What: Hoy Fin de Semana, the weekend home-delivered newspaper published by Tribune’s Hoy in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, will now also be distributed within La Bolsa Azul, a polybag that is door-delivered  in Tijuana and Mexicali on the Mexican-U.S. (California) border.
Why it matters:
National Advertising Sales for La Bolsa Azul will now be handled by Hoy Tribune’s National Advertising Sales Team and the Tribune 365 National Solutions Group and no longer by the San Diego Union Tribune. The move adds a 130,000 copies to a new total circulation for Hoy Fin de Semana of 1.4 million. Hoy Fin de Semana is the largest home-delivered weekly publication in the U.S. Hispanic market.

Hispanic NewspapersEffective for the April 11th drop date the editorial wrap Enlace Extra, published by the San Diego Union Tribune, will be replaced by Hoy Fin de Semana with editorial content provided by Hoy’s Editorial team. National and Regional Advertising Sales for La Bolsa Azul will now be handled by Tribune’s Hoy National Advertising Sales Team or Tribune 365  and no longer by the San Diego Union Tribune or representatives of the San Diego Union Tribune such it’s Spanish-language Enlace newspaper.

La Bolsa Azul (The Blue Bag), a home delivery solution for print advertising and direct marketing managed and owned by the Herrero family, claims to be the only licensed household distributor in Baja California. Established in 1991, La Bolsa Azul’s polybag packaging, provides a protective layer for preprint advertising.  It has proven to be a valuable advertising vehicle  that reaches US/Mexico border shoppers. 61% of Mexican nationals who cross the border are on a mission to shop.

We are “soft launching” with a 4 page tab wrap.

Content Strategy

“The Tijuana and Mexicali editions of Hoy Fin de Semana will be the same for now, we are “soft launching” with a 4 page tab wrap, very similar to what they were running before,” John Trainor, Publisher and General Manager of Hoy Chicago tells Portada. He adds that in a few weeks Hoy will escalate the piece to a full editorial product “much like the one we have in our other markets which include content designed for everyone in the family; in-depth enterprise stories of major interest, entertainment, pastime and some locally generated content will be added as well. In Los Angeles and Chicago we have versions by zone and expect to be versioning in a similar fashion in Mexicali and Tijuana in the very near future.”

Trainor notes that Tribune is very excited with this new partnership, “the Reyes family has been perfecting their distribution methodology for the past 23 years and now by combining our effective editorial strategy, Hoy and Tribune’s solid partnerships with national advertising clients combined with La Bolsa Azul’s successful track record; we will be taking this already fabulous product to new heights.”

Home-delivery is welcomed by many retail advertisers who target Hispanics.

Expanded Footprint

Through the agreement with La Bolsa Azul, Hoy Fin de Semana adds a fourth geographical area to its distribution. It already publishes 814,000 in California  (Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire); 335,000 in Chicago. It is also distributed with Tribune owned The Morning Call on Friday’s in Pennsylvania  (Allentown, Reading, Bethlehem and North East Philadelphia areas), and, now in La Bolsa Azul in Mexicali and Tijuana. Hoy Fin de Semana’s content is mostly entertainment ,news and family oriented content. Home-delivery is a feature requested by many retailers targeting Hispanic consumers on weekends.

While most English-language newspapers are retrenching, it is striking how time and time again we get news from Hispanic targeted newspaper publishers who are expanding circulation or even launching new publications. Earlier this week we reported that Freedom is launching  “Unidos en el Sur de California”  with a 300,000 plus circulation. Here three more examples: Hoy’s Los Angeles new weekly Hoy Deportes, CentroTampa and AIM Media Texas’  El Extra  in the Rio Grande Valley.

New sports weekly Hoy Deportes in Los Angeles

Hoy Los Angeles is launching a new weekly newspaper devoted to sports, called Hoy Deportes, Hoy L.A.’s owner, the Los Angeles Times Media Group, announced this week. The publication will also publish digitally with a Web site and mobile channel. The new Spanish-language sports weekly, launched on March 3  covers local, national and international sports, including scores, game reports and athlete profiles. Hoy Deportes, a free publication with a circ. of 90,000 distributed over racks,  will compete with  the Monday edition of La Opinion, a paid product which is sports heavy.  “We know that Monday is a big day for sports and that our community looks for coverage and recap of the weekend sports events-scores etc. Currently there is no print product that delivers a complete all sports package and we are looking at filling that gap.” Roaldo Moran, publisher of Hoy Los Angeles, tells Portada. At Hoy Deportes fútbol (soccer) will be receiving a lot of attention, especially before and during the 2014 World Cup scheduled for June and July. Hoy Los Angeles Editor Alejandro Maciel stated: “Latino-heritage Angelenos rank amongst the world’s most avid sports fans and, with the World Cup about to take to the pitch in Brazil, we felt the time was right to launch Hoy Deportes.”  Eduard Cauich, Editor of Hoy Deportes, wrote in an article addressed to Hoy‘s audience that “during decades there has been talk in Los Angeles about the need of a newspaper focused on sports, because the Hispanic community has shown its passion for sports by supporting teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and Angels. ”


Tampa Tribune’s CENTRO Tampa   

Hispanic NewspapersCENTRO Tampa, a Hispanic weekly in Tampa Bay published by The Tampa Tribune,  expanded  its circulation to include Hispanic households in Pinellas County on Friday March 7, 2014. This is the second time CENTRO Tampa is expanding its circulation, driven by a high growth rate in the Hispanic population in Tampa Bay. In 2012 CENTRO Tampa added 10,000 copies in Pasco County and the most recent expansion to Pinellas will add 15,000 additional copies. This will bring the total circulation to more than 65,000 copies. Orlando Nieves,general manager of CENTRO Tampa, tells Portada that the added circulation will be a mix between rack and home-delivered circulation.  However, he adds that  “most will be home delivered with racks being concentrated on heavily Hispanic areas like Pinellas Park and Clearwater.” Overall, CENTRO Tampa is 85% home-delivered and 15% rack distributed. While the The Tampa Tribune is CENTRO Tampa’s sister newspaper, CENTRO Tampa is not distributed together with The Tampa Tribune: “All our distribution is concentrated in Hispanic self-identified households and delivered by dedicated carriers,” Nieves says.  The strong home-delivered component in these newspapers is often liked by retail advertisers. “We currently carry inserts for Ashley Furniture, NewsAmerica/Smart Source, Walmart, Red Plum/Valassis, Target, Best Buy, Rooms 2 Go, Bealls, Winn Dixie, HH Gregg, Lowes and Home Depot among others,” Nieves notes. CENTRO Tampa, also has a digital presence at www.centrotampa.com. Since 2005, “we have been the Spanish news site with the most traffic in Tampa Bay. ” ” The site currently is being monetized through a CPM model based on impressions, but we also provide  unique opportunities like corner peels, expanded billboards and pencil dropdowns. We also run video news content from Univision on a revenue share agreement.”  (In 2012 The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and digital products were acquired from Media General by Tampa Media Group, Inc., a new company formed by private equity house Revolution Capital Group.)

El Extra in Rio Grande Valley   

Texas FlagEl Extra a weekly Spanish-language newspaper published by AIM Media Texas has expanded its circulation by more than 75% over the last 18 months. AIM Media Texas also publishes The Brownsville Herald and El Nuevo Heraldo among other publications in the Rio Grande Valley. “Starting in late 2012 and throughout last year we’ve systematically looked at the opportunities in all of our South Texas markets relative to the positive demographic profile of our Rio Grande Valley community.  Hence, we’ve purposely invested new staff and distribution resources into both El Extra, our weekly entertainment  and lifestyle publication and El Nuevo Heraldo, our daily Spanish language news publication.” Frank Escobedo, the recently named new publisher at the Brownsville Herald, tells Portada. “Our three targeted zones for El Extra focus in Cameron and Willacy Counties on Brownsville and Harlingen and surrounding communities and in Hidalgo County on McAllen and Weslaco and surrounding communities.  We’ve increased our distribution in these Counties by over 75% and 100%, respectively, over the past 18 months in response to strong reader and advertiser demand.  We continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our footprint and the penetration and distribution within our tri-county region and beyond in order to benefit both readers and advertisers,” Escobedo adds.

Rio Grande Valley’s Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy have a combined total population exceeding 1.3 million people of which 1.1-1.2 million are Hispanics and the market continues to grow at a rapid pace.  At 90% Hispanic composition, this makes them  one of the most concentrated areas for Hispanics living in Texas and the US.  Interestingly, 10% of all Hispanics in Texas live in the Rio Grande Valley which in turn comprises only about 1% of the total land area of Texas.  We are also in a unique position with our markets being adjacent to the Mexican border. The areas’ population swells considerably every weekend as shoppers and tourists from Mexico swarm to our local malls and tourist attractions to shop and play.  This bodes well for our local economy.   We intend to continue to serve these markets and produce products that address the needs and expectations of our readers and advertisers alike.

Related Articles on Hispanic Newspapers 

Newspaper circulation increases? Yes in the Hispanic market!

Analysis: Why are Hispanic newspapers in San Diego and Orange County expanding?

Texas Market profile
Texas: Acculturated Hispanics, Mexicans or Texicans?

