The Houston Chronicle is launching a new website for Houston Hispanics sometime in Q1 of ‘09. SomosHouston.com will replace the paper’s Espanol channel that it currently features on its home page, although Chron.com will link to the new website.
The website’s content will be primarily in Spanish, but will also feature English-language content. “Down the road, the site might be fully bilingual, but probably not right away. However we are already incorporating bilingual content into the Chronicle’s Spanish-language channel,” says Aurora Losada, .
Much of the content will be taken from The Chronicle’s Spanish-language paper La Voz , some will be translated from Chron.com, and some specifically local content will come from La Vibra, the entertainment publication the company publishes in conjunction with Impremedia.
The only La Vibra content that will be featured in SomosHouston.com will be that written by Houston Chronicle writers. “We want to have a highly local focus,” says The Chronicle’s German Fernandez-Moore, who is helping with the launch
The website will feature pages dedicated to sports and entertainment and is slated to launch in Q1 of 2009.
Speaking to why the website chose the name SomosHouston as opposed to Houston Chronicle en Espanol or something similar, Losada says, “We think it is important that it has its own personality and its own design etc. From a business standpoint, it is very important to see if this flies as a business operation, in order to measure the success of a Hispanic website in Houston.” Losada is optimistic that the site will be successful, noting that online traffic to The Chronicle’s Spanish channel increased dramatically between 2007 and 2008.
Speaking on the prospect of launching a new product in the current economic climate, Lozada tells Portada, “We are used to running a pretty bare bones operation, so while we are certainly aware of the economic difficulties, and that they will continue into 2009, we are used to running an efficient operation.”
Related Article: The Houston Chronicle acquires La Voz (2004)