Extra Newspaper: Read All About it!

“In Chicago, over half of the Hispanic population is English-dominant or bilingual with English preference, because the 2nd and 3rd generations now outnumber the first generation,” says Extra’s associate publisher Nile Wendorf. “So, while the 2nd and 3rd generations are, culturally, very Hispanic, they are also much more comfortable reading their news in English.”

Wendorf notes that a bilingual product like theirs allows these readers to read in English, and their first generation friends and relatives to read in Spanish. Extra publishes 57,000 bilingual copies per week, and is distributed through racks and at stores.

“Our newspaper has focused over the last five years on being a community newspaper that pays special attention to the 25-49 year old demographic,” says Wendorf. “As such, we’ve tailored our special sections to cater to that group.” He cites, for example, the “Insomnia” entertainment section every week covering Latino nightlife.

There is also content about home-ownership, which is most relevant to the paper’s more upwardly-mobile readers. There are also financial literacy and health guides to cater to this audience. “Extra has a younger focus than your typical news-only Spanish-language paper,” says Wendorf.

“We are working very hard to expand the website’s content offering, under the parallel construction model, which, like the paper, offers all of our content in English and Spanish. We’re also continuing to develop, special pull-out sections. At present, we publish the following sections with the corresponding frequencies:

Health: Quarterly

Financial Literacy: Monthly

Technology: Monthly

Education: Bimonthly

“As we get more advertiser support,” says Wendorf, “we plan to increase the depth and frequency of these sections, as has happened in the past.”

The paper’s financial section, “Tu Dinero,” went from quarterly to monthly, and the technology section, fueled by wireless, cable providers, pay-per-view TV and electronics advertisers, went from bi-monthly to monthly publication.”

Wendorf tells Portada that Extra has the two-pronged goal of attracting more retail advertising and expanding its insert business, “One thing you have to be aware of in the bilingual format is that you are not going to be able to cover as many stories as a single-language paper, so the bar is higher in terms of story selection and actual story-writing,” Wendorf comments.

At present, the paper produces over 95% of its own content, and covers local news exclusively.  Extra covers national issues such as immigration aggressively. But our take on Immigration is shaped by how it affects our readers and the neighborhoods that we serve.