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California and the West

Times opens bid for more Latino readers

February 14, 2007|Josh Friedman | Times Staff Writer

Tribune Co. has a new strategy for boosting readership among Southern California's booming Latino population.

The Chicago-based media company this week named Javier J. Aldape as general manager and editor of Hoy-Los Angeles, the Spanish-language sister paper of The Times.

Aldape, 35, also was named vice president for audience development of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, a post in which he will try to help The Times figure out how to attract more Latino readers.

The company said Aldape would work closely with Times Publisher David Hiller and Editor Jim O'Shea.

Aldape, who had been editor of the L.A., Chicago and New York editions of Hoy since 2004, declined Tuesday to discuss specific ideas for helping The Times reach more Latino readers.

As for Hoy, whose total Monday-through-Friday readership tops 600,000, Aldape said his priorities were to "improve local coverage, increase the number and quality of special sections and expand the integration of the Web and print editions."

His move was part of a broader shake-up by Tribune, which had been running the three Hoy editions from Chicago. The company Monday said it was selling the New York edition of Hoy to ImpreMedia, which publishes La Opinion in L.A. and other Spanish-language papers, for an undisclosed sum.

Tribune managers in L.A. and Chicago will now focus on better integrating the Hoy editions in those cities with The Times and the Chicago Tribune, respectively.

Aldape said that task would have proved tougher in New York, where Tribune's Long Island-based Newsday has little circulation in the areas with the heaviest Latino readership, such as the Bronx and New Jersey.

At The Times, Hiller has identified reaching Latinos as one of the paper's prime goals, along with overhauling its website and expanding local coverage.

He said Aldape and O'Shea would look to share more content between the two papers, such as community news, foreign coverage from Latin America and sports reports.

"If you're going to be the leading media voice in L.A., you have got to be effective in reaching the Latino community," Hiller said.

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