New York to Latin Media: Take a Bite

New York City is in the process of developing a game plan to attract more Latin media companies — including Hispanic cable networks — to the Big Apple, through a four-pronged effort being crafted by the city’s Latin Media and Entertainment Commission.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed the commission last fall to come up with a strategy to position the Big Apple as the global capital of Latin media. The group’s honorary co-chairs are Jennifer Lopez and Robert De Niro.

“We have star power and we’ve got the brain power and we’ve got Michael Bloomberg leading a very exciting initiative,” said Carol Robles-Roman, the deputy mayor for legal affairs, who is working closely with the new Latino commission.

According to Robles-Roman, the commission is: developing a plan to recruit and retain Hispanic media businesses and productions; developing an infrastructure to serve Latin media; luring high-profile Latin events and productions to New York; and developing a brand message to make people aware of this effort.

Miami and Los Angeles are already home to many Latin media businesses. While Robles-Roman declined to make any comparisons to Miami, she claims that New York City’s attributes make it the ideal location for Hispanic companies. New York is already the global capital for the arts, culture, media, advertising and finance, according to Robles-Roman.

And New York City ranks No. 2 in terms of Hispanic buying power, at $47.3 billion, according to the 2000 U.S. Census and Strategy Research Group.

“You put all those pieces together, and New York City really presents the ideal economic condition for fueling the growth of the Latin media industry here,” Robles-Roman said. “If you’re a Latin media company, you want to be where the big boys are, and they’re all here. You want money, you want to have financing, the venture capitalists are here, Wall Street is here, the advertising companies are here.”

Currently, MTV Español, VH1 Uno and the Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network are headquartered in New York City, while several Hispanic TV networks have ad sales offices in the Big Apple.