News Column

30 Years of Hispanic Business Media: From Newsletter to Multimedia

June Issue

Joshua Molina--Deputy Managing Editor, HispanicBusiness Magazine

HispanicBusiness Magazine, 30th anniversary, magazine history

For a photo gallery spotlighting HispanicBusiness Magazine's HB500 covers through the years, please
click here

For the past 30 years, HispanicBusiness Magazine has been the definitive source for information on the U.S. Hispanic market.

And as the publishing industry journeys through a revolutionary shift into the digital age, HispanicBusiness Media has transformed into a multimedia company that stands ready to deliver information across multiple digital and print platforms.

"The future of HispanicBusiness Media lies with and connecting with millions of visitors and serving a wide diversity of business-to-business and career development content products delivered through a variety of distribution points," said Jesús Chavarría, Chief Executive Officer and founder of HispanicBusiness Inc.

The story of HispanicBusiness began 30 years ago, at a time when mainstream media largely ignored the growing force of U.S. Hispanics in business, politics, and popular culture. At the time most coverage of Hispanics was through Spanish-language mediums, and little attention was given to the rise in English-speaking, upwardly mobile U.S. Hispanics.

In 1979 Hispanics were emerging as significant leaders in all walks of life. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce formed. President Jimmy Carter appointed Esteban Torres as his Hispanic Liaison. Academics were also forecasting a major shift in demographics by identifying the coming wave of successful, middle-class Hispanics.

Origins as 14-Page Newsletter
That year, HispanicBusiness Magazine launched as a newsletter that grew to 25,000 subscribers within the first 12 months of publication.

The lead story of the first issue documented a symposium, an unprecedented meeting between academics, entrepreneurs, and government officials who met in Arizona to discuss the Hispanic economy.

The 14-page issue would blossom in the coming years into a larger, polished, and thoroughly researched product. Major U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola, and government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service, would soon fill the magazine with full-page color advertising.

The magazine began to document the emerging power and influence of the U.S. Hispanic community.

Throughout the array of story topics, a consistent theme was woven throughout the articles: In business, government, and politics, Hispanics were rising in stature and prominence, despite traditional barriers in the workplace.

"HispanicBusiness Magazine sought from day one to produce information-driven reporting, accounting for the minority status of U.S. Hispanics in the country," Mr. Chavarría said. "And it did all this by focusing on a niche market, one made up by entrepreneurial small businesses and career professionals."

Women's Achievements Noted
From the early days, the magazine also closely chronicled the struggles and accomplishments of women, a tradition that continues today in the form of an annual "Woman of the Year" event.

In fact, over the last three decades HispanicBusiness has revolutionized the portrayal of U.S. Hispanics through its exclusive lists of high achievers in the business world.

At the top of the ladder is the HispanicBusiness 500. The 500, launched in 1983, brought national legitimacy to a large number of unnoticed, but important, entrepreneurs throughout the country.

The first list contained 400 companies that had combined revenues of $3.7 billion. Today, with 500 companies participating, the combined revenues have grown to $36 billion.

In addition to the 500, HispanicBusiness produces other essential lists. The 100 Influentials, the 100 Fastest Growing Companies, The Corporate Elite, The Top 25 Nonprofits, and Woman of the Year are among the many annual features that readers have become familiar with and come to count on.
But as readers of HispanicBusiness know, all great companies must change and adapt to their surroundings.

All around us, consumers are getting their information from multiple digital platforms, and the Internet has changed the way information is presented.

A Technological Future
The future of HispanicBusiness Media lives on the Web. has become the sole source on the Internet of the latest small business, economic, and political trends that affect the U.S. Hispanic community. The company also operates, an online diversity, recruitment, and career development site.

"When HispanicBusiness was launched, existing media were TV, radio, and print; today the Internet has created a tsunami of change in ways media content can be distributed," Mr. Chavarría said. "HispanicBusiness Media itself is transitioning to an integrated media platform combining print, digital edition magazine publishing, and two digital portals, and"

Today, receives more than 1.2 million page views per month. More than half a million people visit

With a strong foundation, HispanicBusiness Media is poised to move successfully into the next generation.

"Jesús Chavarría is a trailblazer. When the dominant model in business 30 years ago was to target Latinos only in Spanish, he saw the future differently and launched HispanicBusiness," said Jake Beniflah, Chief Executive Officer of Integrados, a U.S. Hispanic marketing company. "Congratulations on a journey that few believed then, and for the relentless passion in creating a dual path that ensures that all Latinos in the United States will remain fully represented."

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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