into new markets.  One hit a milestone in 2008, converting from a weekly to a daily and giving New England its first Hispanic daily.

Another daily, Al Día, in Dallas/Fort Worth, tripled its Wednesday and Saturday circulation from the year before to 120,000. Average circulation for its other publication days remained even at about 38,000.  The Wednesday-Saturday growth was attributed to the expansion strategy of its parent, which also operates the Dallas Morning News, to target reader segments.6 As part of the strategy, the Dallas Morning News is aggressively seeking targeted readerships with publications.

Al Día’s marketing director, Isaac Lasky told Portada magazine, “Being the only [Hispanic] daily newspaper in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area we found an underserved market and advertisers told us that a larger circulation was important to reach critical mass and be able to capture this dynamic market segment.” 7

There were signs, however, that the universe of Spanish-language dailies was contracting. In 2007, the latest year for which data are available, the number of dailies fell to 33 from 38 the year before.

Weeklies

Spanish-language weeklies, on the other hand, had a more upbeat 2008 – at least before the economy soured.

But these papers also carry a lot of vulnerabilities in a bad economy. Generally, weeklies are started up in emerging Hispanic markets that are not large enough to support dailies of their own. They may also be family operations that do not have the resources to publish daily. A few are also former struggling dailies that cut back frequency.

Over all, the number of Spanish-language weeklies appears to be growing. There were 417 weeklies in 2007, the most recent figure available, compared to 384 the year before. Less-than-weeklies also increased from 346 to 377.  8

This continues a trend we have seen in the last few years: a decline in the number of dailies while weeklies continue to grow in number.

Number of Hispanic Newspapers
by publication category 2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

In 2007, the total circulation for weeklies grew by 6%, according to the Latino Print Network. Less-than-weeklies did the next best, growing by 1.6%.9

El Clasificado, a free weekly that mixes classified ads and some newswire and press release content, increased its circulation by entering new territory. The Los Angeles-based paper expanded its reach in 2008 from Los Angeles into San Diego and Ventura Counties in California. By doing so, its weekly circulation grew to 360,000, up from 270,000 in 2007.10

Siglo 21, a Lawrence, Mass.-based weekly, expanded its readership by increasing its frequency. It converted to Monday-to-Friday and became the first Spanish-language daily in New England.11

U.S. Total Circulation of Hispanic Newspapers
by publication category 2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

Another sign of maturity is the number of papers willing to have their circulation audited, something that is important to advertisers but requires more organization and funding. This has always been an obstacle to many outlets in the ethnic press, and in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of audited dailies fell by three in 2007 after growing by one the year before. The total number of weeklies participating in audits rose to 127 in 2007, up from 112 in 2006 and 104 in 2005.12

Number of Audited Hispanic Newspapers
by publication category 2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

Future Outlook

What do the circulation trends mean for Hispanic papers? Compared to the overall drop in traditional daily print circulation, posting only small declines is seen by many as an achievement.

But in the context of the changing Hispanic population, the dailies still may face a problem:  Native-born Hispanics now outnumber Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. Native born second- and third-generation Hispanics are more likely to speak and read English, use the Internet and, like those in other demographics, are getting more of their news online. For now, a majority (60%) of the native-born is under the age of 18, but as they age, their impact on the survival of Hispanic publications is likely to grow.

Pedro Rojas, the executive editor of La Opinión in Los Angeles, says that despite these changes in the population, Hispanics as a group still consume news in Spanish because “mainstream media do not cover Latino issues as well as Hispanic publications, and that is one of our strong points.” With his experience in Los Angeles, one of most established Hispanic communities in the U.S., he says he is convinced that “the number of Spanish-preferred readers is still strong enough to sustain a daily publication.”13

The three major Hispanic dailies have boosted or initiated an online presence, and more papers have begun to see the value of appealing to an audience in both online and in print. ImpreMedia is the model for Hispanic print here, and in 2008 launched a web portal combining all of their newspaper content in one site.

Weeklies, on the other hand, have continued to grow with the new pockets of Hispanic communities across the country. Weeklies are often the first type of paper to emerge and historically have been more likely to serve immigrant populations. Eventually, if the market was strong enough, the weeklies would segue into dailies. Examples of this are Hoy in Chicago and Siglo 21 in Massachusetts.

Now, Kirk Whisler of the Latino Print Network, a firm that studies and facilitates ad buys for hundreds of Latino publications, suggests, that may be changing. The growth in number and circulation of weeklies represents, Whisler says, a trend “away from strong dailies in key markets and toward many more quality weeklies. Weeklies may be becoming a better fit for people’s media habits.”  In addition, the fast-paced news of the Web may be less of a threat to a publication that takes a longer look at news.

One thing that could slow the audience growth of weeklies is slower rates of immigration. Although it is uncertain whether immigration from Latin America has decreased, the Wall Street Journal reported that data from the Census Bureau showed that “the decline in the economy coupled with a government crackdown on illegal immigration is dramatically slowing immigration to the U.S.”14

Television

Ratings showed continued demand for Spanish-language television programming amid a Hispanic population that is diversifying in both language preferences and cultural identity.

Univision and Telemundo, the two major competitors in the Spanish-language broadcast arena, each saw their audience grow in 2008, although they achieved that success with different strategies.

Univision, the bigger of the two Spanish-language networks, tends to heavily favor Spanish-language programming imported from other countries. In recent years, Telemundo, owned by NBC, began exporting its programs to Mexico, marking a major change in the flow of Spanish-language television programming. The network has focused more on producing original programming in the U.S. to reach the growing population of U.S.-born Hispanics. Telemundo news anchors also appear on parent company NBC’s news programs.15

Each strategy appears to have its advantages.

Univision

Univision showed impressive ratings numbers in 2008 during the two most important sweeps periods, May and November, beating some of the big English-language networks on many nights during prime time in markets with high Hispanic populations.

In those markets, Univision beat out one or more of the four major broadcast networks during primetime 26 out of 27 nights of the May sweeps, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.16 The network ranked as the most-watched network out of all major networks (regardless of language) among adults aged 18 to 34 four nights during May sweeps. It also increased its prime-time audience aged 18 to 34 from the same period the previous year by 3%, to 1.23 million in 2008 to 1.19 million in 2007.17

Univision’s news programs were a part of that success. Its news magazine increased its audience, its national news program was ranked high in Los Angeles and New York, and the local evening news in Los Angeles continued its long streak of beating out the English-language news. Univision’s news magazine show, Aqui y Ahora, garnered its most impressive performance to date during May sweeps. Ratings were up 19% among all viewers in 2008 from the same period in 2007.18

November, generally the biggest month for television ratings, also brought Univision success in the local market of Los Angeles. Univision’s local Los Angeles station, KMEX, was the top-ranked station in any language in prime time for adults for the 19th consecutive sweeps period and its local news program was ranked the top local news program.19

Univision’s national network also performed well in Los Angeles during the November sweeps. It national news program Noticiero Univision was the most watched nightly news program.

By the end of 2008, KMEX in Los Angeles was the No. 1 most-watched station in the country among viewers age 18 to 49, regardless of language.20

The success in ratings for Univision in its news and prime-time programming is  tied to the growing Hispanic population, which continues to demand culturally relevant Spanish-language programming like the popular telenovelas (melodrama series) as well as news from a Hispanic perspective. But the ratings increases are also partly a result of Nielsen’s decision in 2007 to drop its separate Hispanic rating system, according to some industry observers.

Before the decision, Nielsen ratings counted Hispanics separately from the general market. Under the new system, Hispanic homes are now counted as part of Nielsen’s general sample.

“We’re finally able to look at the delivery of the Spanish-language TV programs and how they deliver nationally in the U.S., regardless of language,” said Isabella Sanchez, senior vice president of Tapestry Partners, a multicultural marketing firm.21

Telemundo

Telemundo, a unit of General Electric’s NBC Universal, also enjoyed strong viewership growth in 2008.

