By Kirk Whisler, Latino Print Network

Since 1982 we have annually analyzed the trends in Hispanic newspapers, magazines, and other types of publications in Spanish and English aimed at the Latino community within the USA and Puerto Rico. In those early decades we saw increases across the board every year.  Between 1995 and 2007 ad revenues for these publications increased by significant double digit rates every year. Those were exciting days.

Since 2007 we’ve seen declines in a variety categories. For instance, the number of Hispanic daily newspapers has dropped from a high of 42 to the present total of 26. Almost all media entities have suffered in one way or another over the past three years. Here’s five key trends on why this is a landmark year – and hopefully spells much better things to come in the near future:

Hispanic Weeklies. When you look at both Hispanic weekly newspapers and weekly magazines, you find this segment is doing very well, considering the overall troubled times we have been in. Revenues are up and new publications are starting in markets across the USA, and some existing publications are starting new editions. In many ways these are the future of Hispanic Print.

Staffing. After a several years of dramatic drops in employment at these publications, we saw only a small decline in employment in 2010. Overall employment within all types of Hispanic Print still is a very impressive 10,674, with 3,192 of those working on the editorial side.  When you total Latinos working in both mainstream media as well as in other forms of Spanish language media, you’d need to multiply that total by at least three to equal the number employed by Hispanic Print. This is both a reflection of the vitality of Hispanic Print, as well as the commitment to serving their readers that these publications have.

Audits. One of the best indicators of the growth and stability of Hispanic publications are trends in audited publications. 2010 marks the peak year thus far for audited Hispanic publications with a total of 220. The combined circulation for these publications is 15.4 million, up roughly five million in circulation from 2005.

Online Advertising. 2010 marked the year that advertising revenues for the websites for Hispanic newspapers and magazines surpassed $10 million. The total for 2010 is projected at $14.5 million.  I anticipate this will be a major growth area for most categories of Hispanic Print in the next few years. Many already have the quality content – they just need to use the right platforms and designs and then they’ll start to see revenues rise even more.

Hispanic Owned Publications. This is a healthy segment with overall ad revenues up an impressive 6% over 2009. Weekly Hispanic owned newspapers and magazines both showed improvements. This segment has 16 more audited publications than there were in 2005.

Research indicates that downward cycle has changed for many categories of Hispanic Print and 2011 promises to be even a better year.

Latino Print Network works with over 625 Hispanic newspapers and magazines with a combined circulation of 19 million in 177 markets across the USA. For more information on trends or advertising in Hispanic newspapers, magazines, and online, please contact Kirk Whisler at kirk@whisler.com or phone 760-434-1223.