By Laura Martínez
Earlier this year, when Comcast announced the launch of its Xfinity en Español service –a collection of Spanish-language video content on TV, onDemand and online- the nation’s largest cable operator was sending a message to its competitors, not only in the cable and satellite world, but also to the likes of Netflix and Google TV: That the nation’s largest MSO was determined to continue its pursuit of the all-too-important Hispanic audience well beyond the television screen.
Read the full story on Multichannel News…
Oscar De La Hoya fought his way from the barrio to the boardroom
In the summer of 1993, during a 10-city press tour for the George Foreman-Tommy Morrison fight, HBO Sports executive Mark Taffet found himself chatting away on the train with heavyweight champion Foreman.
Somewhere between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the pair started talking about the future of HBO’s pay-per-view business, which had officially made its debut in 1991 with an Evander Holyfield-Foreman heavyweight championship from Atlantic City, N.J.
All of a sudden, Foreman pointed his giant finger toward a kid sitting two seats in front of them and told Taffet without hesitation: “That, my friend, is the future of boxing.”
Continue reading this story here:
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From Multichannel News
Univision’s Jorge Ramos Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Laura Martinez — Multichannel News, 10/20/2008
A few days after officially becoming the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain agreed to sit down with a television anchor for his first post-convention interview in Colorado Springs, Colo. More…
Making News: Jorge Ramos
Spanish-language Upstarts Gain Momentum
By Laura Martínez
A growing number of independent television stations have sprung up nationwide, pitching themselves as an alternative to Univision and Telemundo, and catering to mostly Spanish-dominant audiences in Hispanic markets such as Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and South Florida.
“These stations are really interesting for cable operators that are trying to expand their [Spanish-language] offerings,” Nielsen Media Research senior vice president of Hispanic services Doug Darfield said.
Leading the pack is Burbank, Calif.-based Liberman Broadcasting, the largest privately held, minority-owned Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States.
To continue reading this article, please go here:
Why Nielsen Wrote a Play That Stars Its People Meter
Firm Hopes Drama Will Familiarize Latinos With Measurement Process
As the Nielsen Co. moves to a single sample to measure Spanish-language and English-language TV audiences, the market researcher is grappling with how to recruit Spanish-speaking families who aren’t familiar with Nielsen or its People Meter system. The answer: a project called “The Nielsen Telenovela.”
When Mexicans gather in Chicago´s Little Village neighborhood for the Fiestas Patrias celebration on Sept. 8 and 9, they will be invited to watch Nielsen’s own little drama. But unlike the novelas that unfold each night on their TV screens, this one lasts only 15 minutes, is performed live and has an unusual main character woven into the story: Nielsen´s People Meter. To continue reading please go here.
From Advertising Age
Scandal Not All Bad News for Telemundo
Affair Between Reporter, Mayor Actually Boosts Ratings at L.A. Affiliate
Published: August 06, 2007
What happened when Telemundo became part of a news story on which it was reporting? Its ratings rose.
Naturally, not all the fallout from a scandal that saw a Telemundo reporter revealed as having an affair with the mayor of Los Angeles has been positive for the station. Just late last week, after concluding an investigation into its news department’s handling of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s marital troubles, Telemundo’s KVEA-TV in Los Angeles suspended without pay the reporter in question, Mirthala Salinas.
In a statement, Telemundo President Don Browne said he’d determined, after an investigation conducted with the help of the Poynter Institute, that “while the content and accuracy of KVEA’s newscasts were not compromised, our news policy standards with respect to conflict of interest were clearly violated.”
Also reprimanded were KVEA General Manager Manuel Abud, who was reassigned to another position, and News Director Al Corral, who was suspended for two months without pay.
To continue reading this story, please click here
From Advertising Age, May 21, 2007
How Spanish-Language Media Led Clout to the Hispanic Vote
News Personalities Voice Viewpoints and Play Key Role in Mobilizing Demo
Published: May 21, 2007
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — As the major TV networks unwrapped slates of comedies and dramas at last week’s upfront, Telemundo unveiled a vast voter-registration campaign and a new “Meet the Press”-style show called “Enfoque” to keep the Spanish-language TV network at the forefront of the U.S. presidential debate. “The Hispanic vote will make a difference in the next elections,” said Jorge Hidalgo, exec VP-news and sports at the NBC Universal-owned network.