The company reported that Telemundo had posted its best November ratings performance in 16 years among total viewers in weekday prime time. The network reached 1.2 million total viewers for the period, a 27% increase from the same period in 2007, according to Nielsen.22 With these ratings increases, the network tagged itself 10 weeks into the 2008-09 season, as the “fastest growing Spanish-language network this season.”23

Earlier in 2008, the network had a boost in ratings that it attributed to NBC’s broadcast rights to the Beijing Olympics. The network’s ratings jumped more than 20% during the Games.24

The Spanish-language network drew 12 million viewers during the first 10 days of the Olympics. That included 380 hours of coverage it produced and 24-hour coverage online at OlimpiadasTelemundo.com.25

Future Strategies

There is debate over which of the two major networks’ strategies will succeed in reaching their audience as the Hispanic population continues to grow and diversify into new segments. In the end, the success of the two networks will depend upon how each adapts to the changing population and it makes use of advances in media technology.

Now that the Hispanic population comprises more U.S.-born Hispanics than immigrants, Telemundo’s strategy of focusing more original programming for second-  and third-generation Hispanics has obvious logic.

“If you’re born here, you don’t have the same affinity for the home country,” Julio Rumbaut, a Miami-based media consultant, told Broadcasting & Cable in 2007. “That’s why U.S.-produced programming is much more appealing to that demographic. It reflects people’s lifestyles.” 26

Telemundo argues that it is the “only Spanish-language network to air four consecutive hours of original content in prime time Monday through Friday.”27 In 2008, Telemundo announced a partnership with TV Globo, a Brazil-based Spanish-language content provider. Under the agreement, Telemundo Studios in Colombia is to produce the telenovela El Clon and have exclusive broadcast rights for the U.S. and Puerto Rico.28

Telemundo also has a bilingual cable channel and sister website, Mun 2 and holamun2.com, to target younger bilingual and English-speaking Hispanics. The channel and site often use Spanglish, the melding of English and Spanish in its original programming. The cable channel was launched in 2001.

On the other hand, Univision’s size and reach may allow it to continue to dominate, and it has shown some signs of adapting to the changing demands of the Hispanic market.

In 2008, Telefutura, a broadcast television network owned by Univision, premiered an original telenovela made in Colombia.29 In 2007, Univision also took steps to create original programming targeted at U.S Hispanics, signing an agreement with Disney-ABC International Television Latin America to create a Spanish-language spinoff of the prime-time hit “Desperate Housewives.”30 In the same year, Univision teamed with Nuyorican Productions to create an original miniseries produced by Jennifer Lopez called “Como Ama Una Mujer” (How A Woman Loves).

But with the population picture changing, if Univision continues to rely on mainly imported programs, some in the industry have said that the network could face challenges.

“While Hispanics are becoming bilingual and are increasingly likely to watch English-language TV, Univision is in danger of losing viewers with a schedule that is composed nearly entirely of Mexican programming,” Broadcasting & Cable reported in 2007 shortly before Univision’s sale was completed.31

Radio

For the last several years, Hispanics have pretty evenly divided their radio news listening habits between English- and Spanish-language programs. Spanish news/talk stations still attract more total audience, but it dropped slightly in 2007, while the audiences for English-language stations remained steady, according to Arbitron.

In 2007, the latest year for which data are available, Spanish news/talk stations attracted 1.7 million listeners per week. This amounted to 3.3% of all Hispanics who listen to radio and was down slightly from 3.5% in 2006.

English-language news/talk stations accounted for 2.5% of Hispanic listening, a figure that remained level with 2006.

The number of stations offering news/talk format in Spanish, however, still managed to grow slightly, from 61 in 2006 to 63 in 2007.

Weekly Spanish vs. English News/Talk Radio Listening
2006 & 2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Arbitron Ratings Reports: Hispanic Radio Today 2006 & 2007
*Arbitron began measuring Hispanic News/Talk radio listening in English in 2006.

But further declines in listening may follow if immigration slows and English usage grows among American Hispanics. Another challenge is aging demographics. A greater portion of Hispanic listeners to Spanish-language news/talk is 65 or older (31% for Spanish-language news stations versus 21% for English-language news stations). This could be a sign that the format may struggle to attract younger listeners, who are bilingual or speak only English and are less likely to listen to talk radio than older generations.

The most popular format of all? Mexican regional music, which attracts 21% of all Hispanic listeners.

One of the biggest issues in radio in 2008 was Arbitron’s unveiling of the portable people meter for measuring audiences. The new system encountered stiff opposition from many urban radio stations catering to black and Hispanic listeners after test periods for the devices showed sharp drops in ratings for some of those stations. Many radio executives of urban radio stations said the new system underrepresented minorities and were concerned that the lower ratings would make it more difficult to attract advertising dollars.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued Arbitron in October over the ratings system’s representation of minority listeners after the company released preliminary ratings to radio stations in New York, one of the test cities.32

Early in 2009, Arbitron settled the Cuomo lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, Arbitron said it would fix flaws in its methodology, pay $260,000 to settle claims and contribute $100,000 to minority broadcasters. Arbitron was also required to fund a study to remove any bias from the ratings system by adjusting its samples to be more representative of minority listeners. If the company fails to make the changes, Cuomo has the option to reinstitute it by October 15, 2009.33

Economics

In a difficult year, the financial results for Hispanic media offered a conflicting picture.

Some experts think Spanish-language media may actually be better insulated from the economic turmoil than general media. First, the Hispanic population is expected to continue growing despite trends showing a short-term slowdown in immigration. Also, advertising in Spanish-language media is generally cheaper than in general market outlets and allows advertisers to reach those who prefer or speak only Spanish, a market most mainstream media do not capture. These things combined make some Hispanic marketing executives think that they and the media they represent will be able to get through the financial crisis and its fallout with only minor damage.34

But if major advertisers do pull back ad dollars, “The Hispanic market will suffer sooner,” said Al Cruz, communications director of Mediaedge:cia Bravo, a Hispanic media firm.  “Because our budgets are significantly smaller, we may see it sooner or faster than the general market will.”35

Early indications for 2008 are not encouraging. Ad spending in Spanish-language television, newspaper or other media, was up a mere 1.5% during the first half of the year, according to Hispanic Business magazine. That compares with double-digit annual growth in recent years.36 And the 2008 numbers do not account for the effects of the financial crisis that worsened in the second half.

One thing in 2008 was clear: The financial results for Hispanic media offered less positive news than did audience information. Revenues started out strong for the year but then dropped markedly in the third quarter when the financial crisis came to a head. And ad sales from political advertising, especially from the presidential candidates, although plentiful, did not live up to the expectation that they would make up for the losses elsewhere.

Print

The economics of Hispanic newspapers were mixed in 2008 and looked troubled going into 2009. And some of the biggest publications were already mainly trending downward in revenues.37

The results varied, depending in part on the regional economy, because Spanish-language print outlets rely more on regional and local advertising dollars than on national sources. Publications in places suffering more from the housing slump reported declines as early as the second and third quarters of 2008. Those in other areas reported slight increases in ad revenues.38

And all that was before the economy fell in September.

Revenue

Although comprehensive figures were not available at press time, there was evidence that Hispanic newspaper revenue took a hit in 2008.

The trade publication Portada surveyed publishers and concluded in its September 2008 issue that the degree of impact varied by market.

