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Bilingual Newspaper La Prensa San Diego Changes Hands

Bilingual Newspaper La Prensa San Diego Changes Hands
"La Prensa" Newspaper Changes Hands GUEST: Art Castañares, publisher, La Prensa

This is [Captioners transitioning]. I am mourning Cavanagh. I [Indiscernible] paper founded in a turbulent time for Latino community is now attacking to reestablish it's place in San Diego media. The printer, 1439 years by the man yours family in the South Bay now has a new publisher. Businessman and political consultant art [Indiscernible] says he will expand the staff of [Indiscernible] and he wants the paper to engage Latinos in the political process for joining me is art [Indiscernible]. Use publisher of LaPrenza. Art Scott thank you to the show. , Mari. Take you. How what did it get started? It started in a newsletter in the 70s when there were no Latino news outlets. It was by Dan Munoz -- Windows single, college professor a Chicano studies. He had a lot of friends in the community and they needed to educate the community on what was happening. It was a different time. Remember, there were no major outlets as we have now and there was no Internet. All of the ways we now communicate, it was a newsletter. In December 1976, it loud -- launched what it not LaPrenza it's 39th year. For people familiar with the newspaper, how much is in English? How much of it is in Spanish ex- It's about 60/30 English to Spanish. We have Spanish [Indiscernible] on the front page and draws you into a Spanish front page about to 90 pages into the paper. I do not believe you have much background in journalism. What did you want to get into the newspaper business? My background is politics and business. I have been in politics going on 26 years. I started very young, 817 when I started working for the legislature. I worked 13 years for California Legislature. I worked in over 70 campaigned as a political consultant as well. I have always had to do with the media from the outside and try to educate reporters and editors on these issues that are general issues but, sometimes cost specifically, outreach until a pre- Latino community has been my experience. For years I have been thinking was better to help educate the community to the media been through these campaigns for what I do campaigns, I only have a few weeks in the campaign to try to get people up to speed. Now I can do this. This is a weekly be -- paper. Every Friday I have a form where I can continue to align the issues and bring people along slowly and there by election time they know what is going on. Is that your vision for the paper? That you are going to educate people on certain issues? Is that education going to take certain partisan directions? I think the only way the community will Flex their muscle, I think there are only two is by economic or political clout. I think now is a number. I wrote a piece two weeks ago about how TV has lost some of its color. The point of that was we had more Latinos storing is leading roles and on TV in the 70s, 80s and 90s than we do today. It was a study from Colombia University that last year the wasn't any leading roles for Latinos and broadcast TV. It just doesn't make sense. We are going backwards. At a time when Latinos make a bigger proportion of the buying consumers. How do we fix that? By not sponsoring or not supporting sponsors that are negative to the community and have been rewarding the sponsors that are reflective of the community by buying their product. In politics is the same thing, currency for elected officials are both. If we don't vote, we don't have a say. I think would try to educate the community on issues going on and give them a vehicle to Flex their muscles and have influence. This is definitely a newspaper with a political edge to it. It has too. Nonpartisan. In order to do this I have retired from running campaigns. The election is in November. My last elections were directly involved in any campaign. That was a shock to me after 25 years of doing this. I retired from that, so to speak, so I would not have a conflict with this is a Democratic Republican paper. I paper that will address issues imported to the community and Express to them how to register to vote and how to turn out to vote. Do you have a new editor? We will have an editor in a few weeks. The person is leaving their current role but we will have an editor who has background in running a newspaper who is a well journalists, more of an investigative Journalist. Remember the history of this paper was not bound by journalists. And then you knows you know when a Journalist, so to speak of from traditional Journalist, I don't think that's what it takes. I think there are enough Journalist Intel. I think we need someone to understand the politics and how to communicate to the Latino community and that is what my experience has been. Are you going to have a special call him, Art? A column on page 2 that is Mormon installer called about politics or things going on in the community. Instead of having something called editorial we have a perspective piece. It's about topic of the day. I wrote a month ago about the County Clerk in Kentucky