‘Hoy’ N.Y. Sale Ends Weeks of Speculation

The sale of daily Hoy in New York could not come soon enough as rumors, speculation and e-mails about massive firings swirled in Hispanic media circles since the start of 2007. The announcement arrived Feb. 12.

“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks,” conceded Javier J. Aldape, who had been acting publisher for the Hoy chain since Jan. 31. He oversaw the free New York edition and the same-named tabloids in Chicago and Los Angeles, both of which will remain with Tribune.

ImpreMedia, the New York-based Spanish-language publisher of seven publications across the country, including the oldest Hispanic paper in the Unites States, New York’s El Diario La Prensa, will complete the acquisition of Hoy by the end of first quarter.

Both New York papers will have a combined audited circulation of nearly 107,000, said John Paton, chairman and CEO of ImpreMedia. The total reach will be 478,393. “Essentially what we are able to do is harness the power of both models,” Paton said, adding that there’ s no issue with keeping the Hoy name. “We’re been very clear with our advertisers about that. From a reader’s perspective, they don’t care.”

It’s not an issue with Tribune either, said Aldape, who will relocate to Southern California from Chicago, where Tribune is headquartered. He will serve in a dual role as Hoy Los Angeles’ general manager and editor, and also has been named vp for audience development for the Los Angeles Times. He will be charged with helping to attract more Latino readers to the metropolitan paper and offer alternative opportunities for advertisers who want to reach the largest ethnic group in the state.

“We’re not going to succeed with maintaining the status quo,” Aldape said. “Decisions that we’re making about Hoy are efforts to offer another solution for advertisers, reach more deeply within this diverse marketplace and use operational resources [from sister papers].”

Where Tribune could not see a “path for profitability” for the New York product, the company is optimistic that by tapping resources from its Los Angeles and Chicago papers it will have more opportunities for growth. Julian G. Posada, previously vp of new business development for the chain, has been named general manager of Hoy Chicago.

Don’t expect to see Hoy inserted within the pages of its English-language sister publications. “Historically we’ve found that doesn’t work. Miami learned that they needed to separate [The Miami Herald from El Nuevo Herald] to make the publications sufficiently distinct to attract an even broader audience,” he said.

“A straight insertion, I can’t see much benefit to it.”

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