State of the News Media 2016
Hispanic News Media: Fact Sheet
Last updated June 2016
The Hispanic news media market in the U.S. speaks to a major portion of the country – as of 2014, there are 55 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 17% of the total population. Because the number of immigrant arrivals from Latin America has slowed, the population is becoming increasingly U.S.-born, and a majority of Hispanics (62%) either mainly speak English or are bilingual.
Likely tied to these changes, the news media geared towards this population is also in a state of flux. After many mainstream English-language news organizations crowded into the Hispanic market over the last decade, often by launching separate Hispanic-oriented outlets, they hit hurdles in 2014, including the closing of both NBCLatino.com and CNN Latino. Also, Fusion – a cable network owned by Univision – shifted its target audience from Hispanics to Millennials. In 2015, Hispanic-focused outlets made little progress in growing their audiences, and some saw some further setbacks. For instance, MundoFox’s news division shuttered when Fox sold its stake in the venture.
While domestic news outlets struggle to successfully target the Hispanic population in the U.S., U.S. Hispanic viewers are receiving content from foreign outlets with focuses in Latin America – this includes Azteca America, the network owned by the Mexican company TV Azteca, and Mexican mass media company Televisa. At the same time, branches of mainstream domestic news organizations such as the New York Times’ new Spanish-language site based in Mexico City and CNN en Español cover news in both the U.S. and Latin America.
Meanwhile, established domestic Hispanic news media and traditional platforms – such as daily newspapers – struggled in 2015, alongside the rest of the mainstream media. Print circulation at daily newspapers declined. Univision, the largest Hispanic organization in television news, suffered viewership losses for some of its key news programs for the second year in a row, and local affiliate viewership dropped in all key time slots. Revenue at Univision also fell slightly in 2015 after advertising windfalls brought by the World Cup the year before.
Newer platforms and smaller organizations focused on the Latino community, on the other hand, fared better by a variety of measures. Smaller weekly and semiweekly print papers had a brighter year than dailies in terms of circulation changes: Almost half of the 25 weeklies and semi-weeklies studied by Pew Research Center increased circulation year-over-year. Meanwhile, the two dailies whose print circulation dropped most dramatically both saw increases in online traffic. Telemundo – the second largest Spanish-language TV news outlet in the U.S. – gained digital audiences, driven by a large increase in their mobile traffic, and saw increases in average viewership for its flagship news program.
There are four U.S. Hispanic newspapers listed in the Editor and Publisher DataBook as “daily” – three of these – El Diario La Prensa, El Nuevo Herald and La Opinion – have data audited by the Alliance for Audited Media.1 For all three of these, circulation fell for the second year in a row – in the midst of a year that showed declines in major English-language daily newspapers as well.
Los Angeles’ La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the U.S., dropped in average circulation by 22% (when its free weekly insert, La Opinion Contigo, is included, total circulation appears much higher, but still shows a drop of 13% in 2015 over 2014). Circulation for El Nuevo Herald, the sister paper of The Miami Herald, fell by 14% over the same period. El Diario La Prensa, based in New York City, saw the lowest drop in circulation of 9%. However, the publication also dealt with significant layoffs: 15 staffers were cut in January of 2016.
The digital space presented better prospects for these dailies in 2015. Two of the three saw average monthly unique visitors for their total digital readership increase from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. These increases were largely driven by mobile traffic, while desktop traffic remained about the same. A likely factor influencing this pattern is that Hispanics are more likely than whites to be smartphone-dependent, meaning they don’t have a broadband connection at home and have few other options for going online; this is true even though smartphone ownership rates are similar for the two groups.
(For this and the analysis of digital traffic for Hispanic network television below, Pew Research Center analysts worked directly with comScore to identify and remove from the sample web entities whose traffic shifts over time were the result of changes in how those entities are measured by comScore, rather than organic changes in audience behaviors.)
Weekly and semiweekly Hispanic newspapers represent a large portion of the Hispanic print media market. While there were only three dailies for which audited circulation was available, researchers identified 25 audited weeklies, with many that have an average circulation of more than 100,000 per week. Weeklies are generally centered in regions with high Hispanic populations: The publication with the highest circulation, El Especialito, is based in New Jersey and distributed around New Jersey and New York City, and the next two largest publications are based in Los Angeles and Houston, respectively. More than half (14) are based in Texas or California.