With a little help from the media, that is. Spanish-language media famously use their muscle to mobilize crowds, demand change and stir Hispanics to take an active part in U.S. politics. That includes campaigns to promote citizenship and voting that are helping boost Latinos’ political clout. Hispanics make up 17.3% of registered voters in California and 8.7% in New York.
Read more here:
Integration Opportunities Fuel Hispanic Nets Growth
Univision, Others Primed for Strong Seasons Thanks to Cross-Platform Offerings and Product Placement
Published: May 14, 2007
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — TV networks come to this year’s Hispanic upfront — estimated at $1.8 billion — armed with marketing proposals that go beyond the traditional fare of soccer and telenovelas.
In fact, marketers should brace for cross-platform offerings that include radio, internet, wireless, magazines and events. And there will be product placement aplenty.
“Product integration has been around for a while, but this year we’re definitely going to see a stronger push” in that direction, says Alex Alonso, multicultural director at Carat USA, Los Angeles. Read more here:
From Advertising Age:
Latino Marketers and Agencies Set Out to Explore Virtual World
Dieste, Vidal and Sprint Among Those Experimenting in Second Life to Connect With Tech-Savvy Consumers
Published: May 07, 2007
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Hispanic marketers and agencies are using Second Life to gain experience in creating virtual worlds to appeal to Latinos, who are more likely to play online games than their general-market counterparts.
Alberto Fulham, for instance, shows visitors around El Dorado, one of six “islands” acquired in Second Life by Vidal Partnership, the biggest independent U.S. Hispanic agency. A four-screen movie theater screens films, and sculptures by leading artists are on display.
Read more here
Latino Mags Assert Themselves Online
With Advertisers Looking Elsewhere, Titles Build Databases, Web Content in Race for Relevance
Published: April 23, 2007
Hispanic titles aren’t immune to the broad print-industry downturn, but amid a tough environment, Latino publishers are reflecting the general market by evolving online.
Despite past growth among publications serving Hispanics, Latino publishers are closing money-losing magazines and cutting back on newspaper projects. Editorial Televisa, for instance, is shutting down its year-old title Tu Dinero after the May issue; it closed Cristina last year.
But the bigger change is that Latino publishers are moving beyond the printed page, belatedly embracing the internet and investing heavily in their websites, and adding news, video, photos, music, daily alerts and other features.
Time Inc.’s People en Espanol, the biggest Hispanic magazine by circulation (approaching 500,000) and ad revenue (topping $48 million in 2006), is relaunching PeopleenEspanol.com this spring with more interactive features and bilingual content. Read more here: www.Adage.com
Mobile Video Booms Among Latinos
Good Call: Telemundo, Others Cater to Demo’s Penchant for Cellphones
Published: April 23, 2007
Text messaging is so passe. Starting this month, subscribers to AT&T Wireless’ Media Net Latino package can watch the best kisses, love scenes and action chases from “El Zorro,” the telenovela based on the Zorro legend that is co-produced by NBC Universal’s Telemundo and Sony Pictures.
The clips aren’t pulled from “El Zorro’s” TV content. They’re all original, produced specifically for the third screen.
Small but growing market
The market for Latino mobile video is small but growing dramatically. The reason is simple: U.S. Hispanics overindex in their use and adoption of mobile technologies and spend more money than general-market consumers on wireless services. A 2007 Forrester Research report shows Hispanic mobile-data users are three times more likely to download videos than non-Hispanics, and according to ITFacts, they spend an average of $67 per month on wireless services vs. $60 by the general market.
To read more, please go to: www.adage.com
From Latin Trade Magazine
Long Live the Alamo!
By Laura Martinez Ruiz-Velasco
Between Gutierrez and De la Guerra streets, a dozen shops sell everything from sarapes, and spinning tops to tamarind ice cream and Canals chewing gum. In the background you can hear the music of the Regios del Norte.
