Impremedia, owner of some of the largest Spanish-language daily newspapers across the United States, has sold itself to an equity-backed start-up that aims to cash in on the growing demand for multicultural audiences.
Impremedia, which runs publications founded in the early 20th century like El Diario in New York and La Opinion in Los Angeles, is being acquired by My Code, a Santa Monica, Calif. advertising network for marketers looking for hispanic, black, asian. U.S. and Pacific Islander consumers, executives of the two companies said.
Impremedia and My Code declined to provide a price for the transaction. A person familiar with the sale said My Code paid over $10 million.
The deal marks another chapter in the turbulent history of Spanish-language newspapers in the United States, many of which have closed in recent decades as print revenues have shrunk and digital entrants capitalized on advertiser demand for Hispanic audiences.
In the past, many major US cities had daily newspapers aimed at Spanish-speaking readers, said Ken Doctor, longtime media analyst and managing director of Lookout Local, a media startup in Santa Cruz, Calif. Some English-language newspaper publishers, including the former owners of the Chicago Tribune, launched Spanish editions to reach new audiences and increase advertising revenue.
But the consolidation and cost-cutting that has swept through the ranks of metropolitan English-language dailies has also depleted Spanish-language publications, Mr Doctor said.
“Just as the mainstream daily Metros struggled with what it meant to be a digital publication, I think that’s largely true of the Hispanic press,” Doctor said.
Parker Morse, Founder and Managing Director of My Code, said in an interview that he aims to extend the life of Impremedia’s print business while increasing its digital revenue, which has been a positive. for the company. He said the deal would help the company reach Hispanic Americans who “live between two worlds,” browsing sites like El Diario alongside ESPN, TMZ and CNN.
“I think about two-thirds of Hispanic consumers are bilingual, consuming content in both English and Spanish,” Morse said. “And so, while it might not be a hundred percent of that population, it’s a big part of that.”
Impremedia was founded in 2003 by John Paton, an entrepreneur who became the managing director of Digital First Media, the newspaper chain controlled by hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Mr Paton, who is now chairman of The Independent, a news publisher in London, bought El Diario and other titles with his partners to build a Hispanic news conglomerate. It was acquired by an affiliate of the Argentinian newspaper La Nación in 2012.
Iván Adaime, the general manager of Impremedia, said in an interview that the company’s titles were a vital resource for readers who did not speak English or whose issues were ignored by the English-language press. Mr. Adaime, an immigrant from Argentina, said he would stay after the deal is done.
“I am very committed to this mission,” Mr. Adaime said. “It’s a mission that was there before I was born, but it’s a mission that resonates very well with me.”