Schenectady County

Spanish-language newspaper ceases production

The presses have stopped for a second Capital Region startup print news publication within four mont
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The presses have stopped for a second Capital Region startup print news publication within four months, this time taking the Journal Register Co.’s Spanish-language newspaper off newsstands.

Registro, the bi-monthly newspaper that ran out of The Record newsroom in Troy, ceased printing two weeks ago, according to Regstro’s former editor, Rosa Luisi. She recently took over the Journal Register Co.’s larger Spanish-language paper in New Haven, Conn.

“It was a great experience. It was a bit challenging because there’s a bigger [Spanish-speaking] community here” in New Haven, said Luisi, a Puerto Rican native.

The Trenton, N.J.-based Journal Register Co. in March 2007 rolled out the New York version of Registro, which had a circulation of 5,000. The free-distribution paper appeared at newsstands in Troy Schenectady, Albany and Amsterdam. Luisi declined to comment on Registro’s advertising condition.

The Journal Register Co. in 2005 launched the Connecticut version of Registro out of its New Haven Register newsroom. The Connecticut Registro has a circulation of 40,000.

The closure of the Troy paper continues the Journal Register Co.’s publishing woes. Like newspapers across the country, the Journal Register Co. has been struggling with slumping circulation and advertising revenue. The company, which owns 22 daily and 310 non-daily publications, announced Monday it has hired Lazard Freres & Co. to serve as its financial advisor and “evaluate our strategic options.”

The New York Stock Exchange recently warned the publicly-traded Journal Register Co. that it could be delisted from the exchange because its stock was trading below the minimum average of $1 per share closing price. Journal Register Co. stock closed Thursday at 28 cents per share, compared to an adjusted $11.76 two years earlier.

Before working for the Troy startup paper, Luisi served as an assistant editor for the Connecticut Registro. She said was transferred back to that paper after its editor, Julio Urdaneta, resigned. The Journal Register Co. attempted to fill Luisi’s position in Troy but failed to find a replacement, she said.

Journal Register Co. Director of Specialty Publications Jonathan Cooper did not immediately return a call today.

Registro’s demise came about four months after Kingston-based Luminary Publishing pulled the plug on its Capital Region version of Chronogram, which launched last summer. The glossy publication was based in Delmar and had a monthly circulation of 25,000.

Although Chronogram has a strong presence in its native Hudson Valley, Luminary Publishing President Jason Stern said it had trouble attracting advertisers in the Albany area.

The Journal Register Co. had hoped the region’s growing Spanish-speaking population would buoy Registro in Troy. Hispanics and Latinos make up 5.3 percent of the population of Albany, Troy and Schenectady and 16 percent of Amsterdam’s population, according to 2000 U.S. Census Bureau data. But between 1997 and 2002, the Census Bureau said Capital Region’s number of Hispanic-owned businesses fell to 582 from 978.

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