In this digital age, in many parts of the world newspapers are passe, constantly shrinking in size, able to capture only a fraction of the advertising they once did.
So it was with some surprise when I visited Monterrey late last week to see that a good old-fashioned newspaper war has broken out. The industrial city has long been served by El Norte, a pioneering newspaper that is the heart of Grupo Reforma, the newspaper chain that also publishes Reforma in Mexico City.
Who would go against its flagship El Norte then? Well, another business conglomerate, that of Ricardo Salinas Pliego, head of TV Azteca, the No. 2 television conglomerate. Salinas's brother, Guillermo, decided to found El Horizonte, and its first edition came off the presses in April. Now the reporters from the papers are going mano a mano.
It's a bit surprising that El Horizonte has chosen a format that seems remarkably similar to El Norte.
I wasn't in Monterrey long enough to get a better sense of why the Salinas clan would pour money into paper and ink rather than digital media. But it seems there's some bad blood between the Salinas family and that of Alejandro Junco de la Vega, head of Grupo Reforma, which now has to share local advertising revenue. Stay tuned.