News Column

Print Reorganizes

December 2005, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Jonathan Higuera

Newspaper stand

Acquisitions, bankruptcies, and new launches have changed the market for Hispanic print advertising in 2005. Advertising expenditures in the sector increased 4.6 percent for the year – less than the growth of overall Hispanic advertising, according to data gathered for the Hispanic Business Media Markets Report.

Here's a glimpse of some of the major print stories for the year, together with a chart of other developments.

Meredith's Gamble
On its face, Meredith's September launch of Siempre Mujer, a Spanish-language bi-monthly magazine about home, family, and self development, seems like a jump into a crowded field. But that's not how Ruth Gaviria, Meredith's director of Hispanic Ventures, sees it.

"When you look at positioning and the general market, there's Family Circle, [Meredith's title] Better Homes & Gardens, Oprah. But when you look at the Hispanic category, by and large it's underdeveloped," she says. What about the other Spanish-language women's titles – such as Vanidades, Cristina la Revista, and Cosmopolitan en Español? Those are all focused on beauty and fashion, Ms. Gaviria points out.

And Latina magazine, which ranked second in advertising sales among all U.S. Hispanic titles in 2005, according to the Web site HispanicMagazineMonitor, controls the English-reading market. "The incisive difference is, we're talking to a woman in the U.S. who has Latina values and culture but is also adopting U.S. culture and values," Ms. Gaviria says.

Poder Folds and Rises Again
The abrupt closure of the Hispanic-focused finance magazine Poder in September left many readers and advertisers wondering what happened. Sources who requested anonymity say the magazine simply wasn't profitable and the company's largest shareholder decided to stop putting in money.
Venezuela's Manduca Media, which owns

El Universal in Caracas, had bought a 60 percent stake in Poder's parent company, Zoom Media Group, two years ago and assumed management control. According to bankruptcy filings in Miami, Zoom owed $2 million to more than 100 creditors. Besides Poder, Zoom also published Loft, a Hispanic men's lifestyle magazine. The company was liquidated under Chapter 7 proceedings.

However, a group of former Zoom employees formed their own company, Page One Media, and in November bought the Poder and Loft trademarks for the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. Their stated plan: to relaunch Poder in the United States in November, then expand to Colombia in December and Chile in 2006 (there was no break in Mexico). Plans for Loft have yet to be announced.

Audits Become Fashionable
In late 2004, Tribune's Hoy newspaper chain was accused of inflating its circulation figures. Advertisers have filed lawsuits and three Tribune officials were arrested earlier this year as the federal probe continues.
On the positive side, the scandal has encouraged 70 Spanish-language newspapers to audit their circulation under a program offered by the National Association of Hispanic Publishers (NAHP).

"Advertisers won't take into account any newspapers that are not audited," says NAHP President Lupita Colmenero. "It's a matter of getting used to the process and keeping records, so when they come you make their job easier."

A bigger issue, according to the marketing organization Latin Print Network, is reduced budgets for print among national advertisers. While U.S. Hispanic print advertising increased 4.6 percent in 2005, national newspaper ad spending rose a mere 3.0 percent, for example.

The circulation worries don't help. "There's been a higher scrutiny of audit numbers by the industry," says Tom Oliver, executive director of the NAHP Foundation. "There's also been some criticism of auditing processes. Some audit companies have criticized other audit companies, and we've seen some people re-examining their ad strategy."

Highlights of Hispanic Print Deals: 2005

Publication: ¡Siempre Mujer!
Type: Bi-monthly lifestyle magazine for Hispanic women
Date: Launch announced in January 2005
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Meredith
Publishing Group
Circulation: Initial Rate Base: 350,000
The Deal Meredith announced in January the planned launch of a new lifestyle and shelter magazine for Hispanic women titled ¡Siempre Mujer! The Spanish-language publication premiered in September.

The growth of the Hispanic market – and specifically Hispanic homeowners – influenced this major mainstream publishing company, publisher of Ladies' Home Journal, to focus on lifestyle and shelter for the new title.

In addition to the resources of its 75-million-name database and newsstand distribution network, Meredith extended its marketing alliance with Home Interiors & Gifts Inc., a company that develops and markets a line of home decor products via in-home direct-sales parties under the Better Homes and Gardens brand name. This alliance utilizes the 30,000-member Hispanic segment of the Home Interiors sales force to sell ¡Siempre Mujer! subscriptions directly to Hispanic women. As the premiere direct-selling company of home-related products, Home Interiors reaches approximately one million Hispanic households.

Publication: Trucker News en Español
Type: Monthly
Date: Launched in January
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Randall Publishing
Circulation: NA
The Deal The only publication exclusively targeting Hispanic truck drivers. This Spanish-language publication will provide information for U.S.-based professional truck drivers who prefer to read in Spanish. It will feature articles translated from Randall Publishing's Truckers News magazine, with original content for the Hispanic market to be added in later issues.

Publication: Prevention en Español
Type: Bi-monthly
Type: Launched in February
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Editorial Televisa
Circulation: NA
The Deal Spanish language spin-off of Prevention, a popular health and wellness title.
Publication: Beisbol Mundial
Type: Bi-monthly baseball magazine
Type: Launched in April
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Sensacion Marketing
Circulation: Estimated 1,000,000-plus
The Deal Sensacion Marketing – which also publishes Futbol Mundial – launched its second sports magazine in April. In Spanish, Beisbol Mundial "aims to satisfy the growing interest of baseball fans in the U.S. in the Latino perspective on the sport," according to the publisher. The premier April/May issue of Beisbol Mundial focused on "Opening day Around the World" and the dominance of Latino players in baseball. Like Futbol Mundial, this magazine is distributed as an insert via Hispanic newspapers in more than a dozen DMAs across the country with large Hispanic populations.

