Campagna, Spanish-Language Newspaper Pioneer, Leaves 'Reflejos'

By: Mark Fitzgerald Jerry Campagna has resigned as president of Reflejos, the mostly Spanish-language weekly that was among the first in the nation to target the growing number of Hispanics in the suburbs.

Campagna and his wife Phyllis in 1996 bought Reflejos, then a thinly circulated fully bilingual paper based in Elgin, Ill. They increased its free distribution in northwestern and west suburban Chicago, growing the paper virtually under the radar as the weeklies La Raza and the Chicago Tribune's old Exito fought it out in the city and a few close-in suburbs.

In 2000, Reflejos was bought by Paddock Publications, owner of the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill. Campagna stayed on as president of the paper.

Reflejos was later redesigned by famed newspaper designer Mario Garcia, and its editorial mix changed from 50/50 English and Spanish to mostly Spanish with short English-language digests of many articles. Recently, Campagna tweaked the mix to lengthen the English-language summaries.

Under Paddock, Reflejos' distribution was ramped up to slightly over 100,000 copies.

"He helped grow Reflejos into the largest suburban Latino newspaper in the United States," said Paddock CEO Douglas K. Ray said in a memo to employees.
Campagna, he added, "leaves Reflejos well positioned as the dominant Hispanic publication in the Chicago suburbs."

Campagna said he is setting himself up as a marketing consultant.

"I've learned a lot in my seven years here from my friends, peers and leaders, working in the tall grass with the big dogs," Campagna said. "I see my next step to venture out on my own into the consultancy field to work with organizations to reach markets with innovative approaches."

In 2005, Reflejos was named as one of Editor & Publisher's "Ten That Do It Right."


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