“Markets in which the real estate crisis has hit particularly hard (Florida, Nevada and Arizona), have had a substantial decrease in economic activity,” the magazine said. “The real estate crisis has hit them in two ways: On one hand, due to the lower economic activity (particularly in ‘Hispanic intensive industries’ such as construction) general advertising spending has decreased. On the other hand, real estate display and classified advertising, an important source of newspaper revenue, has plummeted.”39

This follows a difficult 2007, a year in which total newspaper revenue had dropped by 2% to $1.200 billion from $1.222 billion in 2006. 40

Dailies were hit hardest in 2007. Their revenues were estimated to total $709 million in 2007, down 2.3% from $726 million the year before. 41

Weeklies also suffered. Their revenues dropped 1.6% to $444 million, from $451 million in 2006.The one category that increased in revenues in 2007 was the less-then-weekly paper. They posted revenues of $47 million in 2007, up slightly more than 4% from $45 million.42

Hispanic Newspaper Revenue
2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

Advertising vs. Circulation

Where were the declines in Spanish-language print coming from?

Declining circulation revenue made up most of this in 2007.

For 2008, ad revenue declines are expected to be the bigger part of the slide. Car dealerships and real estate brokers who provide local ad dollars for weeklies were forced to cut back as the housing market slumped and the U.S. auto industry struggled through tough times. National advertisers, too, cut ad spending.

“The drop in revenue at the newspaper was due chiefly to a decrease in ad dollars,” Pedro Rojas, the executive editor of La Opinión, told PEJ. When asked about the economic outlook for the paper in 2009, he said, “Every day we have a different outlook. Right now we’re playing it by ear and discovering new ways to be efficient.”43

Looking at the specific dollar figures for 2007, that last year for which data is available, overall circulation revenue fell 15%.44

Total ad revenue for Hispanic papers over all fell about a half a percentage point in 2007.45

Hispanic Newspaper Ad Revenue
2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

The declines came in both national and local adverting, affecting both dailies and weeklies.

Spanish-language dailies tend to rely more on national advertising than other Hispanic papers. About 17% of their ad revenues were from national advertising in 2007. Local and regional ad dollars are still a larger source of income.46

Weeklies, which depend more on local advertising, had enjoyed advertising growth in 2007, but that was largely a function of there being 33 more weekly papers than the year before. Ad revenue grew at a rate of 0.7% in 2007. 47

National vs. Local Ad Revenue in Hispanic Newspapers
2005-2007
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Kirk Whisler & Latino Print Network, Carlsbad, CA http://www.latinoprintnetwork.com/

Less-than-weekly papers had been the strongest factor in Spanish newspapers heading into 2008. It was the only Hispanic print sector that had an increase in total revenues for 2007, up 4.4% to $47 million in 2007, according to the estimates from the Latino Print Network.48

They also had an increase in total ad revenues and held their circulation revenues steady. Less-than-weeklies added 31 papers in 2007, up to 377 in 2007 from 346 the previous year.49

Looking Ahead in Print

What does 2008 imply for the future? One question is whether national advertisers, having likely cut back on spending in Hispanic media, would look to capture segments of the Hispanic demographic in their general, English-language advertisements. This could result in fewer ad dollars for Hispanic papers even farther into the future.

There are mixed opinions of that strategies’ success. Salvatore Cavalieri, president and CEO of Cilantro Animation Studios, wrote in TV Week that appealing to Latinos through mainstream ads works sometimes. “Despite the many cultural differences, common ground does exist,” he said. “In fact, some Hispanics may very well respond to the same media campaigns designed for the general Anglo population. Confused? Don’t be. Instead, recognize the key factor that absolutely must be measured while planning a marketing blitz: acculturation”50

On the other hand, Cavalieri pointed to the need for marketers to appeal to the diverse segments of the Hispanic population, saying: “Leaders of the dynamic, illustrious and diverse Hispanic populace have a message for Anglo corporations: When you come calling with your hand out, be prepared to offer more than just ‘Hola!’ ”

Top Hispanic Advertisers in Print

In 2007, the last year for which there are data, 7 of the top 10 spenders in Hispanic media over all reported a decline in ad spending in Hispanic outlets. Verizon, Univision and AT&T, for example, all cut their buys from Hispanic media.51 When asked why the decline for 2007, Ad Age’s Laurel Wentz said that the declines were not yet reflective of the economic slowdown and that year-to-year fluctuations in ad spending in Hispanic media were common.52

It had been expected that advertising spending numbers would have been augmented by campaign ad spending in the presidential and Congressional elections. As it turned out for print, campaign spending was not as plentiful as expected or hoped for. In Florida, during the week of September 8, McCain spent $1 million and Obama spent $1.3 million on Hispanic television. Latino newspapers were not so lucky. El Nuevo Herald in Miami reported that ad spending by both parties dipped following the primaries, while the bilingual Hispania News in the political battleground of Southern Colorado said it had run one ad for Obama and none for McCain as of Sept. 18, although editor Robert Armendáriz told PEJ that toward the end of the race, the Obama campaign ran more ads, but declined to give specifics.53

Television

The year 2008 started off relatively strong after a year of growth in 2007. But as the year went on, the situation deteriorated and it looked like the effects of the financial crisis were seen faster in broadcast than elsewhere. In the second quarter of 2008, ad revenue from both local and national Spanish-language television stations declined from the same period the previous year, even with the ad revenue from the presidential candidates.

For the second quarter year to year, Spanish-language television experienced a 3% decline in ad revenue, Broadcasting & Cable reported.54 Total dollars fell to $1.247 billion from $1.287 billion in 2007 and the trend was expected to continue into 2009 in light of the difficult economy.55

One anonymous media buyer told Broadcasting & Cable, “Most advertisers have pushed back decisions on first quarter 2009 to the end of the month to give them more time to figure it out.”56

Political Advertising in Hispanic Television

When the year began, Univision, the leading Spanish-language broadcast network, estimated it would end up attracting at least $20 million in political ad spending. Entravision, a smaller Spanish-language media company based in Santa Monica, Calif., that operates some Univision affiliates and also owns and/or operates 51 television stations and 48 radio stations, projected that political ad sales would double to $12 million from the 2004 election.57

As the primary season got under way, with the party nominations still hotly contested, those projections looked on target. Entravision reported $1.5 million in political ad spending for the first quarter of 2008, which was double the same period in 2004. Telemundo also garnered record political spending during the primary season, although the company would not release specific figures.58

Whether the campaigns ultimately met Spanish-language media’s expectations was unclear.  For the general election battle, neither campaign would release final ad spending numbers on Hispanic media. But the two states with the biggest Hispanic populations —  Texas and California — were not battleground states, which usually translates into less advertising. Other evidence, though, suggests that spending remained high, indeed higher than in any past election cycle with the bulk of it coming from the Obama campaign. In late October, the Miami Herald reported that in 2004, the “Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns combined spent $8.7 million on Spanish-language television advertising.”

The paper also reported that during the primary season, the Obama campaign spent $20 million on Hispanic outreach, which included ad buys.59 Campaign insiders told the paper in the general campaign that Barack Obama would “meet or surpass that figure by Nov. 4.”60 While total dollar figures were are not available, looking at the ads themselves clearly suggests a commitment to this ethnic group.

In late October, Obama released a Spanish-language ad that featured him addressing Hispanic viewers in Spanish. And Obama broadcast his 30-minute infomercial on Univision, along with Fox, CBS and NBC.

“Buying a half-hour on Univision is like putting a Spanish-language ad on the Super Bowl. It almost doesn’t matter what you say because the main message is to say ‘I know you’re there and I recognize you,” said Roberto Suro, a founder of the Pew Hispanic Center and a journalism professor at the University of Southern California.61

As the campaign wound down, the Republican National Committee made a last-minute ad buy of Spanish-language television in Miami for $500,000 independently from the McCain campaign.62

Because John McCain used the public financing to fund his campaign, his ad dollars were not as plentiful as Obama’s. A study by the Advertising Project at the University of Wisconsin found that between September 28 and October 4 in the key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Nevada, which all have substantial Hispanic populations, Obama outspent McCain in everyone of them.63

Univision

Despite strong political ad spending, the second quarter of 2008 was less than stellar for Univision, the leading Spanish-language broadcaster. And it was clear by the third quarter, after the economic crisis was in full swing, that the faltering economy would affect even the strongest of Spanish-language broadcasters. Some of it was due to the financial crisis. But Univision’s own debt and legal issues complicated the picture.