Publication: Sports Illustrated Latino
Type: Spanish-language test-run of popular sports magazine
Date: Launched in April
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Circulation: Estimated 500,000
The Deal Sports Illustrated published three test issues of Sports Illustrated Latino in 2005. The first issue -- an "MLB Preview" issue in April – was followed by an "NFL Preview" issue in September and a "World Cup Soccer/NBA Preview" issue in November. SI Latino is not available on newstands but instead is distributed directly to 500,000 Spanish-dominant households that either subscribe to People en Español or Comcast/Time Warner Hispanic programming/sports packages.

Publication: Source Latino
Type: Quarterly hip-hop and culture magazine
Date: Launched in May
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: David Mays
Circulation: NA
The Deal A Spanish-language spin-off of The Source magazine. It will cover Latin hip-hop artists and culture.

Publication: Tu Ciudad
Type: Bi-monthly English-language magazine
Date: Launched in May
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Emmis Communications
Circulation: Estimated 110,000
The Deal Backed by Emmis Communications, which owns Los Angeles and Texas Monthly magazines, the bi-monthly Tu Ciudad ("Your City" in Spanish) features a familiar mix of glossy regional publication content including celebrity profiles, reportage, listings, restaurant reviews, and design and fashion features -- "with a Latino twist," its founders says. The inaugural issue went out to 110,000 readers in the greater Los Angeles area through controlled circulation. Eventually, the magazine hopes to expand to other major cities.

Publication: Fuego
Type: Bi-monthly men's magazine
Date: Launched in May
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Harris Publications
Circulation: Estimated 200,000
The Deal Fuego is an English-language lifestyle magazine for Hispanic men. The target is young (ages 18 to 35), English-speaking Hispanics. Fuego published three issues in 2005 (Spring, Fall, and Winter) and plans to go bi-monthly in 2006.

Publication: The Domingo Network
Type: Weekly home-delivered newspaper
Date: Launch announced in June, distribution started
in October
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: ImpreMedia LLC
Circulation: 650,000
The Deal ImpreMedia, the leading publisher of Spanish-language newspapers in the United States, announced in June the launch of Domingo ("Sunday"), the largest Hispanic print network in the nation. Each Sunday, ImpreMedia distributes free home delivered publications to 650,000 targeted households in neighborhoods with highly concentrated Hispanic populations. Distribution takes place in the three largest Hispanic markets – New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles – which are home to more than 32% of the entire U.S. Hispanic population.

Publication: Fin de Semana
Type: Weekend entertainment supplement
Date: Launched in Los Angeles in October
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Hoy
Circulation: 200,000
The Deal Fin de Semana is a highly targeted weekly saturation publication delivered on the weekend primarily to homes in densely populated Hispanic areas of Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire, and Orange County. The Spanish-language publication launched with a distribution of 200,000 homes and a plan to expand in 2006.

Fin de Semana is distributed by Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper publishing a daily issue in the Los Angeles area and others in New York and Chicago. The weekly intends to provide entertaining and relevant content that Hispanics are looking for on the weekend. Launched in Chicago in 2003, this popular product will provide lifestyle and entertainment information attuned to the way Hispanics in the Los Angeles and Orange County area spend their weekends.

Fin de Semana will provide celebrity interviews, sports "best-bets," DVD and CD releases, telenovela columns, decorating ideas, shopping tips, information on new home products, and more.

Publication: Meximerica Media
Type: Rumbo newspapers in Texas
Date: Funding deal announced in June
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Pinto America Growth Fund LP of Houston and Rustic Canyon Partners of Los Angeles
Circulation: Estimated 260,000
The Deal Pinto America Growth Fund LP of Houston and Rustic Canyon Partners of Los Angeles announced in June an investment of $18 million in Meximerica Media to complete the building of its four daily Rumbo Spanish-language newspapers in Texas and continue rolling out elsewhere. The two private equity firms are co-leading a consortium of investors. The original investor, Spain's Grupo Recoletos, sold control of the company back to Meximerica's management in April 2005 as Recoletos was marshalling capital to undertake its own management buyout in Madrid.

Publication: La Voz de Houston
Type: Weekly Spanish-language newspaper in Houston
Date: Relaunched in August
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: The Houston Chronicle
Circulation: 100,000
The Deal A revamped La Voz launched again in August with
a new logo and header, much more color, more art, new fonts, and new editorial. The weekly, which comes out every Wednesday, also added a number of new sections and expanded existing categories. Circulation and distribution includes 60,000 inside the Houston Chronicle and 40,000 on racks.

Publication: Poder and Loft magazines
Type: National business and lifestyle magazines
Date: Closed in September; relaunched in November
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Page One Media
Circulation: Combined circulation estimated near 200,000
The Deal Venezuela's Manduca Media, which bought approximately 60 percent of Zoom Media and assumed management control in 2003, decided to stop investing in the company. Manduca owns El Universal, one of Venezuela's largest daily newspapers. In November a group of former Zoom employees bought the Poder and Loft trademarks and relaunched Poder in the United States, with further expansion planned.

Publication: La Voz
Type: Weekly bilingual newspaper in Colorado
Date: Filed for bankruptcy in September
Investor/Seller/Buyer: Publisher: Wanda Padilla
Circulation: 100,000
The Deal Weekly newspaper La Voz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after 30 years in Denver. The newspaper continues to publish while operating under bankruptcy protection. La Voz is published every Wednesday for readers in the Denver area and northern Colorado.



Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine


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