"American firms trying to tap into the fast-growing Hispanic market, particularly those in the news business, are receiving a very clear message: Good luck,"Alan Gomez wrote from Miami Friday for USA Today.
"The lights are going out at CNN Latino, a year-old experiment by the news network to reach America's 53 million Hispanics with Spanish-language programming. That comes three months after the shutdown of NBCLatino.com, an English-language attempt that targeted the same demographic.
"The closures do not indicate any slowdown in the growth of the Hispanic population — it remains the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. and is expected to increase from 17% of the population to 26% by 2050, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
"The trouble is, the Hispanic population is so varied and its interests so diverse that it's difficult to cater to it. That's especially true when it comes to crafting news coverage, with outlets not even sure which language to use. . . ."
Gomez also wrote, "Officials at Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision that debuted last year, learned that complicated lesson before they went on air. Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said the team spoke with thousands of young Hispanics and learned that they weren't interested in programming that would appeal only to them.
"'Young Hispanics do not want us to have a separate dialogue with them just because they are Hispanic. They want a broader conversation that acknowledges they are in the room and that speaks to their values,' Lee said. 'Something we have talked a lot about is winking at Hispanics, focusing on the cultural nuances that a Hispanic consumer will certainly recognize, but a non-Hispanic might not see at all.'
"The ability to weave among different kinds of media makes the Hispanic demographic hard to pin down. But it isn't stopping American businesses from trying. . . ."