|La Verdad No Tiene Precio|
|Headquarters||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
Published since 1974, El Vocero was at first the third of the four largest Puerto Rico newspapers, trailing El Mundo and El Nuevo Día and leading El Reportero and The San Juan Star in sales. With the temporary demise in the late 1980s of El Mundo, El Vocero became even more popular, becoming the island's second largest newspaper. It is owned since 1985 by Caribbean International News Corp. The owners of Caribbean International News Corp, and therefore owners of El Vocero, are Elliot Stein, I. Martin Pompadur and The Henry Crown Co.
For most of its history, El Vocero was known as a sensationalist tabloid that dramatized all the violent news. However, in the early 2000s, the newspaper changed its direction, becoming a mainstream newspaper, adding a much broader coverage of entertainment as well as business related news, and carrying more political news, as in the situation in Vieques.
In addition to its regular news section, El Vocero also has business, entertainment, sports, and travel sections, among others.
On April 8, 2007, Gaspar Roca, the paper's founding publisher and editor in chief died due to a respiratory arrest. He was replaced by his son Miguel Roca. As of January 2011 Miguel Roca is no longer working at the newspaper, and was replaced by a San Juan-based construction lawyer named Peter Miller. Due to financial difficulties, in December 2013 El Vocero went bankrupt (Chapter 7). The new owner and publisher is Publi-Inversiones,formed by a group of local entrepreneurs. The new General Director and Publisher is Edward Zayas, a renowned journalist/business editor and Press Sec. of former Gov. Luis Fortuño.
First free newspaper
In July 31, 2012, El Vocero changed its format, becoming the first free daily circulation newspaper in Puerto Rico. Later on other daily newspapers which were free were introduced, including the Swedish owned Metro newspaper as well as the GFR Media owned Indice. Vocero was well received by its readers, growing its circulation.
As soon as Vocero went free, a newspaper war ensued. First, the San Juan Daily Star, which is distributed by Vocero’s competitors, GFR Media, accused Vocero of being financed by the government. At the same time, another GFR Media paper, Primera Hora, launched a media campaign squarely directed at Vocero, titled “El Que No Tiene La Voz del Pueblo No Vale Na’”. A couple of months later, however, GFR Media launched its own free paper, Indice. In October 2012, GFR’s flagship newspaper, El Nuevo Dia, published an investigation in which it claimed that El Vocero was financed by the government. At the same time, El Vocero published its own series of articles demonstrating how the Ferre family had used the government to obtain financing for its own enterprises.
Controversial financing by the government
The newspaper has been characterized as propaganda for the New Progressive Party since El Vocero allegedly received funds from the 2009 to 2013 NPP-controlled central government. According to an investigation by El Vocero's main competitor, the newspaper El Nuevo Día, the company has received more than $24.9 million, even when it had a debt of $21,141,200 in taxes. El Vocero's editor-in-chief has responded by stating that neither the newspaper nor its parent company have received government funds through any means, and dismisses El Nuevo Día's allegations as part of a series of attacks driven by the newspaper's new-found success as a free publication.
- Primera Hora. "Fallece fundador de El Vocero". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2007.|
- "$20 Million Public Funds for Vocero to be New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico Propaganda Arm". San Juan Star. August 6, 2012.
- Acosta Lespier, Ivonne. "Se confirma lo de "El Vocero"". Sin Mordazas.
- Díaz Román, Miguel (October 17, 2012). "Dinero público financia El Vocero". El Nuevo Día. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Miller, Peter (October 17, 2012). "A la sombra del mantengo: los Ferré Rangel". El Vocero. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- vocero.com - official site (Spanish)