October 17, 2005

To: George Riggs, President and Publisher, Mercury News

Cc: P. Anthony Ridder

Subject: Nuevo Mundo

The Latino Coalition, formed by journalists of the Mercury News to strengthen the presence of Latinos in the newsroom and help maintain the national reputation of the paper as a champion for diversity, would like to express its concerns about the future of Nuevo Mundo.

We have heard that Nuevo Mundo has been put up for sale, that it may be shut down as a result of the Mercury News current buyout program, or replaced by a newspaper produced in Mexico and distributed in the Bay Area by Knight Ridder.

The lack of discussion regarding these possibilities and our inability to obtain specific information about Nuevo Mundo’s financial health have been frustrating.

Nuevo Mundo is a well-read, local product recognized on multiple occasions for its journalism excellence and public service to its readers. A Spanish-language weekly produced abroad cannot possibly match Nuevo Mundo’s proven commitment to the community and journalism quality of the last nine years.

Also, national advertising agencies hold Nuevo Mundo in high regard. In recent months other Spanish-language publications, including the Orange County Register’s Excelsior, The Dallas Morning News El Día, and Tribune’s Hoy in Chicago, have sought Nuevo Mundo’s advice on improving their standing among top national advertisers.

We are aware of the tough challenges the newspaper industry faces today, however we see encouraging signs to develop Nuevo Mundo’s potential. It’s our understanding that Nuevo Mundo’s expected to exceed its national sales goals this October.

No matter how trying these days may be, Nuevo Mundo and its sister paper,
Viet Mercury, are among the finest examples of the commitment to diversity and excellent journalism expressed by the Mercury News and Knight Ridder.

We have been proud to share that commitment. Every effort should be made to keep and grow Nuevo Mundo, but such a priority isn’t possible without a more open discussion. We hope you can make the time to meet with Nuevo Mundo staff and other representatives of the Coalition to discuss these concerns.

Sincerely,

The Latino Coalition of the Mercury News