NEW YORK Fox News plans to launch this fall a website aimed at a Latino audience as it seeks to build its coverage and links with one of the fastest-growing U.S. communities.
Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said on Wednesday the new site FOX News Latino (www.FoxNewsLatino.com) will provide original news and features focused exclusively on the Latino community.
The U.S. Latino population is one of the fastest growing, accounting for around 15.4 percent of the population in 2008, up from 12.5 percent in 2000, according to Pew Research. As that population grows, marketers are spending more of their advertising dollars with Hispanic media outlets.
"About a third of the country is going to be of Latino heritage by 2050 and we thought it was time to launch a site with more of a focus," said Michael Clemente, Fox News' senior vice president of news editorial.
But Clemente said it was unlikely Fox News will launch a news television channel focused on the Latino community.
"It's not on the drawing board. There's just too much to be had among the 700 cable channel universe right now."
The new website will feature videos and other content in both Spanish and English with reports from the United States as well as South and Central America, and the West Indies, among other regions.
Some content from the site will appear on FoxNews.com's "Strategy Room," the political, entertainment and lifestyle talk show streamed live on the Web every weekday.
Fox News is the most-watched cable news channel in the United States and in the last year has expanded its lead over rivals like CNN, which is owned by Time Warner Inc and MSNBC, a unit of NBC Universal which owned by General Electric Co.
Clemente said he sees little risk that a Latino audience would avoid a website backed by Fox News because of the cable TV network's conservative pundits, whose views on issues like immigration can be at odds with the Latino community.
"I don't think there'll be conflict," he said. "We will do what we always do on the news side which is to be very fair and balanced on all sides of the issue in our reporting."
News Corp shares closed 36 cents to $13.39 on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Richard Chang)