Hispanic Media Investments Need Time to Bear Fruit
What do Al Dia Dallas/Ft. Worth, La Estrella, CBS Outdoor Latino, MSN Latino, ESPN Deportes, MTVRés, El Nuevo Herald and AOL Latino have in common, other than their Hispanic focus? They are all subsidiaries of large general market companies. They all represent strategic bets to set foot in the Hispanic market and underline the importance of the Hispanic market to many blue chip media companies. The increasing interest of large corporations in the Hispanic market has been a very positive development over the last decade and has helped, together with the efforts of new startup companies and some established minority owned media companies, to raise the quality and professionalism in the Hispanic media market.
So far, so good. Unfortunately, in some cases, Hispanic ventures within larger general market media companies have not been getting all the attention they deserve. After the enthusiasm of the initial launch, Hispanic-targeted media has not been getting enough attention in the corner-offices of U.S. Media behemoths.
Interestingly, the development on the media side has often been mirrored on the advertising side: Fortune 500 companies’ multicultural advertising departments—more often than no—are not playing the important role they should be in channeling their corporations message to the Hispanic market (in many states the majority of the population).. Some insiders even suggest that Hispanic media and advertising even is seen as a “ghetto.”
Of course, respect has to be earned, and that takes time. Most of the broadcast properties, publications and websites launched by general market media companies are not yet 5 years old, and the returns sometimes are not there yet.
Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, the sister paper to The Miami Herald, is a highly successful Hispanic newspaper, but it did not get there overnight. After first launching in 1975, it was relaunched in 1987. After twenty one years of publication, the newspaper is in excellent form and has developed a separate—more conservative—identity from The Miami Herald.
Investments, particularly media investments, need to time to bear fruit. This is the case even in the fast-growing Hispanic market.