In L.A., It’s ‘Hoy’ vs. ‘La Opinion’

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By: Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer

(AP) Competition for readership in the nation’s largest Hispanic market intensified with the debut of Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper published by media giant Tribune Co. that will vie for market share with longtime Southern California daily La Opinion.

Hoy, which means “today” in Spanish, hit newsstands on Monday in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, becoming the third Tribune newspaper to bear the name. Hoy editions are also published in Chicago and New York.

The paper will cover local and international news, but its emphasis will be on community reporting, Tribune officials said.

Tribune hopes to build on its track record with Hoy and its other Spanish-language newspapers to woo readers in Southern California and cash in on advertising aimed at a burgeoning demographic bloc.

“The Los Angeles area represents the largest Hispanic market in the U.S. and has been calling for a fresh and different voice in daily news,” Louis Sito, Hoy publisher and Tribune Publishing vice president of Hispanic media, said in a statement.

La Opinion, however, seems determined not to give up any of its audience without a fight.

On Monday, La Opinion launched a new advertising campaign meant to reinforce the 77-year-old newspaper’s editorial tradition in Southern California.

“Today, we tell the Tribune Company to ‘bring it on,'” Monica Lozano, La Opinion’s publisher and chief executive, said in a statement. “We have no intention of ceding our preferred status with our readers or advertisers to anyone.”

The ad campaign features a photo of a U.S. Border Patrol agent dotted with descriptions, including “life saver,” “justice,” “traitor” and “abuses.” The ad is meant to illustrate the different sides to an issue, such as U.S. immigration policy, and La Opinion’s willingness to report all sides.

Lozano also announced the daily, which has a circulation of 125,862, would be running an eight-part series on border crossings and a forum on immigration.

Tribune spokeswoman Christine Hennessey dismissed any talk of a newspaper war.

“We believe there’s room in Los Angeles for more than one daily newspaper,” Hennessey said. “Hoy has been very successful in New York and Chicago and we have every reason to believe that we will be met with success here.”

In January, La Opinion and Tribune ended a joint venture. La Opinion joined forces with El Diario/La Prensa, New York’s oldest and largest Spanish-language daily, to form Impremedia LLC.

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