who was refusing to sign these marriage certificates for same-sex couples. What I wrote about was it's not about religion or same-sex marriage. Is about a public official executing their sworn duty to do that and upholding the law. If we do not have the protection of the law and Latinos are just as formidable as same-sex couples. It's not always about strictly Latino issues. It's about how issues of the day we say to our community and how we should focus on not being taken advantage of not being marginalized. I'm speaking with art test and harassed by the new publisher of the printer. With the news you made the point when La Prensa started and the 70s, there was at this whole world of media we have now from the Internet, the Spanish language TV news so far. Why does the San Diego region still need a bilingual newspaper? It's interesting. When using the macro across the U.S., Warren Buffett bought a small [Indiscernible] papers, what are the largest post in the country about $280 million of [Indiscernible] papers. People think newspapers are dead. I think national papers are to run but a local paper which either has a niche community or has some kind of community of interest are very powerful and the only way some of the stories going on are so small in nature that the big papers or the big news outlets do not cover it. That's not to disparage KPBS or Channel seven in BC but it's that there is a lot of news going on and you still need someone who can focus on the small issues, bring them to lie. We had an article we ran about three weeks ago. After we read it, we both the story than the San Diego reader followed up on it. Just because we are small local bilingual paper does not mean we can't break stories and bring attention to things going on. We also are the adjudicated paper who run public notices throughout the county. There are a few papers had adjudication. We run public notices for agencies looking for contracts. You can have minorities or small businesses react to those and submit bids on those. I think it's an important tool in the community. I monitored to carry on the legacy them you knows them restarted. They put out 2100 consecutive issues, not missing a one. It's hard to do. It is the deadline every single week. I am on her to do it and excited and hope to only for a long time. What is your leadership like? Published between 2,240,000 per and copy but will focus will be online. How do you plan to expand? I read about your ideas when you took over the paper a couple of months ago. Out are you going to expand La Prensa? I was an Internet business before people had it in early 92, 93. Our Web presence will be a lot bigger. We are also doing a custom phone app so we can -- and people can download the app. We can push this. This is a weekly paper and there are things that happen on a weekly, day-to-day hour by hour basis. Also now the paper runs and is delivered between [Indiscernible] all the way to Escondido, all the way to Oceanside and him between. It's really a countywide paper, the general circulation paper. It happens to have more focus on the Latino community but I think everybody would benefit from it. Do you plan -- is one of your girls to boost circulation of the actual physical paper? Absolutely. We will Board rocket in certain targeted community and mail some of it. It's an expensive proposition but only way to get it out. We used the newspaper more as a flyer for the online, for the digital version. We don't expect people to go around hunting for it every Friday but when they get used to the content. We think they will look at it every day on their phones just like we look at all of the other this. When you know who the new editor is copies tell us first. We will. It's somebody you know. Put it that way. I have been speaking with art test and there is, publisher of La Prensa. Thank you so much for coming up.

A bilingual newspaper that was founded in a turbulent time for the Latino community is now attempting to re-establish its place in San Diego's media landscape.

La Prensa San Diego, founded in 1976 by the Muñoz family in the South Bay, has been sold to businessman and political consultant Art Castañares.

In a farewell column, editor Daniel H. Muñoz touched on the publication’s history.


"When my father Daniel L. Muñoz started the publication, the goal was to provide a voice for the Chicano/Hispanic community," he wrote.

"A voice was needed to express the pain felt by the community when politics caused adverse effects. At the same time, La Prensa provided an outlet for voices in the fight for self-determination."

Muñoz said it was getting harder to “keep up the enthusiasm to do a good job” and said the growth of social media also played a role in the family's decision to sell.

Castañares said he plans to expand the staff, redesign the website and develop a mobile app. He wants La Prensa to engage Latinos in the political process.

"What I hope to focus the paper on is educating and empowering the Latino community to exercise their voice. And in politics, that translates to votes," Castañares said.


La Prensa has a weekly circulation of 25,000 to 40,000, depending on the time of year, said Castañares.