A huge sign says: “Order Your Fiesta Dress Now!” Meanwhile on the street, for every American flag waving on the street there’s a Mexican flag. No, we are not on the border, but in the California tourist city of Santa Barbara, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, where people are preparing to celebrate the great fiesta of the Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo? “Yes! It’s Independence Day in Mexico, it means the Fifth of May … you know? Like the Fourth of July is for us,” says a friendly American teenager working for Borders Bookstore.
Mexican independence? Not quite. It is simply the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, which took place in 1862 between Napoleon III’s French troops and a peasant Mexican army. Historic details aside, what matters is that Cinco de Mayo is becoming a symbol of Mexican culture north of the Rio Grande, and not just in California but in other states as well. The U.S. Post Office has even issued a commemorative stamp.
Ethnic explosion. “I think Cinco de Mayo is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. It’s sort of like the St. Patrick’s Day of the next millennium,” says Pete Hamill, a Brooklyn-born author who divides his time between Mexico and New York.
Mexican culture, once considered part of a tiny ethnic market, is becoming part of the U.S. mainstream. Everything that smells of Mexico–from food, beer, music or national holidays–is selling like hotcakes. “Mexico is recovering its lost territory gastronomically,” says Carlos Monsivais, a well-known Mexican author.
To get a sense of how the U.S. consumer is assimilating, one need only look at the changes in eating habits: at what is selling on supermarket shelves and at the latest hot restaurants in large cities. Mexican food is packing them in.
“Food is the way Americans start to experience other cultures,” says Hamill. “It started with Italian; then Americans discovered some Jewish and German foods, and now it’s Mexican… and that’s because everyday hay mas y mas mexicanos! (there are more and more Mexicans!)”
True enough. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59% of the 30 million Hispanics living in the U.S. are of Mexican origin. By the year 2010, there will be an estimated 41.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., 25.6 million of them Mexican, (See chart on page 54.)
“The Mexican presence is growing not just in California, Texas and New York. but also in places like Minnesota and Michigan, where no one ever imagined there could be a significant Mexican population:’ says Andrew Erlich, head of market research firm Erlich Transcultural Consultant. He concludes: “We’re talking about something deeper, from lifestyle to food to dance and music.”
More and more, those checking out Mexican food are not necessarily Hispanic. The typical U.S. consumer discovered long ago that Mexican food is more than the familiar Tex-Mex.
The American stomach is quickly becoming used to the exotic flavors brought by immigrants who come to stay. It is no coincidence, say many, that at least when it comes to fast food, tacos have begun to take the place of hamburgers among the younger set, not to mention spicy salsa, which is leaving the traditional ketchup in the dust.
“Americans are getting to know Mexican food. Not only are they familiar with mole poblano, they can tell the difference between a good mole poblano and a not-so-good one,” says Gregorio Camarillo proudly. Camarillo is an employee at The Gardens of Taxco, a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Hollywood frequented by the likes of Janet Jackson, Charles Bronson, Dolly Parton and Quentin Tarantino.
Dave DeWitt, editor of Fiery Foods Magazine, an Albuquerque, N.M. publication dedicated to spicy food, says Americans have realized that hot peppers are no longer exotic, and they’re learning to like them. The reason, DeWitt says, is simple: Shifting immigration patterns.
“A hundred years ago, we were Europeans. Now we are becoming more Latin, though spicy food is certainly not exclusive to Mexicans. Indian and Thai dishes are hot, too. But it was definitely Mexicans who led the way,” says DeWitt, adding: “Spicy food is now part of life in the U.S., and not only in states like California, Texas or New Mexico … it’s all over the place.”
Salt and lime. Americans have learned to eat Mexican food, but the preference toward low or no-fat foods has made it necessary to play around with some traditional recipes. You can find fat-free pozole, light enchilada sauce, soy chorizo sausage or non-fat tortillas in U.S. supermarkets, creating a neither-here-nor-there cuisine.
The changes are not limited to food. Although it is no longer news that Corona is the number one imported beer in the United States, American beer drinkers now brag of their sophisticated ways.
