Hoy, the Spanish-language paper that reports to the marketing side of the Los Angeles Times, is switching from daily to weekly. The Times' Sunday magazine will narrow its circulation to selected zip codes, and there will be a new offshoot called LAetcetera: "it will also have a controlled distribution model, is expected to run 16-24 pages with more great writers and columns, can now cover the social scene on a weekly basis and will provide magazine advertisers looking for greater frequency to reach their best prospects - currently not an option we offer them," says head of marketing John O'Loughlin. His memo also talks about the new Brand X — Times sources say O'Loughlin insisted on the much-derided name — and some tinkering at the Times Community News local papers around SoCal. Memo is after the jump; Laura Stegman also has a report on it, and here are yesterday's posts on the debut of Brand X and questions about its web non-presence.
Sent: Wed Mar 25 14:45:46 2009
Subject: LOTS of Change Here...Read On...
We’re at an unfamiliar crossroads, with our state, our economy and our industry all under siege -- and change being the only constant. However, our mission to be the #1 source of news and information in Southern California has not changed, nor has our need to produce and distribute a portfolio of multimedia news and information products for the diverse needs of Southern California to accomplish this mission.
Going forward, it is clear that an even more keenly targeted approach is key to future success and, beginning next week and continuing throughout April, we will be undertaking a strategic evolution of each of our targeted product offerings – to better anticipate our readers’ and our clients’ needs, and to weather the challenges posed by today’s economy.
First, Metromix will be phased-out of print distribution, and replaced with a more expansive, truly multimedia lifestyle product, called BRAND X (thisisbrandx.com). As part of this transition, the editorial content will move under the direction of the LAT newsroom, lead by Dean Kuipers. Brand X will build upon the strong readership base that embraced Metromix over the past year, and now reflect the market’s need for a broader and more interactive content offering. It will reach beyond just entertainment to curate next-generation ideas on culture, tech, food, events, social networking, volunteering, style, the outdoors and beyond. A key part of the company’s overall audience strategy, Brand X is designed to be conversational and geared toward the growing segment of influential young digital adults who are not regular consumers of the LA Times in print or online. And because Brand X is produced by the Los Angeles Times, this new property will draw from every newsdesk, and offer all the listings users expect from the staffs of Metromix.com and latimes.com.
In regards to our Hispanic media offerings, Hoy will move from daily to weekly distribution, debuting with a crisp, new design and content plan. As part of this change, Vivelohoy.com will join Hoy and reverse-publish content as branded entertainment pages in each week’s edition, as well as introduce new video content to the site in the process. We’ll also be adding local service guides for heath, beauty, entertainment and immigration, to mention just a few. Saturday’s Fin De Semana weekend product will introduce zoning for the first time in its 500,000 copy home-delivery footprint, allowing us to better compete for local retail advertising. With these moves, we are smartly recognizing that these are the days most important to our readers and advertisers and, in publishing twice a week, we can produce Hoy more efficiently and continue offering it to readers free of charge. LATMG/KTLA reaches 52% of the LA Hispanic market every week (2.7 million adults 18+) and Hoy’s multimedia expansion brings a more diverse generational range, allowing our advertisers to now connect with the LA Hispanic population through multiple touch points.
Our TCN (Times Community News) brands in Orange County, namely The Daily Pilot serving Newport Beach and Cost Mesa, the Huntington Beach Independent and the Coastline Pilot in Laguna Beach will each unveil new designs in mid-April, replete with new coverage of surf, new cues to interactive elements, skyboxes, and user-generated-content (UGC). In conjunction with this, we will host an open house preview for civic leaders, readers and advertisers. In regards to our TCN North titles (Glendale News Press, Burbank Leader, LaCanada Valley Sun and Crescenta Valley Sun), we are pleased to welcome Dan Evans as new Director of Editorial. A resident of Burbank, Dan is an accomplished journalist, started his career in TCN, and most recently was the director of online content for the Hollywood Reporter. Immediate focus will be on improving our digital presence and proficiencies, including web to print and UGC in those communities. A big part of these aforementioned changes is Scott Pompe being named VP/GM of TCN. He will assume full responsibility for all TCN daily operations and, with that deeper focus, he will relinquish his sales role in both Hoy and Metromix, as does Hector Cabral who will now focus solely on TCN North advertising. Scott is an accomplished executive and has been instrumental in establishing new TCN competencies and dependencies with the flagship LAT, and continues as VP/GM of Tribune Direct as well.
Finally, LA, Los Angeles Times Magazine is making two bold moves. First, we will take a more focused audience approach for the monthly flagship publication through a new targeted distribution model that will add it to single copy sales of the LA Times, but tighten the overall footprint to focus on select zip codes. This will take affect with the upcoming April 5th edition and should yield improved response for clients and increased efficiency for us. Plans are being finalized for introducing a themed weekly edition to run on alternate weeks, with debut as early as April 19th. Tentatively named LAetcetera, it will also have a controlled distribution model, is expected to run 16-24 pages with more great writers and columns, can now cover the social scene on a weekly basis and will provide magazine advertisers looking for greater frequency to reach their best prospects - currently not an option we offer them.
All of these moves are designed to better embrace our company’s audience strategy by further aligning our product offerings with each segment’s needs, interests, and wants. In doing so, we anticipate greater consumer engagement, greater opportunity for revenue growth, and greater loyalty over the long term. More product specifics, rates and collateral are all nearing completion and will be available to the key stakeholders in the advertising dept in the coming days.
Thanks for your continued support. JTO
John T. O'Loughlin
EVP and CMO/Targeted Media and Marketing
Los Angeles Times Media Group