Puerto Rico's largest newspaper, El Nuevo Día (daily circulation 204,000, Sundays 241,000) announced plans for a Spanish-language edition in Orlando, Fla., a city with a large Puerto Rican population.

El Nuevo Día Orlando will be on sale in Orlando and its neighboring counties starting in August. “We have studied the market, and have decided that the moment has come to give the Hispanic and Puerto Rican community of Orlando a newspaper that is attentive to its needs and will be the voice of that community,” said Antonio Luis Ferre Rangel, vice president of strategic planning for the Ferre Rangel Group, in an article published in El Nuevo Día.

The new Orlando edition will cost 50 cents and will appear daily Monday through Friday. El Nuevo Día, which is owned by the Puerto Rican company Empresas Ferre, announced that the Orlando paper will have a staff of 20 people. It will consist of 48 pages and will be printed near Orlando. The newspaper said it plans to start with an average circulation of 10,000 copies. The main news articles in Spanish will have an additional summary in English, the newspaper said. Current senior vice president of circulation Jaime Segura has been appointed general manager in Orlando, while business editor Jose Maldonado has been named editorial director.

…the quest for Orlando's Puerto Ricans…

Other companies have developed Spanish print media outlets in the Orlando area. The Orlando Sentinel, owned by Chicago based Tribune Company, publishes a free, weekly bilingual newspaper, El Sentinel, that is offered through home delivery and rack distribution. The area also has the free Spanish-language weekly, La Prensa, owned by Manuel A. Toro. La Prensa emphasizes coverage of Puerto Rico.

Orlando has one of the fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the United States. The 2000 U.S. census recorded more than 271,000 Hispanics in the metropolitan area, including the counties of Orange, Lake Osceola and Seminole. About half are Puerto Ricans, with the census reporting 140,000 Puerto Ricans in those counties. Puerto Rico has a population of close to 4 million people. Puerto Ricans living in the US number around 3.5 million.

…but the island, is tasty too.

Puerto Rico is a desirable newspaper market in its own right, with annual advertising sales of more than US $200 million, a figure well above the newspaper advertising volume of most Latin American countries. Retail advertising is a particularly strong category as Puerto Rico has proven to be a promising market for many retailers. Zara has found an audience for its trendy fashion and Wal-Mart wants to expand on the island. A number of Puerto Rican print media outlets compete for the island's readers.

Besides El Nuevo Día, there are two other large dailies in Puerto Rico: El Vocero and The San Juan Star. El Vocero (circulation 195,000) is published from Monday through Saturday in tabloid format. It is owned by media entrepreneur Gaspar Roca and has a large following among Puerto Ricans living in New York.

The San Juan Star (circulation 77,500) was founded in 1959 as an English daily newspaper to target the English speaking population. It claims that 60% of its readers have a master's degree. US media chain Scripps Howard owned the newspaper until 1994 when it sold the San Juan Star to a group of private US investors led by Cuban-American investment banker Gerardo Angulo.

In 1997, the Star launched its Spanish edition El San Juan Star. In 1998, it launched the daily regional newspapers El Ponce-Star, El Mayaguez-Star and El Arecibo-Star. According to sources at The San Juan Star, before El Ponce-Star was launched, the Puerto Rican city Ponce was the largest city in the US without its own newspaper.


Portada Staff

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