Newspaper and magazine publishers in the US Hispanic market use a variety of news agencies to get international and national news, as well as general feature content. John Caramillo of Newscom, an a la carte news agency, says that existing newswires do a good job of fulfilling the current needs of Hispanic publishers. “Most of the Hispanic newspapers in the U.S. focus on local content. The available news agencies are able to supply them with international news and more general feature content,” says Caramillo. But access to this content can be expensive and according to Caramillo consistent, in-depth content focused exclusively on Central and South America has been lacking. He acknowledges Notimex, EFE and other news agencies but says they are either largely focused on Mexico or too broadly focused. This should change in 2005 when the GDA (Grupo de Diarios America) launches its Latin American news service in the U.S. Hispanic market. The digital database will contain feature and news articles, supplements and magazines from its 14 member newspapers, representing 12 different countries.
In addition to more news content, new turnkey content providers are offering publishers feature content and international news in a more complete, ready-to-use format. These new content providers hope that Hispanic publishers will see their supplements as an easy way to grow pages and increase ad revenues. Manny Ruiz, publisher of ConTexto Latino, says that his free monthly supplement was not in response to publishers' demand. “We created a niche and now there is demand by publishers.”
Feature and news turnkey solutions
The Bilcom Group, a copywriting and translation service owned and operated by Latino journalists, has begun to create content for publishers. Their first product, a bilingual holiday supplement called “Autentica Navidad,” was produced in partnership with Content That Works, a general market feature content provider. The Bilcom Group has now decided to partner with José Somalo, publisher of Hoy en Delaware, a product of Delaware-based MundoGraphics, to produce national quarterly supplements targeting Latino families. The supplements contain articles on Hispanic heritage and culture and information to help Latino families raising kids in the U.S. Patricia Rivera, president of The Bilcom Group, would not give specifics on the subscription price, but said that subscriptions would start at about US $250. Currently, The Bilcom Group does about 60% translation services and 40% content development for a number of different clients. The supplements will be created mostly for newspapers, although magazines can also subscribe. Publishers will receive two 16-page issues each quarter – one in English and one in Spanish. The Bilcom Group creates the content and turns it over to publishers to use in whatever way they choose. Initially, The Bilcom Group will not sell any of the advertising.
ConTexto Latino is a more advertiser and PR driven publication, although CEO Manny Ruiz insists that articles written for companies, including Home Depot, Nestle and AOL, are covered by professional journalists who take a fair and balanced approach. ConTexto Latino and sister company Hispanic PR wire (Hispanic Digital Network and Latin Clips monitoring service are also sister companies) have partnered with New York based Metro Creative Graphics and Editorial Services to create a national features magazine for newspapers and magazines targeting Hispanics. The supplements are published monthly on an editorial calendar that focuses on timely themes like back-to-school, holidays, and weddings. Publishers get the supplements a month to a month and a half before they are likely to run the stories (back to school is distributed August 1st, Holiday issue, Oct. 1st). Content is distributed free of charge to any and all interested U.S. and Puerto Rican newspapers or magazines. Currently most of ConTexto Latino's subscribers are newspapers. ConTexto Latino is supported by clients, mostly major national accounts, who pay to have articles written about them. Ruiz would not give a specific percentage, but says that the majority of the articles are not sponsored. The supplements are from 8-14 pages depending on the number of advertisers they get for a particular issue. Print versions are distributed in Spanish only, but both Spanish and English editions are available on-line. Publishers can use the entire supplement as is, modify it to meet their needs, or pick and choose specific articles. Publishers can use the content to get local advertising from businesses with products or services related to a specific article or theme. Ruiz notes that ConTexto offers newspaper and magazine publishers free access high quality photography and artwork.
