MORE FACT SHEETS: STATE OF THE NEWS MEDIA

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If you are aware of current directories or other sources of audience or economic data for news outlets oriented toward Asian American, Black American or Hispanic American audiences, please let us know at info@pewresearch.org.

News media made by and for the two largest racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States – Black Americans and Hispanic Americans – have been a consistent part of the American news landscape. While newspapers aimed at both of these groups have recently had audience declines, Univision and Telemundo have fared better with both network and local television audiences. Explore the trends in Hispanic- and Black-oriented news outlets below.

Pew Research Center is not aware of any current directory with publicly available representative data for news media companies oriented toward Asian-American audiences and is therefore unable to produce audience or economic analyses for Asian American-oriented news outlets at this time.

Audience

As the two largest Spanish-language television networks in the United States, Univision and Telemundo are key providers of news for Spanish speakers. Univision’s average audience – measured as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a period of time – increased from 2019 to 2020 for all three national time slots studied: a 10% increase for the evening news time slot (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), to an average audience of about 1.1 million; a 32% increase in late night news (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.); and a 12% increase for the morning news time slot (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.). Telemundo’s audience also increased, by 15%, in the late night news time slot, but decreased by 9% for evening news, to an average audience of around 700,000.

Audience for Univision network

Time slot 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Morning news 609,400 505,644 449,620 520,370 583,382
Evening news 1,205,741 1,138,172 997,117 1,007,752 1,104,233
Late night news 597,456 555,746 476,437 506,859 669,031

Pew Research Center

Audience for Telemundo network

Time slot 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Evening news 698,064 656,599 703,056 787,552 712,827
Late night news 394,857 374,175 387,078 402,705 462,264

Pew Research Center

Both Univision and Telemundo have local affiliate stations that carry their own original news programming. In 2020, average viewership for Univision affiliates increased in three key time slots. Univision affiliates’ late night news (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) showed an increase of 14%, while evening news (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) viewership for Univision affiliates saw an increase of 9%. Morning news for Univision affiliates, which has far lower viewership overall, increased by 13%. Average viewership for Telemundo affiliates during these time slots was more varied, with evening news increasing 10%, late night news seeing a slight decrease of 7%, and morning news (which has a much smaller audience overall) seeing a large increase of 43% in average audience.

Audience for Univision local TV affiliates

Time slot 2018 2019 2020
Morning news 60,102 75,358 85,064
Evening news 777,711 789,526 857,365
Late night news 646,745 652,601 744,890

Pew Research Center

Audience for Telemundo local TV affiliates

Time slot 2018 2019 2020
Morning news 75,268 74,062 106,197
Evening news 446,140 515,324 564,725
Late night news 480,561 491,322 457,388

Pew Research Center

To get a summary measure of circulation at weekly and semiweekly Hispanic newspapers, the Center uses an average of the top 20 of these newspapers that report current and historical data to auditors. Average per-paper circulation for these papers remained relatively steady from 2015-2019 but dropped by 8% in the past year, from 118,000 to 109,000. For the only two daily Hispanic newspapers for which there is 2020 data, circulation also declined, decreasing for El Nuevo Herald in Miami and El Nuevo Heraldo in Brownsville, Texas.

Circulation for Hispanic newspapers

Year Average circulation
2015 118,972
2016 120,185
2017 118,688
2018 119,520
2019 118,039
2020 109,088

 

Pew Research Center

Year El Nuevo Heraldo
(Brownsville, Texas)
El Nuevo Herald
(Miami)
La Opinión
(Los Angeles)
2014 3,368 50,859 64,260
2015 4,351 44,944 49,953
2016 3,839 40,134 37,998
2017 3,156 32,902 25,269
2018 3,929 19,807
2019 3,144 19,229
2020 1,576 17,661

Pew Research Center

Black-oriented newspapers are a long-standing minority news sector in the U.S. There are 195 newspapers listed by The Center for Community Media at the CUNY School of Journalism’s Mapping Black Media Project as being owned by or oriented toward Black Americans. However, few of those newspapers, or of those listed as members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (the Black Press trade association), have regularly audited circulation figures, making it difficult to acquire audience figures for the sector as a whole. There are, however, 15 Black-oriented newspapers with recently reported circulation data. Among the eight papers with data for both 2020 and 2019, five saw their circulation drop by at least 10%, with the largest drop being 40% for the St. Louis American. This is in addition to the number of newspapers whose circulation is no longer available from the main auditing companies, including the Baltimore and Washington Afr0-American, founded in 1892, and the Dallas Weekly, founded in 1954.

The Mapping Black Media Project lists 49 radio stations and station networks from 27 different states that are owned by or oriented toward Black Americans. It also lists three television stations: KSQA in Kansas, WHPR in Michigan and WHUT in Washington, D.C. Pew Research Center does not have access to enough adequate financial data for these radio and television stations at this time to serve as a quality representation of the state of Black-oriented stations in the U.S.

In the absence of abundant audience or financial data, survey data can shine some light on how Black Americans engage with the news. Black Americans are more likely than others to prefer to get their news on television, and are more likely than any other group to follow local news very closely.