Univision reported a 4.3% decline in net revenue for the second quarter of 2008 from the same period the previous year.64 Nevertheless, Univision’s CEO, Joe Uva, remained optimistic, saying that “the first six months of 2008 have kept pace with last year’s comparable six-month period despite challenging economic conditions.”65

But by the third quarter, the downhill slide continued and was expected to extend at least through the beginning of 2009. By September 30, the company posted a $2.9 billion net loss and revenue dropped to $511.3 million from $524 million a year ago, a 2.4% decline.66 “Univision, like every broadcaster, is going to be taking a very hard look at all of its expenses. We are preparing for a pretty tough recessionary environment,” Univision’s chief financial officer, Andrew Hobson, told the Los Angeles Times.67

The company’s third-quarter report also showed an alarming decrease in ad spending that reflected the impact of the financial troubles throughout the U.S. auto industry. The company’s television and radio divisions reported a 25% decline in auto advertising in the third quarter compared to the year before.68

Declines in revenue and ad dollars for Univision were not the only economic concerns going into 2009.  Univision’s acquisition last year by a group of private investors for $12.3 billion left the company with $10 billion in debt, according to the Los Angeles Times. In addition, Univision had to pay off the $385 million balance on a previous loan. The plan was to pay off the balance of the loan through asset sales, but the economic crisis intervened, and Univision assets were selling for less than expected.69

Also impacting expenses for 2009 was the settlement of a lawsuit filed by Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa, which provides 40% of Univision’s programming. After Televisa sued over royalties, Univision settled, agreeing to pay $25 million in back royalties and increasing the licensing fees it pays for future programming.

But 2009 will test the company’s ability to pay off its debt while sustaining losses in advertising revenues as a result of the economic climate.

Some experts think that despite the financial issues in a rough economic climate, Univision is still in a unique position to come through the recession in good shape because its multiplatform success gives advertisers so much.

Felix Contreras of National Public Radio reported: “Univision represents access not only to the No. 1 Spanish-language broadcast network, but also the dominant cable network, more than a dozen of the top radio stations in the country, and the No. 1 Spanish-language website.” 70

Alan Albarran, director of the Center for Spanish-Language Media at the University of North Texas, said: “Univision is, no question, in the best position to weather this storm. And if you’re an advertiser and you want to reach the Spanish-language market, Univision is still your best vehicle to place. It’s just your number of ad dollars may be reduced or they may be cut back in terms of what you’d normally like to invest if the market was at its full strength.” 71

Telemundo

Getting precise financial figures is difficult. NBC does not break out Telemundo results, but anecdotal evidence suggested that Telemundo fell short of its 2007 earnings. The New York Times reported that the network was able to increase its revenues for five straight quarters and, as of March 2008, accounted for 20% of NBC Universal’s revenue.72

The problems of 2008 also come after a run of strong growth. According to an October report in the Los Angeles Times, Telemundo experienced its most profitable year in 2007, earning $65 million, according to two people familiar with the company’s finances quoted by the paper. However, the sources said Telemundo was expected to fall short of its target for 2008, earning about $40 million. The reason for this was unclear, and Telemundo is tight-lipped about its finances. But the weakened economy may offer an explanation.73

The financial pressures of 2008 also led to cutbacks in Telemundo’s staffing. The broadcaster announced that it would pare its payroll by 5%, or about 85 jobs.

The long-term vision behind these cuts was unclear. The announcements from the company remained vague. “The broadcast business is being challenged,” Telemundo’s president, Don Browne, said. “We are proactively and strategically making some adjustments to protect the larger company so that we can weather this period.” 74

Local television station revenues were especially hard hit, according to the Los Angeles Times, in two key markets for Telemundo — Los Angeles and Miami. This was due mainly to decreases in advertising dollars from car dealerships and retailers that struggled in the worsening economic climate.

Telemundo had made strategic shifts in recent years, concentrating on producing its own programs and selling them internationally, investing in a youth-oriented cable channel and expanding its mobile reach to capitalize on Hispanic’s high rates of use of cellphonesand PDA’s. In the first half of 2008, Telemundo introduced a new strategy to “integrate advertising across broadcast, cable and digital assets.” 75 This means the network would make it easier for advertisers to reach the Hispanic audience across the  three media.

The company also negotiated a digital distribution deal with Grupo Televisa, the large Mexico-based Spanish-language media company and principal supplier of Univision programs from Mexico. This would not only allow Telemundo to distribute its original programming on Mexican television stations owned by Televisa, but would allow the distribution of Telemundo content across the digital and mobile platforms as well.76

Univision’s complicated financial position, the tightening economy and the moves by Telemundo could open the door for the broadcaster to gain ground on its main competitor, but the lack of specific financial information makes it difficult to predict what the future looks like for Telemundo.

Radio

Spanish-language radio had the worst results in 2008 among Hispanic media.

The three major distributors are Univision, the Spanish Broadcasting System and Entravision. Of these, Entravision and Univision were able to close the year with relatively minor losses, but the Spanish Broadcasting System had major financial difficulty.

Univision Radio, which acquired the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation in 2003 and now owns and operates 70 stations in the top Hispanic markets throughout the country, has pursued a strategy of buying English-language stations and converting them to Spanish.77 Univision Radio is the highest-ranked Spanish language radio group in the U.S., the company says.

In the second quarter of 2008, Univision Radio’s net revenue was down slightly from the same quarter last year, down to $111.9 million from $112.3 million, a slight decrease.78 The losses worsened in the third quarter. In 2008, net revenue fell to $102.6 million from $105.9 million in 2007, a 3% decrease.79

By September, profits dipped at both Entravision and the Spanish Broadcasting System, and the stocks of both companies neared 52-week lows in September,80 George Szalai reported in the Hollywood Reporter.

Entravision, which owns dozens of radio and television stations across the country, looked as if it would weather the storm. “Our third-quarter financial results were impacted by the economic environment and related advertising slowdown across the majority of our markets,” Walter F. Ulloa, the chairman and C.E.O.. said in a press release. “We have taken steps to reduce our costs and operate as efficiently as possible in an effort to maximize our cash flows, without sacrificing the quality of our content or marketing efforts.… We believe we are in a solid position to capitalize on our market leadership when the economy recovers.”81

At the end of the second quarter in 2008, Entravision reported a drop in net revenues for its radio division, which continued through the third quarter. During the second quarter of 2008, net revenues for Entravision radio dropped to $24 million from $26.2 million the prior year, about a 9% decrease. Net revenue in the third quarter for Entravision’s radio segment also fell from the previous year.82 Net revenue for radio dropped to $23.5 million in 2008 from $24.2 million the same period 2007, a 3% change.83

The outlook for the Spanish Broadcasting System going into 2009 was uncertain at best. But the company had expected declines in its radio operations as it expanded its online and television operations.84 The company operates 21 radio and 2 television stations.

