Publisher says focus on community key to success
By Rhashad Pittman
STOCKTON — When Andrew Ysiano founded Latino Times, he had one simple goal: to create a bilingual newspaper that reflects the positive contributions of Latinos. For more than a decade now, the monthly publication has done just that – and much more.
Today, Latino Times serves as a leading voice in the local Latino community and is now perhaps the most recognized bilingual publication in the Central Valley. Establishing community roots has been the main ingredient to its success, said Ysiano, Latino Times Publisher and Founder.
“You’ve got to stay connected to the community,” he said. “I think that’s the key for any print publication.”
This month marks the 11th year of operation for Latino Times, a significant accomplishment for any business, particularly a newspaper in a time when most print and television media outlets industry-wide struggle to generate revenue.
After starting as a quarterly newspaper with 4,000 readers, Latino Times now has tens of thousands of readers of both its print and electronic versions. It also attracts 14,000 hits monthly to its website www.latinotimes.org.
Based in Stockton, the paper’s circulation has expanded into the Modesto and Sacramento regions. Today 35 percent of the publication’s readership is in Stanislaus County. Future plans are to expand further into Sacramento County and to increase overall readership by 20 percent, Ysiano said.
“It’s a major accomplishment,” said Mark Martinez, CEO of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We’re pleased to see the success of Latino Times and how it has grown, especially in a challenging industry. It demonstrates just how valuable Latino Times is.”
Ysiano established Latino Times in March 2001 after seeing a need for a newspaper geared toward Latinos that could be read in English and Spanish. At the time, the Latino newspapers in town were only in Spanish, excluding a significant portion of the Latino population that could only read English.
Each issue features both national and local stories on a range of topics, including immigration, healthcare, local Latino businesses, education and politics. The coverage also places an emphasis on the work of local nonprofits in the area.
In addition to providing the news, Latino Times serves as a leader for local philanthropic efforts. Each year the newspaper partners with El Concilio for an annual toy drive on behalf of needy families.
Before starting Latino Times, Ysiano served as President of the Stockton/San Joaquin County Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce and California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Regional 1 Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. His experience provided valuable insight into what readers are looking for in a newspaper, he said.
Local leaders and residents attest that Latino Times provides keen insight into core community issues.
“It’s proven to be an invaluable service not only to the Latino community but to the entire community,” said El Concilio President and C.E.O. Jose Rodriguez. “It’s a newspaper that is full of a number of resources and information that the community can always turn to.”
Celia Bustamonte, a 23 year old student said, “As a young Latina, I look forward to every issue of Latino Times because it keeps my dreams alive when I read about successful Latinos in our community.”
Mary Ann Gomez, a former Latino Times writer now based in Washington, D.C, said she has seen the newspaper maintain a strong commitment to the community with its growth throughout the years. As Executive Director of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, Gomez said she has a better appreciation for publications that reflect issues impacting the Latino community.
“I know how important it is to continue to capture and share the many points of view of our Latino communities,” Gomez said. “Latino Times has always displayed a strong commitment to represent Latinos in California’s Central Valley.”
Mr. Ysiano proudly stated the following, “I would most of all like to thank one of my key individuals with Latino Times, Vice President Judy Quintana, for her loyalty in helping me grow the publication. Also Jim Oliver, Marco Moreno, Bill Repinski, Michelle Allen, Richard Ysiano, Monica Andeola, Rhashad Pittman and the sales staff, because without all of you, this would not be possible. As we will continue to deliver positive news in our community, I would like to say a special thank you to our readers and advertisers for their continued support. Muchas Gracias.”