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Fact Sheet

August 7, 2017

Hispanic and African American News Media Fact Sheet

    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. However, many black-oriented newspapers – some more than a century old – have seen a slow decline in circulation in recent years, mirroring the overall decline in newspaper circulation. Both print and television Hispanic media, on the other hand, have enjoyed relative strength over the last decade, but that growth has now slowed. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about Hispanic- and black-oriented news outlets below.

    Audience

    As the two largest Spanish-language television networks in the U.S., Univision and Telemundo are key providers of news for Spanish speakers. While viewership for some shows on these networks was roughly flat or even increased in 2016, viewership for each network’s largest news program decreased at least slightly. For Univision, the largest viewership among its five national news programs went to their flagship nightly news broadcast, Noticiero Univision, whose combined average viewership was 1.8 million in 2016, though the program’s viewership has been declining since a peak of 2.1 million in 2013. For Telemundo, the largest viewership among its three national news programs was for the 4 p.m. daily newsmagazine Al Rojo Vivo, which attracted an average viewership of 1 million in 2016. This was down 10% from 2015.

    Univision and Telemundo network news viewership by program

    Program 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    Univision: Al Punto 778,000 826,000 802,000 684,000 789,000
    Univision: Aquí y Ahora 1,798,000 1,931,000 1,655,000 1,611,000 1,610,000
    Univision: Noticiero Univision 1,852,000 2,053,000 1,899,000 1,857,000 1,792,000
    Univision: Noticiero Univision: Edición Nocturna 1,583,000 1,541,000 1,396,000 1,273,000 1,182,000
    Univision: Primer Impacto 1,518,000 1,617,000 1,436,000 1,487,000 1,482,000
    Telemundo: Al Rojo Vivo 1,009,000 1,121,000 1,120,000 1,005,000
    Telemundo: Enfoque 155,000 181,000 168,000 202,000
    Telemundo: Noticiero Telemundo 771,000 854,000 949,000 962,000

    Pew Research Center

    Both Univision and Telemundo have local affiliate stations that also carry their own original news programming. Average viewership for Univision affiliates’ news programming declined across all timeslots in 2016, with late night news viewership down 9%, early evening news down 4% and morning news down 3%. By comparison, combined average viewership for Telemundo affiliates’ early evening and late night news remained about stable, while Telemundo’s morning news viewership – with the smallest reach of all its news timeslots – grew 15%. Overall, though, Univision’s local news broadcasts still attract more viewers than Telemundo’s local news.

    Univision and Telemundo local affiliates viewership, by time slot

    2013 2014 2015 2016
    Univision: morning news 212,000 215,000 187,000 181,000
    Univision: early evening news 1,654,000 1,616,000 1,540,000 1,478,000
    Univision: late night news 1,871,000 1,777,000 1,584,000 1,434,000
    Telemundo: morning news 25,000 60,000 82,000 94,000
    Telemundo: early evening news 585,000 731,000 729,000 721,000
    Telemundo: late night news 597,000 679,000 920,000 910,000

    Pew Research Center

    In 2016, circulation declined by at least 11% for each of the three daily Hispanic newspapers for which there is 2016 data. For the top 20 Hispanic weekly and semiweekly newspapers, average per-paper circulation declined 5%, to about 92,000.

    • Hispanic newspapers with daily circulation
    • Hispanic newspapers with 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 150 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, some black-oriented newspapers – most of which are weekly or semiweekly – with recent circulation data available through the main audit bureaus that can serve as indicators. Among these, the data show that African American newspapers with a substantial amount of paid circulation either lost circulation or held steady from 2015 to 2016. For a number of mostly free-distribution newspapers, circulation results were more mixed. (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 US.)

    • African American newspapers with paid circulation
    • African American newspapers with free circulation

    Economics

    Univision’s total revenue grew by 6% to $3 billion in 2016. (Telemundo’s revenue is not available for analysis, as its parent company, Comcast, does not provide network-specific revenue.)

    Univision revenue

    Year Total revenue
    2014 $2,911,400,000
    2015 $2,858,400,000
    2016 $3,042,000,000

    Pew Research Center

    While audience data is not available for Spanish-language news radio, revenue for Spanish news radio stations has remained steady. Average station revenue for Spanish-language news stations that are listed in the BIA/Kelsey database declined 1% to $1.3 million.

    Average revenue for Spanish news radio stations

     Year Station revenue
    2009 $1,355,556
    2010 $1,491,667
    2011 $1,445,833
    2012 $1,420,833
    2013 $1,398,611
    2014 $1,306,944
    2015 $1,266,667
    2016 $1,251,389

    Pew Research Center

    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.

    Newsroom investment

    The portion of local TV newsroom staff who are black has remained at about 10% since 1995, according to a survey of non-Hispanic TV stations from RTDNA. The percentage of African American television news directors is smaller, at 5.5%; in 1995, just 2% of local TV news directors were African American. Hispanics, who made up 4% of the TV news workforce in 1995, now make up 9% of both the TV news workforce and TV news directors.

    • TV news workforce
    • TV news directors

    Find out more

    This fact sheet was compiled by Elisa Shearer, who is a research analyst focusing on journalism research at Pew Research Center.

    Read the methodology.

    Find more in-depth explorations of Hispanic and African American news media by following the link below.

    Blacks more likely to follow up on digital news than whites March 2, 2017
    Social media preferences vary by race and ethnicity Feb. 3, 2015
    As news business takes a hit, the number of black journalists declines Aug. 1, 2014
    As the New York Times’ first black executive editor, Dean Baquet is in a distinct minority May 28, 2014
    A Growing Share of Latinos Get Their News in English July 23, 2013