Belo gears up for Spanish-language daily paper launch

DALLAS: A new Spanish-language newspaper planned for the Dallas/Fort Worth area will count itself among a mere handful published daily in the US.

DALLAS: A new Spanish-language newspaper planned for the Dallas/Fort Worth area will count itself among a mere handful published daily in the US.

Belo assigned one of its top executives to develop the paper, which will launch in the fourth quarter. Gilbert Bailon, VP and executive editor at The Dallas Morning News, will set aside his regular duties to run the new venture for 18-24 months. Belo will settle on a name for the new paper in the next few weeks.

The paper will employ about 60 people, said Bailon. It will feature mostly original content written by bilingual journalists, supplemented with stories from Spanish wire services and translated versions of DMN articles. Belo's bureaus in Mexico City, Cuba, and South America will support the publication.

"Here in Dallas, we have the best chance of making something like this go within Belo because of our market and the infrastructure within The Dallas Morning News," Bailon said.

The announcement came just days before the US Census Bureau released data suggesting Hispanics have surpassed African Americans as the country's largest minority.

The paper will be Belo's first attempt at a Spanish-language daily. It publishes a free weekly, La Prensa, in Riverside, CA, where it also owns The Press-Enterprise. Belo discontinued a weekly advertorial publication in Dallas in 2001 in anticipation of the new launch.

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