Media General Launches CENTRO Tampa, a Multiplatform Media Approach for Tampa’s Hispanics

Media General will launch CENTRO Mi Diario, a new weekly newspaper;, a website; and Centro Cápsulas, a unit that will provide news content to radio and TV partners. As reported last June by Portada®, The Tampa Tribune (daily circ. 214,000, Sundays 293,000) has spent the past two years planning to launch a Spanish-language newspaper. CENTRO Mi Diario will be launched in October, while the website will be launched on September 15th.

As is the case with other general market newspaper publishers that launch Hispanic publications, CENTRO Mi Diario will be able to utilize local and national advertiser contacts of its parent publication, The Tampa Tribune. CENTRO Mi Diario will have a 1-to-1 advertising/editorial ratio and will also run FSI advertising.

CENTRO's print, web and broadcast arms will sell advertisers multiplatform advertising packages in an effort to reach Tampa's Hispanics, “CENTRO was developed as a meeting point for Hispanics from all nationalities to get all sorts of different information, be it news, sports, entertainment, or tips on how to make the most out of life,” said Orlando R. Nieves, general manager of Hispanic Initiatives for the Florida Communications Group. “The CENTRO brand name was designed to be reflective of our interest to be the center of information, news and entertainment for the whole Hispanic community. It is reminiscent of Hispanic countries whose Spanish architectural influence made the city centre the hub of social and economic activity.”

Shared resources
Nieves added that CENTRO is a new brand that is part of the Florida Communications Group, which also oversees operations of The Tampa Tribune, WFLA News Channel 8, and several other community newspapers in western part of central Florida: “CENTRO products are meant to be fully self-standing and developed from a Hispanic perspective. Nonetheless we will greatly benefit from shared resources from our ‘sister' brands, as in the case of weather or classifieds. We will learn from their achievements in the local marketplace and in some cases reapply them in ways that are relevant to the Hispanic community,” Nieves added.

Centro Mi Diario will have a circulation of 65,000 and will be available for free (40,000 home delivered and 25,000 will be available for free in racks and local retail stores). The publication was designed by Garcia Media, a local Hispanic news media consultant. Garcia Media helped develop an effective visual communication strategy to captivate, inform and inspire our local audience.

Disputed market
Tampa's diverse Latino communities include Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Colombians and others. The Tampa Tribune already has a business relationship with the independently owned 7 Dias (TV Net Productions, weekly, circ. 25,000, to increase to 30,000 by the end of this year), which includes printing, distributing and selling ads in the weekly paper.

Tampa Hispanic community, which makes up 20% of the city's population and have a purchasing power of US $7.2 billion, is a diverse group. There is a large Puerto Rican contingency, as well as a good number of third and fourth generation Hispanics (mostly of Cuban and Spanish descent) who read the Tampa Tribune. Luis Baron, publisher of the weekly 7 Dias and La Guía monthly magazine (circ. 12,000, Spanish), tells Portada® that his publications target mostly first and second generation Spanish-dominant Latinos.

Jaime Segura, publisher of El Nuevo Día Orlando (Grupo Ferré, daily, circ. 25,000, Spanish) which was launched in the summer of 2003, recently told Portada® that his company also has plans to publish a newspaper for the Tampa market.