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El Planeta’s evolution shaping Hispanic media in Massachusetts

Impact Stories

In the winter of 2002, my friend Jerry Villacres and I assessed the potential in Boston for a new Spanish-language news content provider. At that time, according to the 2000 Census, Massachusetts was home to 428,729 Hispanics. This number didn’t include the student population from universities or the undocumented population. Alongside Jerry and other friends, I began developing a research project that would evolve into a business plan. In 2001, free-circulation newspapers started to emerge as a viable business. A London-based company (Metro International) began selling franchises of its free newspaper brand Metro in the United States, and Boston was one of its most successful markets. That caught my attention.

I remember a dinner in 2002 hosted by Marty Baron, then-editor of The Boston Globe…