Puerto Rican group sets its sights on new U.S. markets

Sources close to Grupo Ferré told Portada® that the Puerto Rican newspaper publisher plans to launch Spanish-language newspapers in second tier U.S. markets (U.S. cities excluding the largest metropolises) with large Puerto Rican populations.

Grupo Ferré is recruiting journalists and media executives for its U.S. expansion and Puerto Rican operations.

Grupo Ferré dominates the newspaper market in Puerto Rico with an ad-share of nearly 60%. It publishes El Nuevo Día (daily, circ. 204,000, Sundays 242,000) and Primera Hora (daily, circ.125,000).

Puerto Ricans are most heavily concentrated in areas of the Northeastern U.S. not yet served by large Spanish-language publications. The DMA's (Designated Market Areas) with the highest percentages of Puerto Ricans are Springfield-Holyoke, MA (82%, 62,207 according to 2000 census), Hartford-New Haven, CT (69%, 149,132), Philadelphia, PA-DE-NJ (59%, 277,223) and Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL (50%, 171,236). The New York DMA (NY-CT-NJ) has the highest number of Puerto Ricans (1.2 million or 33% of the total Hispanic population).

An interesting demographic

Thirty four percent of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. are under 18. Fifty-one percent were born in Puerto Rico. In contrast to other Hispanic populations, Puerto Ricans are more politically active. According to a National Hispanic Readership Study conducted by Western Publications Research in 1999, 50% of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. prefer to read in Spanish.

Home-delivery

El Nuevo Día-Orlando (circ. 25,000), Grupo Ferré's only U.S. publication, began a new, home-delivery based distribution strategy in April. When El Nuevo Día-Orlando was originally launched in August 2003, papers were sold at bodegas, supermarkets and drug stores throughout seven Orlando counties. The new, home-delivered El Nuevo Día is a more colorful and dynamic newspaper that reflects the fast paced lifestyle of Orlando's Hispanics (more than 50% of them are Puerto Rican). The change in design was accompanied by a price cut—from .50 to .25 cents—and a circulation increase (15,000 to 25,000). Last year, Jaime Segura, general manager of El Nuevo Día-Orlando, told Portada® that if he were to launch El Nuevo Día-Orlando again, he would put more emphasis on home delivery (‘Even though we knew about the importance of home-delivery, we learned that it is imperative to grow to the desired levels. The geography of the area makes it important for us to deliver newspapers and not force people to go to the outlets everyday.' From “Hispanic newspaper launches: What has been learned so far?” page 13, Portada® No. 7, January/February 2004).


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