Raimondo Has Yet to Buy Latino Radio, But Has Spent Hundreds of Thousands with Sinclair

Thursday, September 06, 2018


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Raimondo's RI Latino media strategy in 2018 has been non-existent -- until now.

Governor Gina Raimondo has spent upwards of $4 million dollars in campaign funds in her bid for re-election, but one significant constituency has yet to receive a single dollar in media spending — the Latino radio market in Rhode Island. 

“We have had no advertising as yet but my understanding is that the Raimondo campaign is in the process of placing an advertising order,” said Tony Mendez, who heads 102.1 FM & Poder 1110 Radio.

“It is disappointing that the advertising is going to come so late in the campaign.  In her first run for governor the Latino strategy was more forthcoming,” said Mendez.  

“Elections are one of the biggest feasts of democracy where each candidate running for office makes an effort to get citizens excited about the importance of the election and ultimately gets them to vote.  The Hispanic community should not be an afterthought," said Mendez.

RI Latino PAC chair Joseph Molina Flynn, who is also a columnist for GoLocal, says Raimondo and all candidates should do a better job in communicating with the Latino community.

“It's important that all campaigns invest in Latino media as a way of reaching out to the fastest growing demographic in our state. All campaigns, state local, and federal can do a better job engaging with our Latinx community,” said Flynn.

David Ortiz, head of communications for the Raimondo campaign confirmed that no dollars have been spent with the local Latino stations, “Not as of yet.”

Coincidental to GoLocal’s inquiries this week, the Raimondo campaign began conversations with the local media groups. “We will be doing paid Spanish radio in the days leading up to the Primary, this coming Wednesday, September 12,” added Ortiz.

Her Democratic challengers Matt Brown and Spencer Dickinson have not bought any Latino radio either, but they have raised fractions of Raimondo's nealy $8 million.

Raimondo Has Spent Hundreds of Thousands With Sinclair Broadcasting

In contrast, Raimondo has spent hundreds of thousands of with Sinclair Broadcasting group which has come under fire for mixing pro-Trump and conservative editorial content in local news broadcasts across the country.

In April, GoLocal reported:

Media experts across the country are voicing horror about WJAR’s parent company — Sinclair Broadcasting — having its news anchors and reporters across the country voiceover a corporate message that sounds much like language often used by President Donald Trump.

In Providence, this carefully crafted message was read in the Rhode Island market by WJAR’s Frank Coletta and Alison Bologna. 


Sinclair, who owns 200 local stations across the country has close tied to the to Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

As reported in December of 2016, “Politico is reporting that Sinclair Broadcasting made a deal with the Trump campaign for better access. This is not the first time that WJAR's parent company has been tied to pushing a conservative agenda.

According to Pew Research, the Latino voter is a critical and growing constituency.

Rhode Island’s population is 14% Hispanic, the 12th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.

- There are 68,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island—the 35th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.9 million
- Some 9% of Rhode Island eligible voters are Hispanic, the 12th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 46% of Hispanics in Rhode Island are eligible to vote, ranking Rhode Island 26th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 82% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.

The numbers come from a 2016 report by Pew.


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