That’s because’ they have a lot to choose from. According to New York market research firm Beverage Marketing Corporation, of the 30 top imported beers in the United States, seven are from Mexico. Corona is number one, followed by Tecate, Dos Equis, Modelo Especial, Corona Light, Pacifico and Negra Modelo. And while Canadian beers are experiencing a marked decrease in volume of U.S. sales, Mexican beers are growing at an annual 40% rate. By comparison, Heineken, once the number one import, is growing at a 5.3% yearly clip.
Among spirits, tequila is charging ahead at a torrid pace in import growth, variety, and consumption in the United States. Even though average alcohol consumption has been steadily decreasing over the past few years, tequila has been an exception. Its consumption has doubled since 1985, to 15.7 million gallons in 1998.
Tequila “is one of the most robust spirits category in the United States,” says Lisa Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Distilled Spirits Council, based in Washington, D.C. “And I can tell you that across the country, all restaurants and bars are increasing their selection of tequila.”
The other salsa. For many Mexicans, the liquor store and supermarket shelves offer genuine novelties, with little-known brands such as Two Fingers, Montezuma, Don Cesar Monterrey, Jarana and Puerto Vallarta, some selling for as much as $60 a bottle. Tequila has surpassed its reputation as a vulgar drink associated with Mexican bandits to become something a lot more chic.
“Tequila is cutting across a broad spectrum,” says Chris Klinefelter, spokesman for Brown-Forman, a U.S. firm that announced a deal with Jalisco-based Tequila Orendain to distribute its premium tequila brands worldwide. Although some attribute the growth in tequila drinking to excellent marketing, the trend has legs: Tequila sales grew 31% between 1994 and 1998, to reach $1.56 billion.
Music is also getting big. Sales of Latin music in the U.S. grew 16% in 1998 to $571 million. Though its sales volume is a small 4.1% of the huge $13.7 billion music market, it does reflect the growing passion for things Latin, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Even though in most of the U.S. Latin American music is associated with Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, Chicana performer Selena or Cuban-American artist Gloria Estefan, many Mexican bands and performers are slowly finding their way into the mainstream.
“Music is another way Americans absorb and get the feeling of a culture,” says Hamill. He tells a story about one of his recent visits to New York, where he was surprised to find standing-room only at Luis Miguel concerts at Radio City Music Hall. The biggest irony is the Mexican crooner’s show featured songs from the 1950s. Says Hamill: “Agustin Lara was given to us new!”
Miami-Mex. Another new face in the U.S. music scene is Alejandro Fernandez, son of famed Mexican charro Vicente Fernandez. The groups Mana and Cafe Tacuba are making headway in pop and rock music, while others, not yet as popular, are just beginning to make themselves known.
“I would say Thalia is close, but not quite there yet,” says Erick Sorensen, a Miami businessman who imports and sells Mexican furniture and crafts nationwide. “I’d say Mexican music is larger than the actual Mexican population in Miami,” says Sorensen. Mexicans make up a small part of the immigrant population in Florida’s Cuban stronghold.
For skeptics such as Marcelo Salup, vice-president of advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding, “Mexican things just don’t exist here [in Miami.] The only thing Mexican is Taco Bell, and if you ask a waiter for a Dos Equis, he’ll look at you as if you’re speaking another language.”
Could be, but even Miami, which bills itself as the capital of Latin America, is turning Mexican. Univision’s Channel 23, the local affiliate of the largest Spanish-language TV network in the United States, leads the ratings in the area, beating out the English-language stations. The majority of its programming originates in Mexico, and the network itself is partly controlled by Mexico-based Televisa.
Last year, for the second time in the center of the city, Miamians celebrated September 15, the real Mexican Independence Day. There were tacos, folk dances and tequila. Sorensen adds, “Cinco de Mayo is becoming huge out here, even though there is a very small Mexican population.”
Espanol Spoken Here
* The Hispanic market in the United States comprises 30 million people, or 11.5% of the total population.
* 17.7 million are of Mexican origin, equivalent to 20% of Mexico’s population.
* There are more than 1.3 million Hispanic businesses–50% of them owned by Mexicans–with annual sales of $138 billion.
