Nashville’s Hispanic population — and, in turn, the purchasing power of that demographic — is growing rapidly. And entrepreneurs are seeking to fill that group’s communication needs while positioning themselves to benefit from ad revenues.
Members of the business team that developed and later sold a telephone directory for Spanish-speakers, Directorio Comercial, are now taking aim at Middle Tennessee’s media market.
A new magazine eSpanglish will be launched this month by recently formed company eSpanglish Magazine LLC.
The partners include Gloria Bishop and Lynne Caples, who will serve the magazine as editor and co-editor, respectively, as well as Elisa Hinger and Huey Newberry. Investments from two silent partners contributed to initial funding. All articles will be printed in English and in Spanish.
will start out as a free publication, Bishop said, with the printing of 15,000 issues to be distributed at outlets including Kroger grocery stores and public libraries. It will initially be printed every other month, though Bishop said intentions are to scale up to a monthly.
“This would be a bridge to bring the American companies to the Hispanic communities,” Bishop said. “The purchasing power of the Hispanic community is tremendous.”
The publication is the latest to be formed for the purpose of serving Middle Tennesseee’s Hispanic community.
In addition to local stalwart La Noticia — that is edited and published by Hispanic Area Chamber of Commerce head Yuri Cunza and distributes 7,000 to 10,000 issues bi-weekly — at least six newspapers currently exist in Middle Tennessee. At least one more paper and one magazine are in development, according to Bishop, though the eSpanglish team says their publication is the area’s only bilingual magazine.
Not all the publications are long-lived, though Bishop said she believes the experience of the founders suggest it will be a success.
The Directorio was started up about six years ago, Bishop said, and subsequently sold to Cobalt Publishing LLC of Louisville for an undisclosed amount. Parent company Cobalt Ventures was also, at the time, involved in a real estate development project surrounding the proposed Sounds baseball stadium in downtown Nashville.
The Directorio was created to serve as a telephone directory for Spanish speakers and new area residents. At the time of its sale, 75,000 issues were created in each annual print run.
By 2010, according to Kerry Price, president of the Nashville American Marketing Association, the national purchasing power of Spanish-speaking Americans is estimated to reach $800 billion.
No such figures have been calculated for the Nashville area, she said, but those numbers are likely growing locally in step with the rest of the country. Davidson County’s Hispanic group of people of Hispanic or Latino origin has grown from less than 1 percent of the population in 1990, to 6.6 percent — nearly 40,000 people — in 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.