Beginning Monday, Sept. 17, the Tribune’s daily Spanish-language newspaper Hoy will increase its circulation in the Chicago area by an average of 40 percent (see box below).
Substantial Increase in Circulation
Circ. Before Sept. 17
Sept. 17 onwards
Change in (%)
The increase in circulation and coverage area is the next logical step in the evolution of the newspaper., according to Julian Posada, general manager. In the four years since it replaced the weekly newspaper Exito, demand for Hoy from the rapidly growing Hispanic population has increased, particularly in the suburbs. “With pass-along rates of 3 per copy in the city and 5 per copy in the suburbs, Hoy currently reaches 183,000 readers every day,” said Posada. “With this expansion, we should be able to serve even more of them with relevant, unique content, including new, dedicated pages of suburban news and advertising content.”
The decision to expand is dictated by continued demographic changes in the local market. There are 1.8 million Hispanics in Chicagoland, or 1 in 5 residents, of whom just over 1 million are Spanish-dominant or bilingual. By 2011, the Hispanic population of the suburbs is projected to grow by 22%, compared to 6% in the city, and Hoy intends to be their primary choice for news and information, as well as a politically and commercially unifying force that bridges cultures and reminds local Hispanics who they are.
The newspaper’s readership has grown by 27 percent in the past three years with no increase in distribution, but “our expansion is critical to the long-term success of Hoy,” said Posada. The suburbs of Elgin, Aurora, Joliet, and Carpentersville, which also will receive additional editorial attention, are the primary focus of Hoy’s expanded suburban distribution at this time.
A Q&A with Julian Posada, general manger of Hoy Chicago:
Question: Is this strategy being mirrored in the Los Angeles market?
Posada: Los Angeles is ahead of Hoy Chicago in terms of Fin de Semana distribution as they are completely unduplicated with Los Angeles Times Hoy Chicago will be there as we are going to Address Specific distribution so advertisers will be maximizing there FSI’s and not duplicating with Chicago Tribune nor Red Eye Weekend nor Shop Local. This will take time but we are committed to this strategy.
Question: What is the advantage of being a weekly vs. being a daily?
Posada: Relevance, it is difficult to cover the news if you only come out once. Take for example when the Pope died, He passed on a Saturday or Sunday don’t really remember all of the weeklies in Chicago had to wait a whole week before they could cover the story. We covered it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc… Or when something breaks in the middle of the week such as our exclusive that Calderon is coming to Chicago we were able to run two days of coverage before the weeklies could even touch it.
Question: Do FSI advertisers like weeklies more than dailies or the other way round and why?
Posada: It is not whether you are weekly or daily it is do you have the distribution in the exact geography, in the appropriate quantities, with the best distribution vehicle on the days that FSI advertisers need to promote there offerings. Which is why we are increasing Fin de Semana from 211k to 280 and increasing the footprint from 51 zip codes to 155 as well as Friday distribution to 100k
Question: What would you have done differently if you were to launch Hoy-Chicago today?
Posada: Start as a free paper from the beginning.