In March 2009 we published an article about the future of San Diego’s Spanish-language weekly Enlace after private equity house Platinum Equity had acquired the San Diego Union Tribune, Enlace’s parent newspaper. 

Today the San Diego Union Tribune announced that it is expanding the circulatio of Enlace.

Two years later a clearer picture is emerging, according to Sara Gaviria, Hispanic product manager of The San Diego Union Tribune. Below is a Q&A we recently conducted with Gaviria.

Portada: How does the Hispanic market link to the overall strategy of The San Diego Union-Tribune?

Sara Gaviria, Hispanic product manager, The San Diego Union Tribune: "Our mission is to improve lives and build a stronger community through information, insight and ideas, and we couldn’t do that without the Latino market. Nearly 1 million Latinos call San Diego County home. That’s more Latinos than are in 43 states, making this a major market. “ 

What role does the Hispanic market play for the investors (Platinum Equity)?

Sara Gaviria: “Platinum Equity shares the belief of the Union-Tribune executive team that the Latino market is an integral part of the fabric of San Diego."

We understand that you have expanded to Tijuana and Mexicali. Can you provide the specifics?

Sara Gaviria: “We expanded to the San Diego/Mexicali border in September 2010. We now distribute 5,000 copies at this border, combined with an additional 6,295 copies at the San Diego/Tijuana border. When you combine the Latino population in San Diego with that across the border, our region has a population of 3.1 million Latinos, making us the top 3 Hispanic region. Each year, Mexicans bring to San Diego an additional $6 billion in consumer spending, and the top two reasons for Tijuana and Mexicali residents to come to San Diego are shopping and entertainment. Because of this, it is critical for us to have a presence in this market to side access to our advertisers.” 

English, bilingual, Spanish? How and in which language do you reach Hispanics in San Diego?

Sara Gaviria: “Research and census data shows that around 31 percent of the San Diego County population is Hispanic. While a portion of this group wants information in English, a robust group likes to get information in Spanish – The San Diego Union-Tribune media company has products that meet the needs of both groups. The population that prefers to get their news in English can do so through the Union-Tribune and SignOnSanDiego, while those who prefer to receive news in Spanish can turn to Enlace, where we focus on topics that are most important to this group, including education, health and immigration, as well as life along the border, entertainment and sports. We’ve also recently teamed up with SanDiegoRed.com (86,621, Unique Visitors and 217,307 Page Views, January 8-February 8, 2011), which is published in Spanish and will serve as the Latino arm for the U-T’s website SignOnSanDiego.com and Enlace.”

What plans do you have online?

Sara Gaviria: “We just launched SanDiegoRed.com. Visitors are able to download the PDF version of Enlace and will also see continuously updated news stories. SanDiegoRed.com offers useful guides to entertainment events on both sides of the border, coverage of Mexico’s soccer and boxing, and profiles of young athletes. Plus, there will be locally produced videos, colorful photo galleries, and a variety of bloggers. Site visitors can also share their own news items, photos and videos that capture the vibrant lifestyle of the region.”

Do you work with ad networks to sell your online properties?

Sara Gaviria: “Yes, we provide the ability for networks to purchase digital advertising reaching Latinos on Union Tribune’s website Sign On San Diego and San Diego RED.”

Any other comments you care to make

Sara Gaviria: “Last year, we introduced a new layout and re-focused our news on community issues that our readers told us — via focus groups — are most important to them. Our content is also more local, with two sections unique to North and South county readers. These changes have proved successful. During the last year, our circulation has increased from 81,000 to nearly 92,000. In addition, we anticipate increasing circulation again this year. In addition to Enlace, we also have a product focusing on Tijuana, Enlace Extra, which has a circulation of 100,000 andfeatures local stories and listings for movies, live music, art, and family events in San Diego and Tijuana. The publication is delivered within our successful insert program that is delivered every Friday to select homes in Tijuana and Mexicali. The insert program has a circulation of 130,000, which includes the 100,000 copies delivered with Enlace Extra in Tijuana, and an additional 30,000 copies delivered in Mexicali. 

New products, combined with bigger circulation and our new online partner make this an exciting time for Enlace, and there is more to come, as we continue to be a strong voice in our community.”

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