The company reported major and consistent drops in revenues throughout 2008. For the second quarter, its revenues were down 6% from the same quarter in 2007.85 By the third quarter, that percentage doubled. At the close of the quarter, the company reported revenue of $41.3 million down from $46.2 million the same quarter last year, a 12% drop.86

The Spanish Broadcast System repeatedly closed below the $1 per share minimum required by Nasdaq, putting the company’s stock at risk of being delisted. The company was not able to increase its share price, but avoided being delisted in October when Nasdaq suspended the delisting because of  “extraordinary market conditions.” The company has until May 26, 2009, to comply with Nasdaq regulations.87 The company also paid off an $18.5 million note early.88

“Our third-quarter financial performance reflects the impact of a slowing economy and an industry-wide weakness in advertising demand, offset in part by strong growth at MegaTV,” its chairman and CEO, Raul Alarcon Jr., told the South Florida Business Journal. MegaTV was begun as a local station in Florida in 2006 and sought to compete with the Spanish-language television broadcast giants Univision and Telemundo.89 The station has made progress in its local market and secured a deal with DIRECTV in 2007 that allowed it to be broadcast nationally on a DIRECTV channel.90

Ownership

Print

Although economic conditions had been shaky throughout 2008, the first half of the year resulted in some gains for Hispanic print that helped it push through the tough second half. One local paper decided to nationalize and hoped to become the USA Today of Hispanic print. Another paper was begun in South Florida. New England got its first daily Spanish-language paper. And ImpreMedia reorganized the Rumbo newspaper chain in Texas, ending print editions in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley but doubling circulation in Houston.91

By the end of the year, however, ImpreMedia had stopped printing Hoy New York, which it had bought it from the Tribune Company only a year earlier.  It, along with Rumbo’s San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley papers, now exists online only. Other publications, like El Universal Gráfico in Atlanta and Tu Ciudad in Los Angeles, folded, unable to overcome economic troubles.92

Early in 2008, the National Media Group in Seattle teamed up with Jose Quintero, the head publisher of the paper Sea Latino  to start a national version of the weekly paper. The free paper began with editions in Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, South Florida and New York.93

“Sea Latino maintains its solid and unique image and format in all of the markets it reaches. It is a truly national newspaper that also includes local content,” Quintero said. “We like to think of it as the USA Today for Hispanics.”94

The paper started six years ago as a Seattle-based Spanish-language weekly. In March 2008 it joined with National Media Group to launch as a national paper. As of the end of September it had expanded to 11 of the 12 targeted markets.95

By 2010, the paper set the ambitious goal to be in the top 26 Hispanic markets and increase its circulation to 1.5 million copies a week.96

The paper has four sections — two national and two local. The contents of the national sections of the paper are the same in all markets, and the local sections are tailored to the specific markets.

Sea Latino employs local reporters, although executives declined to say how many people it employs. The national paper underwent its first independent audit in 2008 by the Circulations Verification Council and reported an overall weekly distribution of 172,950 copies in the six original markets of Los Angeles, Houston, South Florida, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

Christian Tang  said in an interview with PEJ that Sea Latino’s business model is carefully tailored to Hispanic consumers and is efficient during difficult financial times.

By having a national network of papers, “advertisers only need to deal with one contact, one paper to place their ads in top Hispanic markets,” Tang said.97

The launch of a free Spanish-language newspaper in the South Florida area also demonstrated some international interest in reaching the U.S. Hispanic market. The London-based Express Media International launched Express News, a Hispanic-focused weekly newspaper in several Florida markets in June.98

The paper began with a distribution of 40,000 copies and a website.99 According to Portada magazine, the company, which also has Spanish-language papers in the United Kingdom and Spain, was prepared to use its international resources to get the South Florida edition off the ground. Carla Mena, general manager of the U.S. edition, told Portada magazine that the company had 50 to 60 people working on the project and added, “We have journalists in every country in Latin America; besides that, we have teams working in U.K., Spain, Colombia and U.S.A.”

Spanish-language newspapers reached a milestone in New England in 2008. The region got its first Spanish-language daily newspaper when Siglo 21 converted from a weekly to a daily. It is based in Lawrence, Mass.

Siglo 21 is owned by Víctor Manuel González Lemus  and says that it has a pluralistic philosophy that takes in “the diverse opinions of all democratic thought” in its opinion pages. The paper features articles that reflect different points of view and expresses its position in the editorial section.

ImpreMedia, a corporation of newspapers and magazines that has grown in size and influence in recent years, remained quiet throughout most of 2008 until it announced that it had decided to reorganize the Rumbo newspaper chain in Texas that it purchased from Meximerica Media in 2007. The company decided to suspend printing of the paper in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley (the two papers had a circulation of 25,000 copies each) and double its circulation in Houston from 50,000 to 100,000. The papers still had a home online. A senior vice president, Monica Lozano, pointed to the faltering economy as the reason for the change and said that “advertisers, consumers and readers are going to digital.”100

If more Hispanic papers follow suit and forgo print editions for lower-cost digital products, one question heading into 2009 is whether the papers will be able to retain the same readership numbers, as Latinos over all tend to have lower rates of Internet usage than other demographic groups.

Television

The two major Spanish-language broadcasters, Univision and Telemundo, took major steps in 2008 to position themselves for growth.

Weighed down by increasing debt, Univision continued to sell off its stations, although it avoided a crisis when it settled a lawsuit with its major program producer, Grupo Televisa, a Mexican company, over licensing fees.

Televisa provides 40% of the programming that airs on Univision stations, including some of the most popular telenovelas. In 2004, it sued Univision for allegedly failing to pay $122 million in royalties and demanded to be released from its contract obligations to provide shows to Univision through 2017, which would have hurt the network severely.

After three weeks of testimony in early 2009, the two sides settled. The agreement called for Univision to keep getting the programming but pay more in licensing fees, plus $25 million in disputed back royalties. It will also provide $65 million worth of free advertising time to its Mexican partner.

The settlement was a fraction of what was demanded and amounted to a catastrophe averted for Univision.

Univision in 2008 also continued to make progress on its decision to sell many of its assets, including television stations, cable, local radio and online, and as of the end of July, 75% had been sold. According to Media Week’s John Consoli, Univision outpaced itself from last year, selling off its platforms at a “rapid pace.”101 Part reason for the quick sales may have to do with the buyout by private equity group led by media mogul Haim Saban that left the company with $10 million in debt, with another large debt payment coming up in early 2009.102

Although the sales were going well through the middle of 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported later in the year that “since then, the economic climate has deteriorated, credit markets have seized up and sales of Univision assets, including its music labels, have been slow or have not generated as much money as Univision had anticipated.”

While Univision struggled to sell off pieces of itself, Telemundo took big steps to expand its reach that could shift the Hispanic media landscape. It negotiated a partnership in March 2008 with Grupo Televisa. The arrangement means Telemundo will partner with Grupo Televisa, Mexico’s largest television company and the largest media conglomerate in Latin America. Televisa will air shows produced by Telemundo in Mexico.

The New York Times reported, attributing the information to executives:  “The deal will initially include only limited Telemundo programming on the Televisa broadcast station, probably only a group of the company’s telenovelas.  But the new cable network will offer an opportunity for other programming, including news, to reach the Mexican audience.”103 Initially, Telemundo would provide limited programming on Televisa’s broadcast station. Televisa has provided much of Univision’s programming, especially its popular telenovelas.

The deal also helped Telemundo to continue to differentiate itself from rival Univision by exporting its programs to Mexico and other Latin American countries, rather than importing them from Latin America, as is Univision’s modus operandi.

Digital

In 2008, some of the biggest names in Hispanic media made efforts to tap into the growing online Hispanic market.  Hispanics over all have lower rates of Internet usage. But certain growing segments of the population—the young, U.S.-born, bilingual and more educated Hispanics – use the Internet at much higher rates. ImpreMedia, a large conglomerate of Hispanic newspapers, launched a comprehensive Web portal that combined all of its newspapers online, impre.com. And Telemundo, one of the top Spanish-language broadcasters, made moves to combine its digital media and mobile properties to create a new digital media and emerging-business division.

The ImpreMedia Web portal, launched in 2008, brings together all of the publications under the ImpreMedia umbrella, including La Opinión, El Diario/La Prensa and the Rumbo newspaper chain in Texas. The portal not only functions as a news and information site; it also allows users to have “access to multiple channels, including sports, entertainment and lifestyle and will be able to network with other users through video and photo galleries and blogs.”104

ImpreMedia also sought to attract online Hispanics during the presidential election Campaign. In a year where the Internet played a big role in the campaign, the company partnered with social networking pioneer MySpace to present the presidential and vice presidential debates for Hispanic audiences through live Web streaming.105

Impremedia aired the debates in English and also provided a real-time Spanish translation.

Numbers for top Hispanic websites by traffic are difficult to come by and mostly unreliable. But if ad dollars are any indication of a site’s popularity, in 2007, the top five Hispanic news websites by ad dollars spent in the U.S. were Yahoo! Telemundo, Univision.com, StarMedia.com (Mexican), MSN Latino and AOL Latino.106

Over all, Hispanics lag behind other races and ethnicities in Internet usage, but this is changing as the population of younger generations and U.S.-born Hispanics grows.  The ethnic media as a group has been slow to make the online jump, but the 2008 online developments signaled at least the beginning of a shift by some of the more established newspapers and broadcasters trying to reach Hispanics on the Internet.

Research shows a growing consumption of online news sources by Hispanics, especially among the more educated, bilingual and young. In a report released in 2007, the Pew Internet & American Life project found that 78% of English-dominant Hispanics and 76% of bilingual Hispanics used the Internet. Seventy-six percent of U.S.-born Latinos went online and 89% of Latinos with a college degree used the Internet, compared with 91% of whites with college degrees.107

However, as a group, the report showed that 56% of Hispanics over all used the Internet.  These data have remained on track with the most recent 2008 data, which show that 74% of the general adult population of the U.S. uses the Internet.108

Hispanics were just slightly less likely than whites to have read news online yesterday and more likely than blacks to have done so, according to the 2008 Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey. Twenty-six percent of Hispanics said they read news online yesterday compared with 30% of whites and 21% of blacks.

The survey also found that Hispanics were just as likely as both blacks and whites to read blogs on news and current events, and that whites were more likely than Hispanics to report they never read blogs for news and information.109

One thing to watch for in 2009: The role the economy plays in forcing the hand of Hispanic newspapers to make the online jump. Because of the lower cost of production, some publications may decide to follow suit with the Rumbo papers in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. In 2008, the papers dropped the print version and moved completely online. The lower costs associated with maintaining publications online make the Internet option attractive to some segments of Hispanic media targeting specific segments of the population

Demographics

Hispanics represent the nation’s largest minority group, and projections show further growth despite an expected slowdown in immigration.

In 2007, there were an estimated 45.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing 15% of the population. They were widely dispersed across the country, but most concentrated in the major urban areas, California, Florida and the Southwest.

The Pew Hispanic Center predicts that the number of U.S. Hispanics will triple by 2050 and grow to 29% of the country’s population.110 Most of the growth is expected to come from continued immigration. The projections call for an additional 67 million immigrants from all over the world and 50 million births from those immigrants.111

Estimated Population Growth
2005-2050
Design Your Own Chart

Source: Pew Hispanic Center http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/85.pdf

Despite this growth, the challenge to Hispanic media is substantial. Publishers and broadcasters will have to accommodate the demands of recent immigrants and immigrants who are fluent in English and acculturated to American culture, as well as native-born Hispanics.

Growth in Bilingual Media

One way Hispanic media outlets have adjusted to the challenge of serving both native-born and immigrant populations is through bilingual publications and broadcasts or by offering Spanish-language content that is specifically targeted at the native-born population.

According to the most recent figures from the Pew Hispanic Center, 18% of Hispanic adults reported speaking only English in the home, and 36% reported speaking English very well.112

The number of bilingual papers has more than doubled since 2000. Every two to three weeks, another Spanish-language paper makes the conversion to bilingual, according to Whisler, president of the Latino Print Network.  In 2008, there were 202 bilingual newspapers in the United States with a combined circulation of 5.6 million. Although he did not have specific figures, Whisler said this was an increase of at least 40 newspapers from the year prior. The large majority of the papers are free, with only eight that have paid circulation.

And the major broadcasters have also followed suit, offering more content in English and, in some cases, websites in English targeted at Latinos.

In last year’s report, PEJ raised the question of whether, with more Hispanics speaking English and consuming mainstream media, Latino media faced a threat from the mainstream.

Most in the Hispanic media believe that just because Hispanics are acculturating that this does not necessarily mean that they will abandon Spanish-language media, as long as those outlets adapt to the demands of different generations of Hispanics. Bilingual consumers tend to rely on Spanish-language media for certain things, and English language media for others, Whisler said.

As foreign-born Latinos spend more time in the U.S., and their native-born children become more bi-cultural (and bilingual), they have begun looking to both Spanish and English sources for information rather than choosing exclusively between the two languages.

Looking at one specific event — the 2008 presidential election — the languages in which Latinos chose to gather their election information varied. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, television was the medium where the highest percentage of Hispanics got campaign information both in English and Spanish. For television, 33% of Hispanics said they got their campaign news exclusively in Spanish, 23% chose English, and 44% chose both languages.

Radio was next, with 38% of Hispanics getting their information in only English, 31% choosing Spanish-language radio and 31% choosing both languages.

In newspapers and on the Internet, Hispanics seemed to rely more heavily on English sources for campaign information.  Fully 57% of Hispanics chose English-language newspapers and 65% chose English-language campaign news on the Internet. Only 15% of Latinos chose only Spanish-language newspapers, and 6% chose Spanish-language websites. Another 28% chose to get their campaign news in both languages on either the Internet or newspapers.113

Robert Armendáriz, editor of the bilingual Hispania News in Colorado Springs, Colo., said the presidential candidates missed out on reaching a significant portion of the Hispanic market by focusing their ad buys on the Spanish-language media. “They tried to capture the Hispanic audience all in one,” he told PEJ. But in the case of Hispania News’ market in Southern Colorado, where the Hispanic population goes back generations, many Hispanics prefer English. “After being here since the 1500’s, you get to learn the language,” he said.

Carl Kravetz, chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, said the same could be said for many marketers.  “Rather than our industry focusing on Latinos who are Spanish-dominant and figuring that, once they start speaking English, they’re no longer Latino, we’ve redefined what it means to be Latino in terms of culture as opposed to language,” said Kravetz, chief strategic officer at ad agency cruz/kravetz: IDEAS.114

This indicates a choice no longer based solely on language, but on content that reflects Hispanic culture, which increasingly mixes U.S. and Latino influences.

“Latino media have moved from being media of chance — you prefer Spanish so you use the only media that happen to be in Spanish — to media of choice — you have choices based on preferred language, lifestyle, content preferences, etc.,” Félix Gutiérrez, Professor of Journalism, Communication and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, told PEJ.

So far, it looks as though much of Hispanic media has been able to accommodate the demand. Telemundo has made efforts targeting second- and third-generation Hispanics with original programming produced in the U.S., its partnership with Yahoo to attract online Hispanics and a bilingual cable channel and website.  Univision has produced some original Spanish-language content targeting U.S.-born Hispanics and has also had success with its Internet platform. Bilingual papers continue to grow in number, and there have been significant moves online to attract both an English- and Spanish-speaking audience. And some newspapers have begun to link stories in the hard copy, directing readers to find more information online.

All of these moves show that at least the larger players in the Hispanic media world are aware of the changing Hispanic population and are willing to find new ways to accommodate different segments. The prospect of competition from English-language media is also driving some of this.

A challenge will come from the effect the economy has on the ability of the larger Hispanic media companies to continue to develop these new strategies and platforms for the new generations of Hispanic consumers.

Footnotes

1. David T. Clark, “Weak Circulation Trends Across Industry,” Deutsche Bank Global Markets Research. October 27, 2008. The figures are average circulation for the six-month period ending September 30, compared with the same period a year earlier.

2. Audit Bureau of Circulations Publisher’s Statement for the six-month period ended September 30, 2008.

3.Audit Bureau of Circulations Publisher’s Statement for the six-month period ended September 30, 2008.

