Impremedia talking to Arizona publishers

Sources close to the Phoenix, Arizona publishing sector told Portada® that Impremedia is currently talking to Phoenix weekly Prensa Hispana (independently owned, circ. 65,000, CAC audited) and exploring the possibility of acquiring the paper.

Last October, New York based Impremedia acquired PrensAmerica Holdings Corporation, publisher of Chicago's La Raza, La Raza Autos y Más and La Raza Online. The transaction gave Impremedia a presence in Chicago, one of the top three Hispanic markets in the U.S. Impremedia also owns el diario/La Prensa (New York, 2nd largest Hispanic market) and La Opinión (Los Angeles, largest Hispanic market) “We are always looking for acquisition opportunities,” says Douglas Knight, CEO of Impremedia.

Prensa Hispana, distributed every Wednesday, recently expanded its local coverage to include larger local, valley and state sections. The 52 page weekly is divided into 6 sections of about 13 pages each.

Arizona is an attractive market for Spanish-language newspaper publishers. With an annual growth rate of over 5%, the Arizona Hispanic market is one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. Twenty-nine percent of Phoenix residents are Hispanic. Of these, 80% are Mexican. Phoenix is the ninth largest Hispanic DMA.

The Arizona Republic (Gannett, Monday-Saturday circ. 413,268, Sundays 530,751) is the largest local newspaper in Phoenix. According to ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) the newspaper has recently suffered substantial declines in circulation (down 4% in September 2004 compared to September 2003). Publishers see the Hispanic market as an important opportunity for growth in an otherwise stagnant or declining newspaper market. In August 2003, Gannett (Arizona Republic), the nation's largest newspaper chain, acquired a majority interest in Phoenix based Ashland Media Group, which publishes the Spanish-language weeklies TV y Más (free, circ. 90,000), La Voz (free, circ. 50,000) and TV Shopper. Ashland Media also owns the direct marketing business AZ Mail.

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