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A new era dawns for LA VOZ

By Staff

LA VOZ recently changed ownership with a promise of growth and expansion in editorial content, circulation and profitability.

The new owners include Richard Rivera, who has extensive government management experience and is currently employed by the Social Security Administration. Rivera hopes to eventually oversee the operation of LA VOZ. Current General Manager Pauline Rivera who has been at LA VOZ for the past four years serving as columnist, editor, then General Manager for the past 14 months also joins the ranks. Pauline Rivera has been in media since the mid 70’s, working at Denver’s 7 (KMGH-TV) for 15 years until 2004. “La Voz Newspaper has been the forum for the Latino community for years and we hope to escalate that forum to a new level,” said Rivera.

Also joining the new ownership and management team is Joe Ulibarri, owner of Ulibarri Construction, who has been a familiar face in Denver’s construction community. Ulibarri was the first Hispanic (management) contractor at Denver International Airport in its inception. Ulibarri adds, “We hope to make necessary changes for the growth of the newspaper.” His wife, Romelia Ulibarri brings human resources experience to LA VOZ from her years of experience at Zenith and various other companies in Chihuahua, Mexico.

New ownership typically brings new ideas and the promise of a better product. However, thirty-four years ago the foundation was laid and a concept was born.

In December of 1974 José and Wanda Padilla first launched LA VOZ Hispania de Colorado in the basement of their home and later moved to a little shop on Ninth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive.

La Voz represented one of many concerns rising out of the new consciousness spreading throughout the Southwest – the assertion of Chicano rights. Though not conceived as a highly political paper, LA VOZ sought to recognize, record and champion the movers and shakers of the local Latino scene and of course some politics went with the territory.

Later, Wanda Padilla continued to publish the paper after her divorce from José. For the next 34 years, although encountering financial difficulty, Padilla kept the newspaper operating.

The paper has witnessed the rise of Emanuel Martinez from a young artist to Denver’s best-known sculptor. It has documented Linda Alvarado’s rise through the ranks of Hispanic contractors to a co-owner of the Colorado Rockies franchise. It has recorded the ascent of Federico Peña from local lawyer to Denver Mayor to Secretary of Transportation. LA VOZ was there when the Pope brought World Youth Day to Denver and when Mother Theresa visited. LA VOZ continues to be there to report relevant community news you cannot find in mainstream newspapers.

Over the years, the editor’s position has been held by a who’s who of Denver journalists: Miguel Esparza, Angela Cortez, Tomas Romero, Sherri Vasquez, Rachel Carrasco, David Ronquillo, Francisco Miraval and many more.

By 1990 LA VOZ experienced further financial difficulty and the company was bought by Ivan Rosenberg, former owner of Barnum Printing. Under the name, Santa Fe Publishing, the paper was run for the next 12 years with little improvements or investments. Still it somehow survived.

In 2002, Padilla bought the company back from Santa Fe Publishing, creating Hispanic Print Media which would start a major turn-around until debt pushed the company into reorganization in 2005. Since then, LA VOZ has struggled, but survived nonetheless.

Indeed, LA VOZ has been a survivor. Now owned by La Voz Publishing Company, Inc., the ultimate goal is to provide the best editorial content, expand circulation, thereby increasing advertising and profits. The overall effort is to maintain Denver’s largest and oldest bilingual publication as a forum for the Latino community.





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