By Maxwell Tani
Fox News is shuttering Fox News Latino, its six-year-old independent site dedicated to covering news for the Latino community in English.
In a series of Tweets last Thursday, Fox News national correspondent Bryan Llenas lauded the site for attempting to reach different audience through the Fox News brand.
“When we launched in October of 2010, we were faced with a daunting task: Report on Latino stories in the US and Latin America in English in an honest attempt to give voice to the voiceless and bring often ignored stories from the Latino community to the mainstream,” Llenas said. “We not only were tasked with reaching a new audience — in a way — we also had to work extra hard to break preconceived notions about what the Fox News brand meant in diverse Latino communities around the country in an attempt to report the truth.”
Llenas continued: “In short, when asked: was Fox News Latino.com a failure? The answer is unequivocally NO. For six years, we amplified Latino opinions, voices, and issues on one of the major media platforms in the country.”
Fox announced in a post earlier this month that it would be folding back Fox News Latino reporting into its main site. Attempts on Thursday to reach the site redirected to a Latino category tag housed on the primary Fox News page.
In his post on Tuesday, Llenas added that “virtually all” Fox News Latino employees would remain at the network.
Operating virtually independent from Fox, the original mission statement stated that the site would create “culturally relevant content built around the interests of Hispanic online users.”
Some observers noted that the site at times hemmed closer to the news side, and appeared to contrast greatly with the network’s opinion programming.
Left-leaning site Think Progress noted that the angles “differ remarkably” from other stories on the Fox News site.
It’s unclear whether Fox News Latino’s demise is part of a larger shift at the network following the departure of former CEO Roger Ailes earlier this year. Fox News Latino founder Francisco Cortes was part of Ailes’ first graduating class of network apprentices, and told Politico that the site was the former CEO’s idea.
Your Editor Reflects: It may just be a coincidence. But we expect Bryan Llenas to give us the facts behind the decision.