Mike Cano’s Plans for Impacto USA

Impacto USA last week announced the appointment of Mike Cano as President/CEO.
Regarded as a leading figure in Spanish-language newspapers, Cano has been General Manager of Al Día, the Spanish-language daily newspaper in Dallas/Ft. Worth published by Belo Corp., since he helped launch the publication in 2003. “I am very passionate about Southern California and about the Hispanic print business”, Cano, who lived most of his life in Southern California, tells Portada®.

Cano is returning to Southern California where he began his career as a reporter and photographer in 1980. He later moved to the business side of newspapers and worked in advertising for Copley Los Angeles Newspapers. In 1990, Cano joined the Los Angeles Times to help launch Nuestro Tiempo, a Spanish-language weekly. In 1995, he joined Knight-Ridder and launched El Económico, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, California.

Cano talked to Portada® about his experience at Al Día and his plans for Impacto USA.

Q: Do you think you can apply what you have learned in Al Día to Impacto USA?
“I think there are wonderful opportunities to improve the product and connect with the community. We will be exploring all opportunities. What has worked very well for Al Día is grassroots marketing and partnerships with other media including broadcast.”

Q: What are the differences between the Dallas/Ft. Worth and the Southern California Hispanic newspaper market?
A: “Los Angeles is the number 1 Hispanic market in the nation. The majority of Hispanics in both markets are predominantly Mexican. 86% of Los Angeles's Hispanics are from Mexico. However, in Southern California the majority of Mexicans is from Southern Mexico (“Zacatecas”), while in Texas they tend to come from Northern Mexico (e.g. Monterrey).”

Q: The landscape of Hispanic print in Southern Californian has changed a lot during the last few years ….
A: “Definitely, there is a new daily (Hoy), La Opinión introduced Contigo, a free, home-delivered weekend addition to its newspaper and Impacto USA substantially increased its home delivered circulation. It is a more expensive model, but Impacto USA has a strong penetration. It is over 50% in key Zip Codes. That works very well for the Insert business”.

Q: Los Angeles Newspaper Group, (LANG) part of Media News Group, has created a new position to include you in Impacto's corporate structure…
“LANG-Media News Group and Belo are both great companies. I think it's a vote of confidence in the Hispanic market and in me. It shows their commitment. The Hispanic market is very important to any newspaper that has a significant number of Hispanics in its footprint. That is something that publishers like LANG-Media News Group and Belo Corp can not afford to miss”.

Q: Will you continue to work with the NAHP (National Association of Hispanic Publications)?
“Because of the move to Los Angeles, I will have to resign my position at the board of the NAHP as representative of the region 4. However, I am certainly looking forward to work closely with NAHP in the future”