“Hispanic newspapers owned by major dailies have been improving their zoning capabilities, but I don't see smaller Hispanic newspapers doing that yet,” says Rachel Stayduhar, media buyer at Torrance, CA based American Communications Group (ACG). ACG buys print media for Tower Records, Factory T stores, Armstrong Garden Centers, JC Penney, Dollar Tree, and Petco, as well as Long's Drugstores.
Zoning is especially important to FSI (free standing insert) advertisers, who distribute coupons in FSIs in order to drive traffic to their stores. They usually prefer to advertise in newspapers that are distributed near their stores.
“In the newspaper industry, there is a trend toward using preprints that has been going on for about five years now. I don't have the numbers to back it up, but I would guess that the same is true for Hispanic newspapers,” adds Stayduhar.
…and publishers take notice.
General market publishers that distribute Hispanic papers in addition to their mainstream editions tend to offer fewer zones for their Hispanic publications than for their English-language dailies. This is mainly due to the higher cost of zoned distribution. El Sentinel, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper with a circulation of 95,000 published by Fort Lauderdale, FL based Sun-Sentinel (Tribune), offers advertisers two zones (Broward county, circ. 70,000 and Palm Beach county, circ. 25,000). Dividing a circulation area in two zones is pretty good for a Spanish-language newspaper. However, the Sun-Sentinel, El Sentinel's parent newspaper, divides its distribution area into 13 zones. El Sentinel advertisers include MoneyGramm, Western Union and Wachovia for run of press advertising (ROP). FSI advertisers include Sears, Home Depot, Office Max, Best Buy and Circuit City.
Spanish-language newspaper publishers are very aware that advertisers want better zoning. Amy Hinojosa, marketing and circulation director at Al Día (Belo Corp.) in Dallas, says that they “already do zoning for preprint advertising and may consider zoning for ROP if there is critical demand on the part of advertisers.” Digby Solomon, publisher of Hoy newspapers in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, says that zoning is very important to insert advertisers. “We will offer it in markets where business is significant enough to support it.”