These weekly and semiweekly publications fared somewhat better in circulation than the three dailies mentioned earlier. For the 25 publications identified by Pew Research Center with audited data, total combined circulation increased slightly by 2%, and almost half (12 of the 25) saw an increase in 2015.
Univision, launched in 1962, currently has the largest audience of any Hispanic-oriented TV news network in the U.S. While 2015 was not as bad as 2014, when all of its news programs saw audience declines, the year showed more losses than gains.
Following a peak of about 2 million viewers in 2013, the average audience for Univision’s flagship news program Noticiero Univision was down 2% to 1.86 million viewers in 2015 compared with 2014. Noticiero Univision: Edición Nocturna, the late-night weekday newscast, meanwhile, fell 9% for the second year in a row. Sunday morning political talk show Al Punto fell by 15% from 2014. Primer Impacto, Univision’s 5 p.m. weekday program, and the Sunday evening news program Aquí y Ahora saw slight changes with +4% and -3% changes respectively.
Telemundo’s flagship Noticiero Telemundo grew its audience by 11%, the same growth rate as the year prior. However, unlike last year’s increases across programs, neither of Telemundo’s other programs showed such dramatic growth: Its early evening news program Al Rojo Vivo remained about the same, while Sunday morning talk show Enfoque fared the worst for the network with a 7% drop in 2015.
After celebrating an 11% growth the year before, Univision’s total revenue fell slightly by 2% in 2015. Advertising revenue overall fell by 10%, including a 10% drop for television advertising and a 14% drop for digital advertising.2 The FIFA World Cup boosted revenue for Univision in 2014, which somewhat explains the slight drop off in 2015 from that peak.
Telemundo’s revenue is not available for analysis, as its parent company, Comcast, does not provide network-specific revenue.
Meanwhile, online, mobile makes up a very large portion of traffic (unique visitors) for both Telemundo.com and Univision.com. During the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2015, both networks drew higher average monthly unique visitors from mobile devices than from desktop computers. Comparing the change from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, mobile traffic fared better than desktop for both networks’ websites. Desktop visits to both websites, however, were longer than mobile visits in average monthly minutes per visit for the fourth quarters of both 2014 and 2015.3
In addition to Univision’s network programming, there are 41 Univision-affiliated local broadcast stations for which Nielsen provides news program viewership data. The audience for Univision’s local affiliate news programs is substantial, with about 1.5 million average viewers for early evening and late night news. In 2015, though, these local programs saw a considerable drop in viewership from 2014 – morning news program average viewership dropped 13%, early evening news dropped 5% and late night news dropped 11%.
Nielsen also provides news program viewership for 33 Telemundo affiliated stations, and viewership increased by about a third in 2015 for both morning news (37%) and late night news (35%), while early evening news remained about the same in 2015 compared with 2014.
There are 31 stations with a primarily Spanish news format in the U.S. that report their annual revenue. These stations are by no means dispersed evenly throughout the U.S. – about a third (11) are in Florida, with 6 in Miami-Dade county alone.
From 2014 to 2015, revenue for these stations declined slightly by 2%. That is a smaller decline than in the past three years, according to BIA/Kelsey data. Still, the overall picture does not bode well. Since 2010, revenue for these Spanish news format stations has declined by 17%. Univision-owned stations make up about a third (10) of the stations from BIA/Kelsey data, and the company’s radio revenue dropped by 9% in 2015, according to its financial reports.
In the broader newsroom workforce, 4% of the total workforce is Hispanic, according to the latest available data from the American Society of News Editors. This figure has held about steady for the last decade, even though the total newsroom workforce has declined in size.
- Resumen Newspaper does not have circulation data in Alliance for Audited Media. Puerto Rican newspapers are not included in this analysis. ↩
- Univision no longer reports total revenue by television or digital. ↩
- comScore Media Matrix Multi-Platform and Desktop only, minutes per visit and unique visitors, October-December 2014 and October-December 2015, U.S. Data provided by comScore includes both desktop and mobile traffic via websites and, where available, associated mobile apps. ↩