The Midwestern U.S. has witnessed an impressive growth in its Hispanic population in the last 20 years. Many states in the region have seen there Hispanic populations double since 1990. In terms of sheer numbers, Illinois is home to the greatest amount of Latinos, numbering just under two million. Many of these Latinos live in the greater Chicago area. Michigan follows Illinois with over 400,000 Hispanics residing there, while historically Anglo states like Kansas are posting profound Hispanic growth figures. What follows is an overview of the Midwestern market, with a special emphasis on Chicago. While the list of publications covered in this article is by no means complete, it is meant to give a collective picture of the Midwest’s growing Hispanic print market.
Sweet Home Chicago:
Undeniably the business epicenter of the Midwestern United States, Chicago also happens to be the fourth largest Hispanic market in the country, according to a 2006 Synovate report. Its Hispanic population is overwhelmingly Mexican, up to 80% by some estimates, and it has seen rapid growth in the past 20 years. The city also has a sizable Puerto Rican population of about 133,000.
Between 1990 and 2000 the Latino population of Illinois grew by 69%, while the state’s non-Latino population only increased by 3.5%, according to a study done by the University of Notre Dame. The state’s Latino population currently stands at over 1.8 million and accounts for about 14.5% of the total population. Most of the population growth has taken place in the suburbs surrounding Chicago. The area’s Latino population is also quite young, half of which is under 25 years old. Chicago’s Hispanic population has a spending power estimated at $31.9 billion, and a median household income of $39,587.
Hoy Chicago (33,776, daily, Spanish), is the area’s only daily Spanish-language paper. The paper is distributed daily through newsstands and boxes, but its weekend product is about 85% home delivered, according to Julian Posada, general manager of Hoy Chicago. “The biggest challenge in terms of distribution is that with all the growth in the suburbs you need to target the right part of the zip codes where Hispanics live, and not the whole zip code.” Posada notes that FSIs are a good part of their business, accounting for about 20% of their ad revenue.
La Raza (190,000, weekly, Spanish) is published on Sundays and has been around for over 35 years. The paper claims 40% coverage of the area’s Hispanic households, and is published in six zoned editions. In addition, the paper hosts La Raza Online, its web destination that gets over 150,000 unique visitors per month. It has an open rate of $95 per column inch, and offers a wide array of display options to advertisers.
Capitalizing on the booming Hispanic growth in Chicago’s surrounding neighborhoods, Reflejos (93,000, weekly, bilingual) is a tabloid format Sunday publication that bills itself as “The Voice for Suburban Latinos.” It covers various areas of interest, such as suburban news and events, business, recreation and sports. It also includes Latin American coverage. The Reflejos website features the paper’s weekly print edition as a PDF that visitors can access. Its advertising is comprised mainly of local advertisers, automotive, financial institutions and telecommunications companies. About 20% of its editions are mailed, while the rest is bulk distributed. Reflejos offers zoning by both ZIP and zone.
Teleguia (36,000, weekly, Spanish) is published in magazine format and is primarily about entertainment. It includes television programming and a local calendar of events. “The magazine’s advertising is pretty diverse, although we don’t advertise cigarettes or alcohol,” says sales and marketing manager Christina Montes. Teleguia’s distribution model is bulk paid, where supermarkets and other points of distribution pay $0.30 per copy and then distribute them free to the masses.
The Lawndale News (198,000, weekly, bilingual) is a bilingual weekly publication that has been publishing for 65 years. The paper targets first and second generation Hispanics. About 70% of its editions are home-delivered, while the rest are distributed through racks and grocery stores. According to editor in chief James Nardini, the paper gets a lot of advertising from telecom companies like Verizon and AT&T. Other advertisers include GM, Chevrolet, and Valassis. A full-page ad costs approximately $4200.
Michigan: The Water Wonderland
The majority of Michigan’s 372,000 Hispanics live in and around Detroit, where they represent 5% of the total population (47,550) according to 2005 census approximations. Other Michigan cities with sizable Latino populations are Grand Rapids (25,610) and Lansing (11,900). Though not as numerous in Adrian Michigan, the Hispanic population represents 17% of the total population at 3,570.
La Prensa (12,000, weekly, bilingual) is a free publication that is distributed throughout Michigan and Ohio. Its motto is “Tinta con Sabor!” which means “ink with flavor.” In addition to the 12,000 weekly copies that La Prensa distributes, the paper also has a monthly edition that circulates an extra 8,000 copies distributed primarily in Western/Central Michigan and Detroit. La Prensa also distributes in Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri. A full page black and white ad costs $1500. The paper also publishes special editions throughout the year on Hispanic holidays like Three Kings Day, Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos, among others.
Billing itself as “Michigan’s Hispanic Newspaper,” El Vocero Hispano (15,000, weekly, Spanish) distributes between 12,000-20,000 copies throughout the year, with higher distribution during the summer. The paper consists of local news, employment, classified. The majority of its advertising is local, although it does count WebTV and Blue Cross/Blue Shield among its national advertisers. The paper distributes its free publications mostly through Hispanic stores.