* By the year 2010, there will be an estimated 41.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., 25.6 million of Mexican origin.
* The United States will become the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world by the year 2010, after Mexico.
* Hispanics in the United States will have a purchasing power of $965 billion in 2010.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau
COPYRIGHT 1999 Freedom Magazines, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
Born in East L.A.
By Laura Martinez Ruiz-Velasco
IN NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE BALDWIN PARK, PICO Rivera, el Monte and Rosemead in East Los Angeles, small taco stands sell Michoacanstyle carnitas every Sunday and other Mexican dishes throughout the week. Last Cinco de Mayo, though, Mexican supermarket chain Grupo Gigante went for the whole enchilada, opening its first store outside of Mexico.
The investment is small-a mere US$3 million-but if all goes well in East L.A., the company has big plans for Los Angeles. The city is home to more than 14 million people, including 4.8 million Hispanics, most of whom are Mexican. “Demographically, it is a heavy Hispanic market and the name recognition factor is very important for us,” says Justo Frias, director of the Baja California division of Grupo Gigante. Store shelves will carry mostly U.S. products, but as much as 15% of the space will be set aside for products imported directly from Mexico. They also teamed up with La of the nation’s largest Spanish-language Pinion, one newspapers, allowing them to lease space in the store to sell everything from classified ads to pre-paid phone cards.
Bringing goods from the “old country” won’t give Gigante much of an edge in Southern California. Conchas y Piedras, a local chain with eight stores and $250 million in annual sales, has been doing it for years. Another store, Hollywood-based supermarket chain Jones, devotes an entire aisle to everything from cilantro to mole poblano, soap, cooking oil-all “the best of Mexican products:’ And, of course, there’s Superior, a Korean-owned supermarket chain that stocks such delicacies as the sweet pastry known as Orejas de Elefante (Elephant Ears).
COPYRIGHT 1999 Freedom Magazines, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
From Marketing y Medios magazine
Poor Little Rich Boy
July 01, 2006
In the real-life drama that the Univision sale has become, Televisa Chairman and CEO Emilio Azcárraga Jean has come out looking like the jilted novio, left at the altar despite his good looks and intentions, falling prey to Mr. Perenchio’s Evil Empire. Continue reading here
Open Letter to Jerry Perenchio
Dec. 01, 2005
What took you so long? As I was getting ready to send this issue to the printer, I learned that the network that you have kept so tightlipped for over a decade, has finally opened up to the press by giving a reporter from Fortune unprecedented access to America’s largest Spanish-language network. Continue reading here.
Interview with Augusto Delkader
A journalist and lawyer at heart, the Cádiz, Spain-born native was one of the founding editors of El País, the country’s prestigious newspaper belonging to media conglomerate Grupo Prisa. During a recent visit to the United States, the now-CEO of Unión Radio spoke with Marketing y Medios Editor Laura Martínez about his latest passion: radio and how to maximize its power.Q: Grupo Prisa this year announced the formation of Unión Radio. What exactly is this?A: Formed in June, Unión Radio is a collaboration between Grupo Prisa and another Spanish media group, Grupo Godó. Unión Radio has 1,095 stations in 350 markets across 17 countries, making it the world’s largest Spanish-language radio company with a daily audience of 28 million people. Continue reading here.Interview with ING’s Ricardo ValenciaRicardo L. Valencia
July 01, 2006
The senior vp and head of diversity markets of ING is determined to change the way Hispanics think about life insurance and retirement. As ING debuts this summer as presenting sponsor of the Juntos en Concierto 20-city tour, Valencia — comfortably switching between English and Spanish — speaks withMarketing y Medios Editor Laura Martínez about ING’s plans for the U.S. Hispanic market. Q: ING in May announced that it had partnered with Live Nation to become the first-ever presenting sponsor of Juntos en Concierto 2006, a 20-city tour featuring Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini and Marco Antonio Solis “El Buki.” How on earth did you convince the management at ING to sponsor such an event?A: I went to Juntos in 2005, in Atlanta, and simply me enamoré. While looking at the crowd, I thought: These are my customers! This is my culture. Then I thought, next year, I will own this event. Continue reading here.