Circulation of Black-oriented newspapers

Year Michigan
Chronicle
Philadelphia
Tribune
New York
Amsterdam News
New Pittsburgh
Courier
Miami Times St. Louis American The Houston Defender Richmond Free Press The Atlanta Voice Oakland Post Richmond Post African American News Bay State Banner LA Wave Newspapers The Daily Telegram
2006 26,674 13,175 3,997
2007 25,214 13,380 4,001
2008 25,292 11,958 4,123
2009 24,944 12,543 17,477 4,721
2010 21,761 14,177 9,750 4,226 33,455
2011 21,034 14,955 12,607 3,997 33,378
2012 20,978 13,320 14,042 3,480 64,137 33,006
2013 21,702 13,745 13,588 3,063 67,851 21,399 32,939 25,898
2014 20,201 19,265 10,470 2,591 67,956 23,979 33,021 26,525
2015 20,082 15,138 8,298 2,280 17,999 66,848 26,972 31,673 26,665
2016 22,231 9,114 7,843 2,231 15,660 67,139 31,022 31,328 24,708
2017 22,724 10,789 6,777 2,607 10,934 65,856 31,822 29,888 22,027 17,525 2,930
2018 22,745 12,182 6,786 2,670 9,405 56,802 30,444 29,063 17,440 15,634 2,909 27,400 92,200 11,191
2019 9,677 6,734 8,269 48,731 30,338 29,334 17,700 18,075 3,268 97,838 27,400 73,355
2020 6,153 29,122 26,597 21,630 13,550 88,856 27,400 72,000 8,672

 

Pew Research Center

Year St. Louis
American
Richmond
Free Press
Houston
Defender
The Atlanta
Voice
The Dallas
Weekly
Oakland Post Richmond Post
2010 33,455 4,825
2011 33,378 4,794
2012 64,137 33,006 5,570
2013 67,851 32,939 21,399 25,898 5,345
2014 67,956 33,021 23,979 27,225 5,003
2015 66,848 31,673 26,972 26,665 4,968
2016 67,139 31,328 31,022 24,708 4,900
2017 65,856 29,888 31,822 22,027 4,900 17,525 2,930
2018 56,802 29,063 30,444 17,440 15,634 2,909

Pew Research Center

Economics

Univision’s total revenue saw a 5% decline, to $2.5 billion in 2020. (Telemundo’s revenue is not available for analysis, as its parent company, Comcast, does not provide network-specific revenue.)

Revenue for Univision network

Year Total revenue
2014 $2,911,400,000
2015 $2,858,400,000
2016 $3,042,000,000
2017 $2,973,300,000
2018 $2,713,800,000
2019 $2,687,900,000
2020 $2,541,900,000

Pew Research Center

While audience data is not available for Spanish-language news radio, revenue data is available. Average station revenue for Spanish-language news stations that are listed in the BIA Advisory Services database saw a 22% decline from 2019 to 2020, for an overall decline of 31% since 2013, to just under $1 million.

Revenue for Spanish news radio stations

Year Station revenue
2013 $1,418,333
2014 $1,326,667
2015 $1,370,000
2016 $1,443,333
2017 $1,378,333
2018 $1,271,667
2019 $1,256,667
2020 $985,000

Pew Research Center

There is no revenue data available for Black-oriented newspapers, which are mostly privately held, and no database that the Center is aware of separates out Black-oriented TV or radio news stations from all English-speaking news outlets.

Newsroom investment

The portion of local TV newsroom staff who are African American, after remaining steady at about 10% for many years, has ticked up slightly to 13.3% in 2020, according to a survey of TV stations from RTDNA/Newhouse School at Syracuse University. By comparison, the percentage of television news directors who are African American is smaller, at just 4%. Hispanic Americans, who made up 4% of both the TV news workforce and TV news directors in 1995, in 2020 made up 11% of the TV news workforce and 10% of TV news directors.

Hispanic American and African American staff in TV newsrooms

Year African American Hispanic
1995 10.1% 4.2%
2000 11.0% 7.0%
2005 10.3% 8.7%
2010 11.5% 5.8%
2015 10.8% 8.2%
2016 11.1% 8.9%
2017 10.9% 10.5%
2018 11.7% 10.8%
2019 12.0% 11.6%
2020 13.3% 10.9%

Pew Research Center

Year African American Hispanic
1995 1.6% 3.8%
2000 3.0% 9.0%
2005 3.9% 5.8%
2010 3.3% 6.6%
2015 4.3% 6.0%
2016 5.5% 8.8%
2017 5.3% 7.1%
2018 6.4% 8.4%
2019 5.5% 10.7%
2020 3.9% 10.0%

Pew Research Center

Find out more

This fact sheet was compiled by Research Associate Elisa Shearer, Research Assistant Naomi Forman-Katz, and former Research Assistant Maya Khuzam.

Read the methodology.

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This is the latest report in Pew Research Center’s ongoing investigation of the state of news, information and journalism in the digital age, a research program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Find more in-depth explorations of Hispanic and Black news media by following the link below: