AOL’s Miguel Ferrer: “Patch Latino is readying for a Fall Launch”

Ever since AOL bought Huffington Post last February we have been following its implications for the AOL-Huffpo Latino offerings. A bit later AOL announced the launch of Patch Latino, the Spanish-language version of Patch.com, a network of hyperlocal news and information sites in Southern California. In the interview below,Miguel Ferrer, General Manager of AOL Latino (photo) tells Portada that Patch Latino is going to be introduced this fall and is already hiring journalists in selected markets. Last week  AOL Huffpo launched HuffPost LatinoVoices, a new online community for bicultural Hispanic Americans. Below is Ferrer’s update on the AOL-Huffpo Latino content strategy.

Portada: We see that you are making Huffington Post “more Latino” with more content for Latinos in English. At the same time AOL Latino is Spanish – language property. Are you planning to integrate the content of both properties (e.g. translations). Is a Spanish-language version of Huffington Post in the making? “

Miguel Ferrer, General Manager, AOL Latino“We are focused on delivering the greatest value – in terms of editorial content and online experiences – to Hispanic audiences. To this end, we launched HuffPost LatinoVoices on August 11; an English-language site dedicated to the events, personalities and stories which resonate with American Latinos. Aligned with AOL Latino, this launch allows us the ability to engage Hispanic audiences across acculturation and language segmentation. Overseen by one editorial team, we aim to present the most relevant stories to the most interested Latino audience, in the right mix of languages. Some stories will be carried in both languages, some in only one or the other.”   

We understand Patch Latino sites will be in Spanish. Can you explain if  and how you are going to integrate it with AOL Latino? 
Miguel Ferrer:
 Patch Latino is preparing for a Fall launch. It will start with a few Spanish-language site that aim to provide local news and community features, helping Spanish-dominant Hispanics better engage with the larger civic and social community in which they reside. The relationship with AOL Latino will be close; with AOL Latino focusing on national, international and major US city news, and Patch Latino focusing on what is taking place in its local geography. The opportunity lies in each one being able to bring the other’s perspective to its audience. For example, as AOL Latino reports on the national challenges facing Hispanics in completing high school and college, Patch Latino can provide the personalized, local reflection of that story, adding a lot of depth to what it means in real terms when we as a community face this challenge. And the inverse is true too. As Patch Latino covers local activities, it can associate them with larger stories that show the interconnectedness of the Hispanic community across the country. No one is alone.”

Are there already launched patch Latino sites? If so which ones, If not where exactly in Southern California are  you going to launch Patch Latino sites? 
Miguel Ferrer:
 ”We are not yet commenting on the exact locations of the Patch Latino sites, but yes, they will be in Southern California.”

How and where are you hiring editorial teams for Patch Latino?
Miguel Ferrer:
 “Both the AOL Latino and Patch teams are working together to identify great local reporters in the communities we will be launching in. The hiring is well underway.”

What role does online video play (Language, ad driven or not, content) in your offering?
Miguel Ferrer:
 Online video is very important as a means to add depth and help further illustrate stories we are covering. Some stories are best told via video, sometimes the video is the story, and many times the story is more resonant because it includes a video. We always try to include the most appropriate video possible, but without diverting from the point of the published story. “
Huffington Post (e.g. Latino Voices)
AOL Latino
Patch Latino 

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