Reaching Latinos: Media vie for winning formula
By Laura Wides-Munoz
MIAMI — Reaching the nation’s 55 million Latinos has become gospel for mainstream media giants, but capturing this fast-growing, mostly U.S.-born audience is proving tricky to networks and websites. For every success story there is a flop.
Take CNN’s latest attempt at a Spanish-language broadcast targeting U.S Latinos. The broadcaster is no newcomer to the Spanish-speaking world, for decades reaching Latin America with CNN en Espanol. But the company said it axed its CNN Latino domestic Spanish-language service after one year because it failed “to fulfill our business expectations.”
NBC’s attempt at a website called NBC Latino folded in January after 16 months, despite producing thousands of original stories. Even the much-heralded Fusion — a joint venture of Univision and ABC — is still experiencing growing pains, shedding several programs in its first year and restructuring its nightly news show from five days a week to one.
One challenge: Many in the audience today are second- and third-generation Latinos, and often they eschew a Latino-only box, even as they crave more stories that include them.
“I don’t want to be force-fed all this Latin stuff,” explained 36-year-old Alain Amejeira, an air conditioning technician in South Florida whose parents came from Cuba. “I’m Alain. I’m not Alain the Cuban guy who needs only Cuban news.”