Tribune’s move confirms a trend as other large media companies are spinning off their high growing broadcast assets and keeping their publishing properties in a different unit. News Corp spun off its publishing arm in June. Belo spun off its broadcast and publishing units a few years ago and recently its Broadcast unit was sold to Gannett for about US $1.5 billion. After this transaction Gannett, traditionally a newspaper company, anticipates that broadcast will represent more than half of the company’s combined total EBITDA and together, Broadcast and Digital are expected to contribute nearly 2/3 of total EBITDA. Gannett has not communicated any intentions to split its broadcast and publishing units.

tribuneTribune Co.’s plan to separate its broadcast and publishing divisions into two companies. The company in a statement said the Tribune Co. name would remain connected to its expanding broadcast business and Tribune Publishing Co. would become the new name of the company holding its newspaper assets, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, as well as Spanish-language newspapers Hoy (Los Angeles and Chicago) and El Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“Moving to separate our publishing and broadcasting assets into two distinct companies will bring single-minded attention to the journalistic standards, advertising partnerships and digital prospects of our iconic newspapers, while also enabling us to take advantage of the operational and strategic opportunities created by the significant scale we are building in broadcasting,” Peter Liguori, president and CEO of Tribune, said in a statement. “In addition, the separation is designed to allow each company to maximize its flexibility and competitiveness in a rapidly changing media environment.”

The move may allow to make the print business more attractive to potential buyers and to make the broadcast business more successful in an eventual IPO.

Tribune said each company will have its own board of directors and senior management team. According to Chicago Business “Splitting the two businesses will allow Tribune to separate the various tax, pension and other aspects associated with the two legacy businesses as well, perhaps allowing it to make the print business in some way more attractive to potential buyers and to make the broadcast business more successful in an eventual initial public offering of stock. That could make it easier for Tribune to handle an ongoing dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes the agency says the company owes.”

The Trend of spinning off Broadcast from Publishing

Other large media companies are spinning off their broadcast assets and keeping their publishing properties in a different unit. News Corp spun off its publishing arm in June.  Belo  spun off its Broadcast and Publishing units a few years ago and last month its Broadcast unit was sold to Gannett  for about $1.5 billion. Two weeks ago Tribune itself announced the acquisition of local TV, a deal that made it one of the largest TV station owners in the United States.


Tribune Co. has agreed to acquire Cincinnati-based Local TV LLC for $2.725 billion in cash, the companies announced today. The deal will add 19 television stations in 16 markets to Tribune Co.’s television portfolio. The deal makes Tribune the largest commercial television station owner in the U.S., with 42 properties across the country.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune. It makes us the No. 1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

Several originally mostly newspaper oriented companies, like Tribune, are trying to build out video and digital operations and move away from newspapers. The Tribune Local TV deal comes less than a month after Gannett agreed to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its local television holdings.

Tribune Co. owns 23 television stations including WGN-Ch. 9 in Chicago, KTLA in Los Angeles and WPIX in New York. The Chicago-based media company also owns national cable channel WGN America, WGN Radio and eight daily newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, among other holdings. The acquisition of Local TV will add stations in Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee. Once the deal is completed, Tribune Co. will own 14 stations in the top 20 markets, and become the largest Fox affiliate group in the U.S.

Principally owned by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, Local TV was launched in 2007 with the acquisition of nine TV stations from the New York Times Co. In 2008, Local TV purchased eight Fox-owned stations from News Corp.

Local TV’s inaugural CEO was Randy Michaels, who left within the first year to join Tribune Co., where he rose to CEO while the company was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy before being forced out in 2010.

Hispanic TV Market“Local TV and Tribune have had a long, successful relationship over the last five years,” Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said in a statement. “Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar, and we share a strong commitment to news and local programming excellence. My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands.”

Financing Commitments

Tribune Co. has received financing commitments of up to $4.1 billion from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, including a new $300 million revolving credit facility and the capacity to refinance its existing debt. JPMorgan owns about 9 percent of Tribune Co., which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close before the end of the year, subject to antitrust and Federal Communications Commission approvals, according to Tribune Co.

At the same time, Tribune is weighing a potential sale or spinoff of its newspaper properties, including The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times and several Spanish-language newspapers (including Hoy Chicago and Los Angeles as well El Sentinel in Florida). Advisers of Tribune have been in touch with potential bidders, ranging from the Koch brothers to the billionaire Eli Broad.

Several companies that were originally mostly newspaper oriented companies, like Tribune, are trying to build out video and digital operations and move away from newspapers.  The Tribune Local TV deal comes less than a month after the Gannett Company, the largest newspaper owner in the U.S.,  agreed to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its local television holdings. Such consolidation is intended to help media companies gain more scale, giving them additional negotiating clout with broadcast partners.



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