What: Last week Tribune Publishing, the owner of The Los Angeles Times, announced the acquisition of the San Diego Union-Tribune, paying US $85 million to entrepreneur Doug Manchester in a deal that also includes 9 weeklies and digital properties owned by the San Diego Union Tribune.
Why it matters: The US $85 million Tribune is spending amount to a relatively high valuation for print properties, reflecting the value of the Southern California print and digital franchise. While smaller than the English-language publications of the Union Tribune, Tribune is also adding the Spanish-language weekly Enlace as well as s a weekly Spanish language lifestyle and entertainment magazine, Vida Latina San Diego. Tribune Publishing now owns a substantial portfolio of Southern Californian properties targeting the Hispanic Population.

Tribune Publishing Company announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire MLIM, LLC, owner of the California State FlagSan Diego Union-Tribune, as well as nine community weeklies and related digital properties in San Diego County. The purchase price is US $85 million, which includes $73 million in cash and $12 million in Tribune Publishing common stock, plus the assumption of obligations for a single-employer pension plan. Tribune Publishing will not be taking possession of the seller’s real-estate assets. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition substantially expands Tribune Publishing’s assets targeting the Southern Californian Hispanic population. The San Diego Union Tribune publishes a weekly newspaper called Enlace with a circulation of approximately 175,000, including an edition for the Southwest Riverside County. In addition, it publishes Vida Latina, a free glossy entertainment magazine available throughout the South Bay. Vida Latina has a circulation of 30,000 and mostly targets Hispanic Women in South San Diego County. Another Southern California/Mexican border property managed by Tribune is La Bolsa Azul, a polybag that is door-delivered in Tijuana and Mexicali on the Mexican-U.S. (California) border. In March last year, Tribune announced that Hoy Fin de Semana, the weekend home-delivered newspaper published by Hoy in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, would also be distributed within La Bolsa Azul.

La Bolsa Azul, the polybagged door delivered product, is another Southern California/Mexican border property managed by Tribune.

Together with the Los Angeles Times Spanish-language properties (including Hoy and Hoy Deportes weeklies and home delivery saturation product Hoy Fin de Semana), Tribune now can offer advertisers a substantial Southern Californian footprint. Due to their heavy community newspaper element, many Hispanic newspapers have not gone through heavy circulation declines like the big metropolitan dailies, in fact some even have registered substantial circulation increases.

Hispanic NewspapersWhen the transaction closes, Austin Beutner will serve as Publisher & CEO of both the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times and as Publisher & CEO of the newly formed California News Group. “San Diego Union-Tribune will retain editorial independence, providing an authentic voice that reflects the diversity of the state and the distinct values of our communities,” Beutner said. “I also know the Los Angeles Times will benefit with a closer connection to its older sibling down south.” Roaldo Moran, publisher of Hoy Los Angeles, tells Portada that there are no news on any possible integration of the management of the Hispanic properties to report as those internal conversations have not started yet. “Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have a long history of supporting and working to deliver quality news and information to the Hispanic community. I am very familiar with their efforts, I worked for the Los Angeles Times back in 1990 when we were publishing “Nuestro Tiempo”. Tribune’s purchase of the San Diego Union Tribune will enhance and strengthen the Hispanic efforts of Enlace in San Diego. This is a very positive and big step forward for both companies as they work to serve the Hispanic community with quality content,” Hispanic newspaper veteran Mike Cano, now president of President AP&P Solutions tells Portada.

Tribune’s purchase of the San Diego Union Tribune will enhance and strengthen the Hispanic efforts of Enlace in San Diego.

Other companies targeting Hispanics in Southern California through digital and print properties, include impreMedia (La Opinion in Los Angeles). Freedom News Group through La Prensa and Excelsior, El Latino de San Diego and Long Beach’s Impacto USA which is owned by Los Angeles Newspaper Group (Digital First Media).

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

What: Enlace Extra, The San Diego Union Tribune’s (U-T)  product for the Tijuana and Mexicali markets,  will now be featured as the U-T’s primary ad buy option for distribution in Mexico.
Why it matters: The company will be working with new vendors Global News Distribution and Logistik Distribution CO. to increase visibility and reliability of Enlace Extra distribution. The announcement comes a few weeks after Hoy Fin de Semana communicated that it is partnering with La Bolsa Azul for distribution in Mexicali and Tijuana. The San Diego Union Tribune had historically partnered with La Bolsa Azul.

enlace_largeU-T San Diego has announced that Enlace Extra will be the U-T’s main product for the Tijuana and Mexicali markets.. Enlace Extra is an editorial  extension of Spanish language publication Enlace,  which is mostly distributed in San Diego/Southern California.

Enlace has been an integral part of the U-T’s regional strategy of expanding its reach on both sides of the border, and Enlace Extra has been the publication into which preprints have been inserted for distribution in Mexico for the past five years.

The announcement comes in connection with a change by U-T to its vendor for distribution in Mexico. Now the company will be working with Global News Distribution and Logistik Distribution CO., UT San Diego Chief Revenue Officer Joe Brenneman tells Portada. (Last month Hoy Fin de Semana announced that it is partnering with La Bolsa Azul for distribution in the Mexicali and Tijuana markets, La Bolsa Azul had been the Union Tribune partner for many years.)

Global News specializes in the daily and weekly distribution of all publications from newspapers to magazines and books. This company is owned and operated by Tijuana resident Andres de la Parra. Global News Distribution has distribution in cities like Baja California cities of Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and many others.

Logistik Distribution Co.  will handle all secured trans-border delivery efforts including home delivery in Mexicali.The company is owned and operated by Yuma Arizona native Danny Katsurayama. His specialty is in local home distribution of both paid and non-subscriber products. He and his team were the founding distributors of the Union Tribune ‘s Vida Latina entertainment magazine Additionally, this team handles UT´s Enlace Spanish language newspaper in Riverside county as well as several other English language entertainment and real estate publications.
The U-T’s distribution scope in Mexico will remain the same, with 100,000 affluent households in Tijuana and 30,000 affluent households in Mexicali.  Enlace, which is published in San Diego ,has a distribution of 176,496 copies including  SW Riverside circulation,with 63,514 Home-delivery.

Weekly Circulation of 130,000

¨The UT is continuing, without interruption, the delivery of both news and information as well as valuable advertiser messaging through in-paper and preprints. The color of the bag may be changing but the content and value are not just remaining constant – they’re increasing, ¨  says UT San Diego Chief Revenue Officer Joe Brenneman.

U-T has also announced enhancements with its new vendor expecting to increase the visibility and reliability of Enlace Extra distribution by utilizing a state of the art tracking system and notarized verification of deliveries in randomly sampled areas.The company has already decided that Enlace Extra  will be delivered through doorstep,that is 100% home delivery.

“Our commitment to our advertisers has been, and will continue to be, to provide reliable, verified distribution throughout the entire mega-region—San Diego and Northern Baja,” added Brenneman. “We are honored and excited to continue to service our advertising partners with this ad buy option in a border region where our presence, knowledge and capabilities are second to none.”

Circulation increases among Spanish-language newspapers in the U.S. are not an exception. In fact, they are almost a norm. Just last week Portada heard about two Hispanic newspapers who are substantially increasing their circulation: The San Diego Union Tribune’s Enlace and Excelsior, published by the OC Register in Orange County. What is behind these circulation increases which are so contrary to the large circulation declines of general market metro newspapers? Two factors explain the growth of many Hispanic newspapers. The first is their strong appeal as community newspapers in areas where they almost have a monopoly on local information. The second factor, is the growth of the FSI (pre-print business), which is fueling the current growth in mostly home-delivered circulation. Home delivery is heavily favored by retail advertisers who place their inserts in them to make sure they reach household decision makers at home.