4. Audit Bureau of Circulations Publisher’s Statement for the six-month period ended September 30, 2008.

5.Phone Interview with Pedro Rojas, executive editor, La Opinión, October 2008.

6.Portada magazine,  “Al Dia Dallas/Ft. Worth on What’s Behind Their Recent 80,000 Circulation Increase,”June 12, 2008.

7. Portada magazine,  “Al Dia Dallas/Ft. Worth on What’s Behind Their Recent 80,000 Circulation Increase,”June 12, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/June16/Al-Dia-Texas-circ.aspx

8. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheet.

9. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheet.

10. Portada magazine. “El Clasificado Expands Into San Diego and Ventura Counties,” September 9, 2008. http://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2007/08200705.aspx and http://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sep15/El-clasificado-boosts-circulation.aspx

11. Portada magazine,“8 Things You Need to Know about the State of Latino Print,” September 11, 2008.  http://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

12. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2005, 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

13.Phone interview with Pedro Rojas, executive editor, La Opinión, October 2008

14. Miriam Jordan and Conor Dougherty. “Immigration Slows in Face of Economic Downturn,” Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2008. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122213015990965589.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

15.David Arnerich,. Worth Magazine,.Lost in Translation,” July 1, 2006. http://www.worth.com/Editorial/Thought-Leaders/Politics-Policy/Opportunities-Exposures-Media-Lost-in-Translation.asp

16. Univision, press release, “Univision Outdelivers ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox Nearly Every Night During May sweep,” May 21, 2008. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21052008-1.html

17.Univision, press release, “Univision Outdelivers ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox Nearly Every Night During May sweep,” May 21, 2008. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21052008-1.html

18.Univision, press release, “Univision Outdelivers ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox Nearly Every Night During May sweep,” May 21, 2008. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21052008-1.html

19.Market Watch Online, press release, “KMEX Univision 34 Ends November Sweeps as the #1 Television Station in Los Angeles Among Adults 18-49,’’November 25, 2008. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/KMEX-Univision-34-Ends-November/story.aspx?guid={65F5D847-A6B4-4DAC-9E93-F27C37278922}

20.Univision press release, “KMEX Univision 34 wins Viewership race; # 1 station in the country, regardless of language for adults 18-49,” January 15, 2009. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Los_Angeles_15012009-1.html

21. National Public Radio. Morning Edition, “Univision Translates Ratings Into Cash,” October 29, 2008

22.Press release, “Telemundo Delivers Best November Ratings in 16 Years,” December 3, 2008. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/12/03/telemundo-delivers-best-november-ratings-in-16-years/9071

23.Telemundo Press release accessed via TV By the Numbers online, “Telemundo Delivers Best November Ratings in 16 Years,” December 3, 2008. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/12/03/telemundo-delivers-best-november-ratings-in-16-years/9071

24.Reuters Online, “Telemundo Ratings Ride Olympic Wave,” August 21, 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSN2149448820080821

25.Reuters Online, “Telemundo Ratings Ride Olympic Wave,” August 21, 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSN2149448820080821

26.Kevin Downey, “The New World of Hispanic TV,” Broadcasting & Cable, March 5, 2007. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/107969-The_New_World_of_Hispanic_TV.php

27.Julieanne Smolinski, “Telemundo Touts Integration Strategy,” TV Week, May 12, 2008. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/05/telemundo_touts_integration_st.php

28. Julieanne Smolinski, “Telemundo Touts Integration Strategy,” TV Week, May 12, 2008. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/05/telemundo_touts_integration_st.php

29.Univision press release, “Telefutura Premieres Intriguing Original Novela ‘La Marca Del Deseo,’ Monday, March 24,” March 10, 2008. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_10032008-1.html

30.Univision press release, “Disney-ABC International Television Latin America and Univision Sign Unprecedented Strategic Production Agreement,” May 14, 2008  http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_14052007-1.html

31.Kevin Downey, “The New World of Hispanic TV,” Broadcasting & Cable, March 5, 2008. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/107969-The_New_World_of_Hispanic_TV.php

32.Brian Stelter, “Cuomo to Sue Ratings Company, Claiming Minorities Are Underrepresented,” New York Times. October 6, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/nyregion/07arbitron.html

33. Bloomberg News, “Radio-Rating Firm Arbitron Settles New York Bias Lawsuit,” January 8, 2009. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-arbitron8-2009jan08,0,6629465.story

34.Jim Edwards, “Hispanic Marketing World Insulated From Economy?” MediaWeek, October 27, 2008. http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/media-agencies-research/e3id4724c3e60d478c970ce885a9276f89f

35.Jim Edwards, “Hispanic Marketing World Insulated From Economy?” MediaWeek, October 27, 2008. http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/media-agencies-research/e3id4724c3e60d478c970ce885a9276f89f

36.“Focus on Hispanic Advertising Market.” Hispanic Business Magazine 2008 Media Markets Report. December 2008 Issue

37.Portada magazine Online, “8 Things You Need to Know about the State of Latino Print,” Sept. 11, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

38.Portada magazine Online, “8 Things You Need to Know about the State of Latino Print,” Sept. 11, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

39.Portada magazine Online, “8 Things You Need to Know about the State of Latino Print,” Sept. 11, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

40.Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

41. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

42.Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

43.Phone interview with Pedro Rojas, executive editor, La Opinión, October 2008

44.Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

45. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

46. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

47. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

48.Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

49. Latino Print Network State of Hispanic Print 2006 and 2007 Datasheets

50.Salvatore Cavalieri, “Engaging the Hispanic Market: 3 Commandments,” TV Week Online Guest Commentary.  January 13, 2008. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/01/guest_commentary_engaging_the.php

51. AdAge Hispanic Fact Pack 2008 Edition, Crain Communications, 2008

52.Phone interview with Laurel Wentz, Advertising Age, September 2008

53.Portada magazine. “Is Hispanic Print Being Overlooked by Presidential Campaigns?”September 18, 2008. http://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/sep22/battleground_spending.aspx

54.Claire Atkinson, “Spanish-Language TV’s Wall St. Woes,” Broadcasting & Cable, October 20, 2008.  http://mobile.broadcastingcable.com/article/115933-Spanish_Language_TV_s_Wall_St_Woes.php

55.Claire Atkinson, “Spanish-Language TV’s Wall St. Woes,” Broadcasting & Cable, October 20, 2008.  http://mobile.broadcastingcable.com/article/115933-Spanish_Language_TV_s_Wall_St_Woes.php

56.Claire Atkinson, “Spanish-Language TV’s Wall St. Woes,” Broadcasting & Cable, October 20, 2008.  http://mobile.broadcastingcable.com/article/115933-Spanish_Language_TV_s_Wall_St_Woes.php

57.Kayla Carrick, “Entravision, Univision’s U.S. Political Ads May Soar,”Bloomberg News, August 14, 2008. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aV.Z9939Uvk0

58.Kayla Carrick, “Entravision, Univision’s U.S. Political Ads May Soar,”Bloomberg News, August 14, 2008. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aV.Z9939Uvk0

59.Casey Woods, “Obama’s Hispanic voter Outreach sets precedents,” Miami Herald. October 28, 2008

60.Casey Woods, “Obama’s Hispanic voter Outreach sets precedents,” Miami Herald. October 28, 2008

61. Casey Woods, “Obama’s Hispanic voter Outreach sets precedents,” Miami Herald. October 28, 2008

62. Ira Teinowitz, “Ad Spending Surges as Campaign Enters Final Days,” TV Week, November 2, 2008.  http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/11/ad_spending_surges_as_campaign.php

63.Press release,  University of Wisconsin Advertising Project. http://wiscadproject.wisc.edu/wiscads_release_100808.pdf

64.Univision press release, “Univision Announces 2008 Second Quarter Results,” August 8, 2008

65. Univision press release, “Univision Announces 2008 Second Quarter Results,” August 8, 2008

66. Meg James, “Univision Predicts Lean Times Ahead,”Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2008. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-univision18-2008nov18,0,7094033.story

