On September 22nd, Mexican publishing house Contendencia relaunched Cambio, a weekly magazine covering politics, business, technology and culture. Cambio was published from June 2001 to March 2003 by Editorial Televisa. Cambio's new cost structure will be leaner; full-time staffers will be reduced from 33 to 25 people and salaries will be reduced by 20%. José Ramón Huerta is Cambio's editorial director. Contendencia owns 51% of the venture, while the Colombian publisher Abrenuncio, owned by a group of journalists and led by Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, will hold 49%. Abrenuncio will not finance the magazine, but will contribute know-how, as well as editorial content from the Colombian edition of Cambio. The Colombian Cambio, published by Spanish publisher Grupo 16 (publisher of Cambio 16 magazine in Spain), was launched in 1993 under the name Cambio 16>Colombia. Abrenuncio aquired Cambio 16 Colombia in 1998.
…and is looking for scarce advertising pesos…
Mexican general interest magazines have a hard time attracting readers and advertisers. Somos (circ. 100,000), published by Editorial Televisa, closed at the end of last February after 13 years of just breaking even.
Isidro Lacayo, director of Zenith Mexico, told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, that Zenith won't even consider buying advertising in a magazine until it has survived for at least six months. In September, while Cambio was being relaunched, Zenith-Mexico was in the process of allocating 75% of its 2004 budget.
… and so is El Independiente.
The new daily El Independiente (circ. 40,000) was launched last June and is now involved in a tough competition with the 30 other daily papers published in Mexico City (general-interest daily newspapers, as well as several others that focus on sports or business). El Independiente has 400 paid subscriptions. Ninety percent of its advertising is through barter arrangements, with no money changing hands. However, El Independiente's printing plant also does print jobs for third parties. Contractor Carlos Ahumada owns the venture, and expects to break even by June 2004.