Saturday, June 15, 2024

Latino Media is the Big Winner in this Year’s Presidential Race

The amount of attention that has gathered around the Latino vote is translating into financial gains for Spanish-language media. Both Barack Obama and John McCain are expected to make huge media buys beginning in the month of August and throughout the election in November. The majority of these media buys will be concentrated in swing states with significant Latino populations.

Representatives from both camps have stated that they plan on investing in Spanish-language media. McCain is running a TV ad with a military theme in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, and Florida as well as Spanish-language radio spots in all four states, said Hessy Fernandez, the candidate’s director of specialty media. For his part Vince Casillas, coordinator for Spanish media for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) explained that, “a significant amount of resources will go to Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and Nevada.”

“We are significant players in the battleground states,” said Philip Wilkinson, chief operating officer of Entravision Communications Corp., owner of 51 Spanish-language television stations. Executives of Spanish-language stations have plenty to be excited about, since according to Lloyd Walmsley, an analyst in San Francisco with Thomas Weisel Partners, Entravision’s political ad sales will double to $12 million from the last presidential cycle. Another power player in Latino media Univision expects to take in as much as $20 million in political ads in the second half of 2008, according to Chief Financial Officer Andrew Hobson. That would represent a full-year gain of as much as 78% from 2004. Television station Azteca America, owned by Mexico City-based TV Azteca, almost doubled its political ad sales from 2004 during the primaries, and projects similar gains in the general election, said Brian McCullough, director of spot TV sales in New York. Telemundo, which as owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, also enjoyed record primary spending, according to Enrique Perez, Senior Vice President of Sales.

These financial gains for Latino media companies may be a reflection of the increased clout Latinos have in presidential politics. Perhaps, the most significant gain of all is the fact that campaigns are actively pursuing Latinos both in English and Spanish. It remains to be seen whether that interest will be long-lasting or if it is just a phenomenon of the 2008 election.

La Times