MORE FACT SHEETS: STATE OF THE NEWS MEDIA
News media made by and for the two largest racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States – blacks and Hispanics – have been a consistent part of the American news landscape. News media aimed at both of these groups have seen recent declines in audience. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about Hispanic- and black-oriented news outlets below.
As the two largest Spanish-language television networks in the U.S., Univision and Telemundo are key providers of news for Spanish speakers. Viewership for each network’s national newscasts – measured as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a time period – during key time slots decreased in 2017. The average audience during the early evening national news time slot (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) declined by 6% for both networks, to an average audience of about 1.1 million for Univision and about 700,000 for Telemundo. The late night news time slot audience (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) declined for both networks as well – by 7% for Univision and 5% for Telemundo. And Univision’s average audience declined 17% for the morning news time slot – the shows between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Audience for Hispanic TV networks
In 2018, Pew Research Center began using data from comScore TV Essentials® and comScore StationView Essentials® for this audience analysis, and as such, the current fact sheet includes figures for only the past two years. Previous versions of this fact sheet included data stretching back to 2013 and used data from Nielsen Media Research. Those data are available in the 2017 archived fact sheet. Because of various differences between the two sets of data points, figures from prior years are not directly comparable with the data shown here.
Both Univision and Telemundo have local affiliate stations that also carry their own original news programming. In 2017, average viewership for Univision affiliates’ late night news (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) showed a large drop of 35%, while early evening news (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) viewership for Univision affiliates declined by 8%. Morning news for Univision affiliates, which has far lower viewership overall, increased by 10%. Average viewership for Telemundo affiliates during these time slots stayed somewhat steadier, with early evening news dropping 6%, late night news down 2%, and morning news declining 11% in average audience.
Audience for Hispanic TV networks’ local affiliates
In 2017, circulation declined by at least 18% for each of the three daily Hispanic newspapers for which there are 2017 data. For the top 20 Hispanic weekly and semiweekly newspapers, however, average per-paper circulation remained steady, at about 92,000.
Circulation for Hispanic newspapers
- Daily circulation
- Weekly/semiweekly circulation
Black-oriented newspapers are a long-standing minority news sector in the U.S. The black press trade association (National Newspaper Publishers Association) currently lists around 170 members on its website, but few of these papers have regularly audited circulation figures, making it difficult to acquire audience figures for the sector as a whole. There are, however, 10 black-oriented newspapers – most of which are weekly or semiweekly – with recent audited circulation data that can serve as indicators. Among the five of these with paid circulation, circulation fell for two, remained flat for one, and rose substantially for the final two – though those increases do not make up for the loss in circulation for those outlets over the past decade. The remaining newspapers with audited circulation data, which are primarily free distribution, experienced more year-over-year circulation stability, with all changing by 5% or less from 2016 to 2017. (For newspapers with paid circulation in this analysis, at least 25% of each paper’s circulation is paid; for the free newspapers, less than 1% of each paper’s circulation is paid.)
(Pew Research Center is not aware of any directory of black-oriented news radio or television stations, though the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters represents African-American-owned radio and TV stations in the U.S.)
Circulation for African American newspapers
- Paid circulation
- Free circulation
Univision’s total revenue remained steady at about $3 billion in 2017. (Telemundo’s revenue is not available for analysis, as its parent company, Comcast, does not provide network-specific revenue.)
While audience data are not available for Spanish-language news radio, revenue data show relative stability. Average station revenue for Spanish-language news stations that are listed in the BIA Advisory Services database declined 4%, to $1.2 million.
There is no revenue data available for black-oriented newspapers, which are mostly privately held, and no database that the Center is aware of that separates out black-oriented TV or radio news stations from all English-speaking news outlets.
The portion of local TV newsroom staff who are black has remained at about 10% since 1995, according to a survey of TV stations from RTDNA. In comparison, the percentage of television news directors who are black is smaller, at 5%; in 1995, just 2% of local TV news directors were black. Hispanics, who made up 4% of both the TV news workforce and TV news directors in 1995, now make up 11% of the TV news workforce and 7% of TV news directors.
Hispanic and African American staff in TV newsrooms
- TV news workforce
- TV news directors
Find out more
This fact sheet was compiled by Research Associate Elisa Shearer.
Read the methodology.
Find more in-depth explorations of Hispanic and African American news media by following the link below: