After two years of delivering news about Mexico to Mexicans living and working in the greater-Atlanta area, EL UNIVERSAL Gráfico (weekly, circ. 50,000, Spanish) will cease publication with its current, 104th issue.
“While EL UNIVERSAL Gráfico proved very popular with Mexicans and other Hispanic immigrants in Atlanta, advertising revenue has failed to sustain the operation”, says publisher Mauricio Ambriz.
Each week for the past 24 months, editors and reporters in Mexico City have produced the pages of the paper and 50,000 copies have been printed and distributed for free in heavily Mexican areas around the Atlanta metro area. El Universal also had to compete with the two main Atlanta Hispanic newspapers, El Mundo Hispánico and Atlanta Latino.
The all-color tabloid was an effort by Mexico City-based EL UNIVERSAL to provide a
weekly news feed from Mexico City for the growing number of immigrants who have
moved to Atlanta to work or be reunited with their relatives. The paper was designed to
satisfy the demand of Mexicans for news from their home country.
The publication represented also a serious a effort by a Mexican newspaper chain to publish a newspaper for the U.S. Hispanic market. El Universal had been present in the U.S. market through individual partnerships with Hispanic publishers and continues to distribute content through El Universal News Service.
According to Ambriz, “The staff of El Universal Gráfico has enjoyed the challenge of putting out a paper each week. It has been satisfying to see it picked up and read in restaurants and markets from Marietta to Doraville to Gainesville, as well as up and down Jimmy Carter Blvd. and Buford Highway and in places like Plaza Fiesta.”
However, newspapers across the United States, in both English and Spanish language, are facing unprecedented economic stress.
"We regret most that we are forced to shut our doors when our readers, our community,
need us most. Mexicans living in Atlanta have enjoyed boom times until recently. But that has been changed by the collapse of the housing market, the crackdown on illegal immigration and a draught that has crippled the landscaping business."
Ambriz concludes that "it is our fondest hope that these adverse conditions will reverse soon for Mexicans living in Atlanta and that the region once again will welcome Mexican workers to a booming economy."