Tuesday, January 31, 2012

La Opinion/El Diario to be sold!

Analysis: What an ImpreMedia purchase by La Nacion would mean
By Editorial Staff of Portada

While it is not clear at all whether La Nacion will finally end up buying ImpreMedia, one thing the potential transaction shows is how intertwined the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Advertising and Media spaces can be. What is there to gain for each of these companies with this potential acquisition? Let’s see…

First of all …What is La Nacion?
La Nacion is Argentina’s second largest daily newspaper after Clarin and the country’s leading conservative newspaper. Together with the Clarin Group it also owns the dailies La Voz del Interior (Cordoba) and Los Andes (Mendoza). La Nacion has a part ownership in newswire agency Diarios y Noticias (Dyn). It also publishes several magazines (Gestion, 50% ownership), Rolling Stone Argentinean edition, Ahora Mama, El Jardin en la Argentina and Ohlala. It also has a substantial ownership in Papel Prensa, a major newsprint producer. La Nacion also publishes several websites including Lanacion.com.ar and soccer site canchallena.com.

Argentina is far away from the U.S.. What does La Nacion see in an Impremedia investment?
The Argentinean advertising market has grown a lot over the last 10 years and La Nacion has profited from it. However, the political waters are very turbulent. La Nacion and its rival Clarin are immersed in a deep battle with the government of Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The Kirchner government considers that Grupo Clarín (whose interests include television, radio, newspapers, cable services, and ISP companies) act as media monopolies. On their part, the Clarín media conglomerate and also La Nacion consider that the acts of the Kirchner government run contrary to freedom of speech. The controversies led to a number of bills sent by the government to the Argentine National Congress which both Clarin and La Nacion interpret as a deliberate act against their media businesses. By acquiring a media property in the U.S. Hispanic market La Nacion is putting some of its eggs in another basket and investing in a more stable growth market.

Are there synergies between Impremedia and La Nacion?
Yes, particularly in content production, management and distribution. La Nacion is a content powerhouse and could make some of its content available to ImpreMedia properties. Argentinean labor is very skilled and the costs, while rising, are still significantly lower than in the U.S. Of course, a significant part of ImpreMedia journalists still would have to be in the U.S. , because ImpreMedia media properties need to continue to have a strong link with their communities of Hispanics in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Houston and Orlando (Florida). As a bigger media company, a combined La Nacion-Impremedia could also obtain larger buying discounts in the costly field of technological innnovation.

What about their combined digital offerings?
As we often say the beauty of interactive media in the Spanish-speaking world is that no matter where digital content is produced it can be targeted to anyone in a 450 million market of Spanish-speakers (Latam, U.S. and Spain).
The Impremedia Network had 392,000 unique Hispanic users, according to May 2011 ComScore, figures making it the tenth most visited property in the U.S. Hispanic market. Together with the Hispanic audience of GDA Digital (the combined website audience of a group of major Latin American newspapers to which La Nacion belongs), total U.S. Hispanic unique users/month climb to almost 2 million uniques. This a substantial audience to monetize in the growing U.S. Hispanic online advertising market.

Would things change fast at ImpreMedia as a result of a potential La Nacion purchase?
That is unlikely. While there are synergies in content production, the markets particularly for print do not overlap at all and there seems to be little space for cost savings. Sources told the New York Post that under terms of the pending takeover by La Nacion, current ImpreMedia management, including Executive Editor Erika Gonzalez, CEO Monica Lozanoand longtime publisher Rossana Rosado are expected to remain in place.
Editorial Staff

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