Fronteras de la Noticia, a 24-page weekly newspaper produced through a partnership between UPS and Danilo Black of Monterrey, Mexico, can be distributed by local papers as an insert or used as a separate publication. EFE is the exclusive international content provider for Fronteras. So far The Wichita Falls Times Record News (Scripps, daily, circ. 36,154, Sundays, 41,711) and La Prensa Hispana in Columbus have signed contracts for the rights to publish Fronteras. The Albuquerque Journal (daily, circ. 156,424) plans to publish Fronteras editions in Albuquerque and Santa Fe beginning early next year. Atlantic syndication licenses Fronteras for a price based on the size of the market where it will be published. Fronteras customizes the paper for each market by adding two pages of local content contributed by the publisher and customizing the front cover to include references to local pages. The international news emphasizes Mexico, but also includes two pages of news on Central, South America and the Caribbean. For a set price Atlantic Syndication will also help with advertising, including translation and positioning. “Further down the road when we have larger networks of Fronteras papers, we hope to work with publishers to get major accounts—including Fortune 500 companies—on board as advertisers,” says Kerry Slagle, president of Atlantic Syndication, the international division of Universal. Slagle will serve as co-managing director of Fronteras with Danilo Black CEO Roberto Madero. The newspaper's other executives include Creative Director Eduardo Danilo, Editor-in-Chief Dante Parma, and General Manager Kent Kirschner.
A la carte content
Also new on the Spanish-language content scene is Vela Media, a content provider currently offering weekly book reviews, and accompanying word puzzles (crosswords, word finds, etc.) and contests in Spanish and English. Like ConTexto Latino, Vela content is free to publishers. Vela has partnered with Velazquez Press, who sponsors the book related content that Vela produces. Vela works with newspaper and magazine publishers to customize the type and difficulty level of the word puzzles to match each publication's readership. Al Dia (Philadelphia weekly, circ. 50,000 CAC audited, Spanish), La Raza (Impremedia, Chicago weekly, 169,000 CAC audited, Spanish), El Hispano (Sacramento weekly, 20,000, bilingual), Farandula USA (Velázquez Press, Southern Calif. weekly, 55,000 VAC audit, Spanish), as well as many other small publications receive content from Vela. “This is just one of the programs we're developing,” says marketing director Jonathan Ruiz. “We plan to expand into radio, movies and include different types of editorial content.” Vela's main goal is to promote literacy among Hispanic readers and to provide newspaper and magazine publishers with content that will help them increase readership.
Beyond news agencies…
The GDA won't be distributing a ready made newspaper, but their news service will go beyond what is currently available to U.S. Hispanic publishers through news agencies. “Our content comes from the best newspapers in their respective Latin American countries. The variety and depth cannot be matched by news agencies,” says Lyng-Hou Ramirez, content director at GDA. She says that the GDA's new product will be similar to the New York Times news service. According to Ramirez, this quality of Latin American coverage has been lacking in the U.S. Hispanic market. The GDA is currently deciding on rates and packages and working out deals with distributors such as Newscom.
The Dow Jones has been providing the daily news section “The Wall Street Journal Americas” to Latin American publishers since 1994 and this year it began publishing a similar weekly Spanish language section for Tribune Co.'s Hoy, with editions in New York (circ. 40-50,000), Chicago and Los Angeles, the Washington Hispanic (weekly, circ. 28,000, Spanish) in Washington, D.C., Rumbo (Meximerica Media, daily, Spanish) in Houston (circ. 33,000), Rio Grande (circ. 20,000) and San Antonio (circ. 20,000), and el Sentinel in South Florida (Tribune Co., weekly, circ. 95,000, Spanish). The Dow Jones reports an estimated combined circulation of 537,000 in the US Hispanic market. Under the banner name “The Wall Street Journal,” editorial content focuses on personal finance and technology, careers, small business, and other business and finance information of interest to a national Hispanic audience. In addition to an editorial fee for carrying its branded content (mostly eight-page weekly pull-out sections), The Wall Street Journal handles national advertising sales for its Spanish-language inserts. Revenues are then split between The Wall Street Journal and its partner papers.
Not to be outdone, the Gray Lady also plans to expand its branded syndicated pages to the US Hispanic market. Ana Muñoz, sales coordinator at The New York Times News Services, explains that Hispanic newspapers all over the U.S. will be able to offer weekly (or monthly) branded pages from The New York Times. Muñoz notes that pages will be available in Spanish, bilingual and English formats. The New York Times will charge partner newspapers a flat fee of between US $50 – $75 per inserted page, depending on the partner newspaper's circulation. Partner papers will have exclusive rights to the Times syndicated pages in their cities. Initially, The New York Times will leave advertising sales and revenues to its partner newspapers.