In May we reported about newspaper circulation increases in four different Hispanic newspapers. Last week two additional newspapers in San Diego and Orange County, CA announced circulation increases.
The Union Tribune San Diego’s Enlace , a weekly Spanish-language newspapers, is increasing its circulation from 112,982 in by an additional 63,514 copies. The additional distribution will be directed to Southwest Riverside County. Total circulation starting October 5 is 176,496. The Southwest Riverside edition of Enlace features additional local content home-delivered to Spanish-dominant households.  According to U-T’s Enlace, the move, which took effect on Oct. 5, 2013, will allow the U-T to reach a largely underserved community with news and information in Spanish while providing advertisers a premium vehicle to reach Hispanic consumers. Enlace is published on Saturdays.

“the community sector has not been impacted as adversely as the large metros and because they have always focused and remained dedicated to their immediate local communities.

The production of (Hyper) local content about the communities they serve is a key factor explaining the growth of Hispanic newspapers. Community newspapers and media have a strong appeal in markets where there often are few competing local information sources. In an interview with Portada to be published later this week, Jeremy Halbreich, Chairman & CEO at AIM Media Texas, which publishes several Hispanic dailies and weeklies in the Rio Grande (Texas) area, notes that “the community sector has not been impacted as adversely as the large metros and because they have always focused and remained dedicated to their immediate local communities. They typically have less direct competition than the metros and they are more sensitive and more connected to their local audiences.”

Hispanic Newspapers“We are thrilled to begin serving our Latino neighbors in Southwest Riverside,” said Tom Jimenez, vice president of Hispanic products at the San Diego Union Tribune. “We are now in a position to offer our local and national advertisers even greater reach in our high-density Hispanic markets in Southern California.” The targeted Southwest Riverside distribution area has a 41 percent concentration of Hispanic residents — or 319,105 adults — with a median household income of $51,211 according to Nielsen 2013 data. With the addition of the Southwest Riverside edition of Enlace, the U-T now offers three zones that serve readers and advertisers in high-density Hispanic areas in south San Diego County (including Tijuana), north San Diego County communities and Southwest Riverside. Enlace Extra reaches more than 100,000 affluent homes in Tijuana; inserted in the popular La Bolsa Azul, an international home-delivery solution for advertisers.“The current expansion is part of a broader cross-platform media strategy and portfolio,” said Joe Brenneman, vice president and chief revenue officer “We aim to reach more Hispanic audiences, more frequently and on more devices.” In addition to Enlace, the U-T publishes a weekly Spanish language lifestyle and entertainment magazine, Vida Latina San Diego. The magazine recently launched a mobile-optimized companion website, vidalatinasd.com, featuring the latest U-T San Diego Web design technology. Partner news site sdred.com offers another digital platform for advertisers.

Excelsior in Orange County grows home – delivered circulation…

Capitalizing on a US Census statistic stating that Hispanics living in Orange County have the highest Hispanic Household income, Excelsior, the Spanish-language weekly published by the Orange County Register (Freedom Communications) is adding home-delivered circulation.

“Highest earning Hispanic households are the first ones who were offered an opt in, free home delivery subscription of the paper,” says  Excelsior’s Operations Manager Jesus Cobian. He adds that building the home delivery database one requested opt in at a time is a longer way to do things. However, when readers are asking for the paper, it’s because they want the information inside. It’s a slower but stronger home delivery program in comparison to saturating a zip with high Hispanic density.” Excelsior now has 26,000 copies in requested home delivery. Total circulation is 63,000 copies every Friday. Excelsior also released a re-design of the newspaper last month.

 which attracts retail advertisers.

Both Enlace and Excelsior are available for free: In other words, their publishers need to clearly expect that an increase in advertising revenues will finance the home-delivered circulation increase. This is where retail advertisers who place their offers and coupons in preprints (also called inserts or FSI’s) come in. Retail advertisers love to reach household  purchase decision makers, mostly Latina housewifes, at home. Contrary to rack distributed newspapers where inserts (FSI’s) can be lost easily before (and if) the publication reaches the reader’s home, home-delivered publications guarantee that the inserts reaches homes.


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