Midwestern Hispanic Newspapers
Auto, Telecom, Retail
Retail, Classifieds, Auto
GM, Chevy, AT&T
Classifieds, local, Auto
El Vocero Hispano
Web TV, Blue Cross
Cingular, Babies R Us
KC Hispanic News
Verizon Fannie Mae, FBI
Gente de Minnesota
Classified, Real Estate
Prensa de Minnesota
Auto, Retail, Classifieds
Latino Midwest News
Telecom, Auto, Retail
Classifieds, local, Auto
Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera (To the Stars through Struggling)
With a Hispanic population of about a quarter of a million (8.4% of total pop.) and a spending power estimated at $3.7 billion, Kansas is one of the fastest growing Hispanic markets in the Midwest. Wichita and the surrounding areas are where much of that growth is taking place.
Tiempos (14,000, biweekly, Spanish) is a free publication that distributes at over 200 restaurants, stores and shopping centers. The paper draws some national advertising from telecom companies like Alltell and Cingular Wireless (Now AT&T), as well as some retail advertising from the likes of Babies R Us. Car dealers comprise a good portion of the paper’s local advertising. A full page ad costs about $1500.
The Kansas City Hispanic News (20,000, weekly, bilingual) serves the Hispanic community of the greater Kansas City area, and focuses on local news, business and entertainment. About half of its distribution is home-delivered, while the rest is dropped at area supermarkets, restaurants, libraries and various Hispanic businesses. Among the paper’s advertisers are Verizon, Fannie Mae and the FBI.
Minnesota: Star of the North
Although the official Hispanic population of Minnesota is roughly 182,000 according, some estimates place it closer to 300,000 with a buying power of more than $3.1 billion.
Gente de Minnesota (20,000, weekly, Spanish) is Minnesota’s first Spanish-language newspaper and distributes primarily in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and
the surrounding areas. It is produced by the Latino Communications Network. The paper focuses local, world and entertainment news. The paper’s primary demographic is recent immigrants who have lived in the area for less than 8 years. The paper delivers copies to 10,000 households on weekends. The rest are distributed at over 300 Hispanic stores and supermarkets.
La Prensa de Minnesota (10,000, weekly, bilingual) was founded in 1991, and distributes at over 250 Twin City locations. Like Gente de Minnesota, it is published by the Latino Communications Network, but it has more of a local news slant. It seeks to appeal to Spanish-dominant Hispanics, Anglos interested in the area’s Latino community, and the many Minnesotan Latinos who do not speak Spanish.
Latino Midwest News (25,000, biweekly, bilingual) is a free distribution paper covering various Hispanic hot-spots throughout the Midwest, including Chicago’s suburbs, Des Moine, and the Twin Cities, among others. “We have mostly consumer-oriented content, with some internet and business related material. We have a special section on health. Generally, though, we’re a news and information publication,” says publisher Adolfo Cardona. The paper’s national advertisers include Coca-Cola and Allianz life insurance. The paper has an active FSI program that it coordinates with LatinPak (Dish Latino is currently running a campaign). While the majority of LMN’s distribution is bulk dropped at Hispanic grocery stores and other outlets, it also has around 1,100 subscribers who receive home delivery.
Indiana: Crossroads of America
Indiana’s Hispanic population is estimated at over 275,000, controlling a spending power of some $4.6 billion. By 2010, Hispanic spending power is expected to grow to $7.3 billion, according to the state’s Hispanic chamber of commerce.
El Puente (8,000, biweekly, Spanish) distributes to businesses, churches and schools in lower Michigan and northern Indiana. It also has a small subscription base. Its content is comprised of local and international news, and also includes features, children’s interest and poetry. The magazine is primarily in Spanish, but includes an English language pull-out center section as well. Telecom, auto and retail account for the bulk of the paper’s advertising, says Editor in Chief Zulma Prieto. “I want to emphasize that this is not a wire newspaper,” says Prieto. “Our columnists are extremely independent and opinionated.”
Recently, some of the state’s general market papers have begun publishing Spanish-language editions. Frankfort’s The Times launched La Comunidad (3000, monthly, Spanish) which includes translated content from its general market edition. It also features the translated content on its website.
Capital city Indianapolis is home to La Ola Latino-Americana– or the Latin American Wave (5000, weekly, Spanish). The paper is distributed via bulk drop in eight Indiana cities, and features local and national content. Publisher Ildefonso Carbajal says that publishing the paper, after emigrating from Mexico illegally over 20 years ago, has embodied his vision of the “American Dream.”
The Midwestern United States has been, and will continue to be, an area of increasing significance with regard to Hispanic print. Chicago’s $31.5 Billion spending power is expected to balloon to the $50 billion mark in the next 5 years. The fiercely competitive print market reflects this economic growth and rising profile of the area’s Hispanic population. The rest of the Midwestern states, while trailing Chicago considerably, are nonetheless posting rapid growth in both Hispanic population and spending power. There still exists something of a Hispanic print vacuum in Ohio, however, which has minimal Hispanic newspaper presence, despite its almost 300,000-strong Hispanic population. As Latino communities grow and demand more specialized and localized coverage, and advertisers demand more market penetration, look for more Hispanic print properties to sprout up, and for more to establish online destinations.