MORE FACT SHEETS: STATE OF THE NEWS MEDIA
News media made by and for the two largest racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States – black Americans and Hispanic Americans – have been a consistent part of the American news landscape. News media aimed at both of these groups have recently had audience declines. Explore the trends in 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. Univision’s average audience – measured as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a period of time – declined for all three national time slots studied: a 12% decline for the evening news time slot (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), to an average audience of about 1 million; a 14% decline in late night news (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.); and an 11% decline for the morning news time slot (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.). Telemundo’s audience, on the other hand, increased by 7% in the evening news time slot, to an audience of about 700,ooo, and remained roughly steady at just under 400,000 for late night news.
Previous versions of this fact sheet included data stretching back to 2007. This data is available in the 2017 archived fact sheet.
Both Univision and Telemundo have local affiliate stations that carry their own original news programming. In 2018, average viewership for Univision affiliates dropped in three key time slots. Univision affiliates’ late night news (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) showed a drop of 17%, while evening news (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) viewership for Univision affiliates saw a smaller drop of 5%. Morning news for Univision affiliates, which has far lower viewership overall, dropped by 11%. Average viewership for Telemundo affiliates during these time slots was more varied, with evening news dropping 6%, late night news remaining about steady, and morning news seeing a steep decline of 70% in average audience.
Average per-paper circulation for the top 20 Hispanic weekly and semiweekly newspapers in 2018 remained steady at just above 90,000. For the only two daily Hispanic newspapers for which there is 2018 data, circulation was mixed, decreasing for El Nuevo Herald in Miami and increasing for El Nuevo Heraldo in Brownsville, Texas.
Circulation for Hispanic newspapers
- Weekly/semiweekly circulation
- Daily 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, 12 black-oriented newspapers – half of which are weekly or semiweekly – with recently audited circulation data. Among the newspapers with paid circulation, results were mixed, with three papers remaining steady, two seeing increases in circulation, and one seeing a loss. Among the remaining newspapers with audited circulation data, which are primarily free-distribution papers, three experienced decreases of 11% or more while the other three remained steady (to be considered a paid circulation paper, at least 25% of the paper’s circulation must be 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 black-owned radio and TV stations in the U.S.)
Circulation of black-oriented newspapers
- Paid circulation
- Free circulation
Univision’s total revenue remained steady at slightly less than $3 billion in 2018. (Telemundo’s revenue is not available for analysis, as its parent company, Comcast, does not provide network-specific revenue.)
While audience data is not available for Spanish-language news radio, revenue data is available and shows relative stability. Average station revenue for Spanish-language news stations that are listed in the BIA Advisory Services database have shown an overall decline of 12% since 2011, to about $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 African American has remained at about 10% since 1995, and reached 12% in 2018 according to a survey of TV stations from RTDNA. By comparison, the percentage of television news directors who are African American is smaller, at 6%; in 1995, just 2% of local TV news directors were African American. Hispanics, who made up 4% of both the TV news workforce and TV news directors in 1995, in 2018 made up 11% of the TV news workforce and 8% 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 black news media by following the link below: