We ran the newsies’ phrase through Alta Vista’s Babel Fish translator to prove a point; Anglo researchers are rarely accurate in their attempts to translate Latino culture, especially when turning statistics into facts. The Hispanic market will continue to grow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Spanish-language audience will parallel it. Nor does it mean that all Latinos want the same kind of programming.
Nationally, Nielsen Market Research reported a 12-percent growth in Hispanic audiences between 2002 and 2005. Oxford Analytica expected advertisers to spend $1.4 billion on Spanish-language advertising this year, a 10-percent jump over 2005 (the 2006 World Cup had something to do with it).
Nielsen ranks San Antonio the 12th-most-significant Hispanic-American market, with 750,000 TV-watching households, but ADWEEK’s Marketing y Medios lists it seventh. Let’s Babel-Fish it again: here’s the “¿quién tiene quién?” in the San Antonio Hispanic mediasphere.
Print: Research from the Latino Print Network showed the national circulation for Hispanic-daily newspapers more than tripling between 1990 and 2000, peaking in 2003, with a collective circulation of 1.8 million circulation. Locally, the market is thriving between three major news organizations.
Hearst Corp.: In addition to the bilingual culture-lite weekly Conexión, the parent company of the Express-News (hissss) this summer launched Cancha, a 25,000-circulation, twice-weekly, all-Spanish sports-and-news tabloid. The publication’s entire news staff is based in Mexico, the result of a partnership with Monterey-based Grupo Reforma.
Meximerica Media: This Texo-centric media network formed and began publishing RUMBO in 2003, but in April launched a new strategy, including a switch to free distribution tri-weekly (120,000 copies total) and the discontinuation of its Austin edition, allowing them to focus on unique content in Houston, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley.
Duran Duran Industries Inc.: Must ... resist ... Her name is Rio reference ... The publishers of La Prensa have both old-school and new-school creds. Established in 1913, it closed in the 1960s, only to be relaunched in 1989 by Tino and Amelia Duran. In September, the San Antonio edition of La Prensa scored a minority-media award from the UTSA Minority Business Enterprise Center and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Broadcast: In addition to Telemundo (see related story), there are two major corporations in charge of Hispanic broadcast media in San Antonio.
Border Media Partners LLC: With 37 stations (seven in Say-Town), BMP is the largest privately owned Hispanic radio company in the U.S. In August, they announced they were purchasing two more local stations: CBS’s KTSA-AM and KJXK-FM. Five of their seven stations broadcast in Spanish. “Advertisers will spend the majority of their money where they’re most comfortable personally — in English radio,” BMP president Tom Castro told Radio Ink magazine. “Our business is to serve Hispanic people, not necesssarily to do Spanish radio.”
Univision Communications Inc.: BMP’s president describes TV- and radio- broadcast corporation Univision as “rich in licenses and poor in programming,” a statement backed up by the FCC’s anti-monopoly order that Univision (following a merger with the Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.) divest from some of its stations. Much of its content comes directly from south of the border, due to a financial partnership with Grupo Television.
The Analysts: Rincón & Associates: Research psychologist Dr. Edward Rincón doesn’t want to take full credit for the reevaluation of Hispanic programming by the major broadcasters in the last couple of years (both an increase in Hispanic-geared programs — such as Ugly Betty — and an increase in Hispanic actors), but he’s very proud of his firm’s 2004 report showing that Nielsen had underrated the Hispanic audience for The George Lopez Show by as much as 800,000 viewers. Now his firm, through the Ghatt Law Group, is petitioning against Univision’s attempt to unload several of its Texas stations (including San Antonio’s KWEX) onto another media conglomerate, Broadcast Media Partners. As the law group’s principal Taleba Ghatt explained it, Univision’s dragged their feet in divesting. Now, she says, Univision is the lesser of two evils, and they want the FCC to order them to shift the stations onto another company. But who?