Covering Latin American biz news from Latin America
by Chris Roush
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
SANTIAGO — Business News Americas news staff begins showing up at 7 a.m. in its Santiago, Chile office, and by the end of the day will have produced 100 to 120 stories about different industries throughout Latin America.
Its readers are anyone who is interested in knowing what´s going on in the business world in these markets, and its customers read its content on its website and in daily e-mail newsletters. Revenue last year reached $12 million, and, says data and news manager Christopher Lenton, ¨We think there is a lot of room to grow.¨
Lenton says that the news service´s most direct competitors are Reuters and Bloomberg, but it does not cover some news stories such as the daily stock market. ¨If something affects a stock price considerably, we´ll cover it, but we don´t do Bloomberg-type ticker news,¨ he said.
The staff is an international one. This morning, there were editors from California and England manning the desk, as well as three editors from Chile who had spent considerable time in the United States. All are bilingual. The Santiago office, which is the headquarters of the news operation, has a staff of about 50, which includes translators and editors as well as reporters. It is located in the district of Santiago called ¨Sanhattan¨ by the locals.
The reporting staff focus on certain industries — oil, gas, electricity, IT, telecom, mining, banking, insurance, water and infrastructure — and are spread throughout the region. There are two reporters in Argentina, four in Brazil, two in Mexico and one in Colombia in addition to the staff in Santiago.
Lenton, who was educated in the United States but whose father was an Argentinian who worked for the United Nations, says that Business News America hopes to open a full-time office in Mexico City later this year and one in Brazil in 2013.
Stories on the Business News Americas site on Monday morning included one about red tape slowing mining projects in Brazil and five infrastructure projects going on at Latin American airports during the second quarter. The news service also does in-depth Q&A interviews with an industry leader and compiles industry reports that it sells to clients as well. One that Talking Biz News looked at sells for $199 to Business News Americas subscribers and $249 to nonsubscribers.
The company recently celebrated its 15th anniversary in business. It was started by a group of friends who, says Lenton, provided ¨a small service for people interested in investing in Chile mining.¨
The service is looking to hire journalists with bilingual skills.