67. Meg James, “Univision Predicts Lean Times Ahead,”Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2008. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-univision18-2008nov18,0,7094033.story

68. Meg James, “Univision Predicts Lean Times Ahead,”Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2008. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-univision18-2008nov18,0,7094033.story

69. Meg James, “Univision Predicts Lean Times Ahead,”Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2008. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-univision18-2008nov18,0,7094033.story

70. National Public Radio, Morning Edition, “Univision Translates Ratings Into Cash,” October 29, 2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96249302

71. National Public Radio, Morning Edition, “Univision Translates Ratings Into Cash,” October 29, 2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96249302

72. Bill Carter, “Telemundo Is Said to Have Struck Deal in Mexico,New York Times, March 17, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/business/media/17nbc.html

73. Meg James, “Telemundo to cut 5% of jobs,” Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2008. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/17/business/fi-telemundo17

74.Meg James, “Telemundo to cut 5% of jobs,” Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2008. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/17/business/fi-telemundo17

75.Julieanne Smolinski, “Telemundo Touts Integration Strategy,” TV Week, May 12, 2008. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/05/telemundo_touts_integration_st.php

76.Tameka Kee, “Telemundo, Televisa Ink Digital Distribution Deal in Mexico; Univision Still Outside Looking In,” PaidContent,org,  October 20, 2008. http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-telemundo-televisa-ink-digital-dist-deal-in-mexico-univision-still-outs/

77. Univision Online, Corporate Information — Univision Radio. http://corporate.univision.com/corp/en/urg.jsp

78.Univision press release, Univision Announces 2008 Second Quarter results. http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/UVN/530272692x0x221168/aa0a51c9-9cf2-4bd7-97d0-798fa9656758/221168.pdf

79. Univision press release, Univision Announces 2008 Second Quarter results. http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/UVN/530272692x0x221168/aa0a51c9-9cf2-4bd7-97d0-798fa9656758/221168.pdf

80. Georg Szalai,. “Spanish-Language Media Stocks Hit Hard,” Hollywood Reporter,  September 16, 2008

81. Entravision press release, “Entravision Communications Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results,” November 5, 2008. https://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/2786193

82. Entravision press release, “Entravision Communications Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2008 Results, August 6, 2008. http://www.entravision.com/ccbn_Template.cfm?ticker=EVC&script=410&layout=-6&item_id=1184433

83. Entravision press release, “Entravision Announces Third Quarter 2008 Results,” November 5, 2008. http://www.entravision.com/ccbn_Template.cfm?ticker=EVC&script=410&layout=-6&item_id=1222548

84.Jeremy Nisen,  Spanish Broadcasting System Receives Deficiency Note from NASDAQ; Has 180 Days to Right Ship,” Hispanic Business Magazine, August 22, 2008. http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/2008/8/22/spanish_broadcasting_system_receives_deficiency_note.htm

85. Jeremy Nisen,  Spanish Broadcasting System Receives Deficiency Note from NASDAQ; Has 180 Days to Right Ship,” Hispanic Business Magazine, August 22, 2008. http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/2008/8/22/spanish_broadcasting_system_receives_deficiency_note.htm

86. “Spanish Broadcasting Blames Ad decline for Q3 losses,” South Florida Business Journal. November 6, 2008. http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2008/11/03/daily59.html?ana=yfcpc

87.Spanish Broadcasting System press release. Nasdaq Suspends Spanish Broadcasting System’s Delisting Process. October 30, 2008. http://www.spanishbroadcasting.com//10%2030%2008%20Nasdaq%20Suspends%20Delisting.pdf

88. “NASDAQ Suspends SBS Delisting, company pays off $18.5 million note,” South Florida Business Journal. October 30, 2008. http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2008/10/27/daily44.html?ana=yfcpc

89. Amanda Gaines, “Mega TV: Major Media Moguls,” American Executive Magazine, September 30, 2008. http://www.americanexecutive.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6874&Itemid=102

90. Spanish Broadcasting System press release,, “MegaTV Celebrates National Launch,” November 5, 2007

91. “Rumbo to focus on web In San Antonio, Valley,”Associated Press, October 9, 2008 http://www.khou.com/news/local/houstonmetro/stories/khou081009_rm_rumbo-web-focus_.f7cd07a8.html

92.Portada magazine Online, “8 Things You Need to Know About the State of Latino Print,” September 11, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

93. Portada magazine Online, “8 Things You Need to Know About the State of Latino Print,” September 11, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/Sept11/Latino-Print.aspx

94.“National Media Group launches U.S.: Sea Latino,” HispanicAd.com, March 18, 2008. http://hispanicad.com/cgi-bin/news/newsarticle.cgi?article_id=23917

95. Phone Interview with Christian Tang, national sales manager, Sea Latino, October 2008

96. Phone Interview with Christian Tang, national sales manager, Sea Latino, October 2008

97. Phone Interview with Christian Tang, national sales manager, Sea Latino, October 2008

98. Portada magazine, “Express Media International Group Starts Florida Weekly,”August 1, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/aug4/express_media.aspx

99. Portada magazine, “Express Media International Group Starts Florida Weekly,”August 1, 2008. https://www.portada-online.com/html/website/paid/2008/aug4/express_media.aspx

100.“Rumbo to focus on web in San Antonio, Valley,” Associated Press, October 9, 2008. http://www.khou.com/news/local/houstonmetro/stories/khou081009_rm_rumbo-web-focus_.f7cd07a8.html

101. John Consoli, Media Week Online, “Univision Upfront Flies as Integrations Slow Telemundo, Media Week Online,  July 28, 2008. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i9154afd0680ec28acdcdca4e529d33d1

102. Meg James, “Univision Prepares for Lean Stretch,” Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2008.  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-univision18-2008nov18,0,7094033.story

103. Bill Carter, “Telemundo Is Said to Have Struck Deal in Mexico,” New York Times, March 17, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/business/media/17nbc.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Bill%20Carter%20Telemundo%20Struck%20Deal%20Mexico&st=cse

104. Rachel Hawkes, “New Online Community impre.com Launches for US Hispanic Market,” Social Media Portal Online, April 15, 2008.  http://www.socialmediaportal.com/News/2008/04/New-online-community-impre-com-launches-for-US-Hispanic-market.aspx

105. Impremedia Press Release, “Impremedia and MySpace Join Forces to Present Live Web Streaming of Presidential Debates for Hispanic Audiences,” September 25, 2008.

http://www.hispanictips.com/2008/09/26/impremedia-and-myspace-join-forces-to-present-live-web-streaming-of-presidential-debates-for-hispanic-audiences-impremedia-to-offer-spanish-translation-of-the-presidential-and-vice-presidential-deba/

106. Advertising Age, “2007 Hispanic Fact Pack. Top 10 Hispanic Websites by Web ad spending.”

107. Susannah Fox and Gretchen Livingston. Hispanics with Lower Levels of education and English proficiency remain largely disconnected from the internet. Pew Hispanic Center &Pew Internet & American Life Project. March 14, 2007. http://pewinternet.org/pdfs/Latinos_Online_March_14_2007.pdf

108. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Who’s Online. http://www.pewinternet.org/trends/User_Demo_Jan_2009.htm

109. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Media Consumption Survey 2008. http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/444.pdf

110. Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, “U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050,” Pew Hispanic Center,  February 11, 2008. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=85

111. Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, “U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050,” Pew Hispanic Center,  February 11, 2008. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=85

112. Pew Hispanic Center, “Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States,” 2006. http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/hispanics2006/Table-19.pdf

113. Mark Hugo Lopez, “The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Election,” Pew Hispanic Center, November 6, 2008 http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/98.pdf

114. Kevin Downey, “The New Hidden World of Hispanic TV,” Broadcasting & Cable, March 4, 2007. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6420946.html