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Media General Shutters Latino Newspaper 

click to enlarge street34_centro_300.jpg

Spanish-language tabloid Centro Richmond says basta.

After four years, the free weekly Media General newspaper with a circulation of 7,500 is ceasing publication. The newspaper's website, centrovirginia.com, also will stop producing content.

There was “clearly not an opportunity for growth,” says Frazier Millner, vice president for audience and content development for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which helped publish the tabloid.

The move comes on the heels of Media General closing another of its free weeklies, Brick, last month.

Rafael G. Irizarry-Gonzalez, Centro's executive director, and Mauricio Patarroyo, the newspaper's editor and graphic designer, will move to other positions with the Times-Dispatch, Millner says.

Centro Richmond's Spanish-language articles were supplied by freelance and user-submitted contributors as well as Centro Tampa, according to Millner. Some articles were written by Oscar Contreras, an announcer at WBTK-AM 1380, a Spanish-language radio station in Richmond. “I wrote for them for about a year,” he says.

But advertising sagged. “In these times of bad economics, people are cutting down spending money,” says Michel Zajur, president and chief executive of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Richmond's Hispanic community will continue to be served by Nuevas Raices, a Spanish-language newspaper that is printed in Harrisonburg and serves the state, Zajur says. The chamber has had talks about possibly restarting the Centro publication in the future, he says.

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