Op-ed: Paying Homage to ‘El Diario,’ the Oldest Spanish-Language Daily in the U.S.


Written by Angelo Falcon

When earlier this year the Argentinian newspaper, La Nación, bought ImpreMedia, the publisher of El Diario-La Prensa, La Opinión and other US-based Spanish-language newspapers, they made assurances, like most buyers initially do, that not much would change. However, recent changes they have announced for their new properties seem to point to the real possibility that El Diario-La Prensa’ s days may be numbered. The city’s Latino community may have to speak up now if they want to see this historic paper (and now news site) to continue to operate.

With its famous motto, El Campeón de los Hispanos (“the Champion of the Hispanics”), El Diario will be marking its 100 anniversary next year, making it the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in New York City (and the oldest in the United States). However, all of that history may soon itself be history as a result of the increasingly pervasive process of media consolidation, this time under the control of a foreign corporation.

US Hispanic Media Inc., a subsidiary of Argentina’s S.A. La Nación, bought a 90% stake in ImpreMedia in March, the latest development in the changing ownership of El Diario since it was created in 1913. The current incarnation of the newspaper was the result of a 1963 merger between La Prensa (established in 1913 by Rafael Viera. a Spaniard) and El Diario de Nueva York (established in 1947 Porfirio Dominicci, a Dominican doctor), when they were purchased by the now legendary O. Roy Chalk, who, among other things, founded and owned Trans Caribbean Airlines. In 1981, Chalk sold it for $10 million to Gannet.

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