Vicente Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive, governs Mexico. Elected in 2000 after 71 years of rule by the Industrial Revolutionary Party (PRI), Fox, who heads the National Action Party, is Mexico's first president to take power by free and fair elections.
But the mid-term elections in 2002 saw Fox's popularity slump. This may have been due in part to a severe recession in the US which hit Mexico hard. The economy has rallied slightly since then, so it's anyone's guess what the outcome of the 2006 elections will be.
Fox made no secret of the fact that he planned to fight the corruption and shady business practices that typified the former state's relationship with Mexico's media. There was a shake-up in Mexico's newspapers, with "establishment" papers being closed down or sold. Many papers in Mexico City, suddenly without government advertising keeping them afloat, made serious cuts. Drastic changes have led to greater freedom of the press.
The government has also made it more difficult for Mexico's premier media group, Televisa, to continue its stranglehold on the country's broadcast media. Televisa used to have a good relationship with the PRI. But a more competitive market has emerged, challenging its supremacy.
TV Azteca is Televisa's rival terrestrial TV station. It operates two networks and has an audience share of around 40 per cent. Its success is largely due to aping Televisa's traditional content but giving it a more contemporary feel. TV Azteca's telenovelas, for instance, have more daring storylines that extend beyond family sagas. Both Azteca and Televisa export their successful shows around the world.
Radio is popular in Mexico and more than 1,000 local and regional stations attract more adspend than newspapers and magazines combined.
Televisa is a tour de force in magazines with its publishing house, Editorial Televisa. Among its TV guides and football titles, Editorial Televisa produces the highest circulating women's glossies, Vanidades and Cosmopolitan.
A range of satellite and cable services have entered Mexico, but their success is still limited to wealthier sections of society. Vast swathes of the Mexican population still live in difficult conditions, often earning less than $5 a day. Consequently, millions of Mexicans searching for better-paid work still try to cross the border into the US.
USdollars million at current prices. All years based on US$1=
11.14 peso *Estimated
Total Newspapers Magazines TV Radio
1992 1,096 283 127 467 219
1993 1,668 321 172 840 335
1994 2,042 421 267 986 368
1995 1,345 324 175 651 196
1996 1,753 333 247 814 359
1997 2,523 438 350 1,322 413
1998 2,662 458 360 1,459 384
1999 2,955 525 369 1,594 466
2000 3,449 541 392 1,986 530
2001 3,562 557 409 2,102 494
2002 3,552 547 329 2,179 497
2003 3,635 496 300 2,041 799
2004 4,023 494 388 2,303 837
2005* 4,506 495 504 2,623 883
2006* 5,099 498 658 3,009 934
2007* 5,795 499 855 3,458 984
1) Excludes agency commission at 15%
2) Excludes production costs
3) We are currently adjusting reported figures to reflect 75%
discounting from gross
4) Includes classified advertising
Newspaper: ESTO (daily, 385,000)
Business magazine: Primero el Cliente (bi-monthly, 295,000)
Consumer magazine: Agenda Cinemex (monthly, 1,000,000)
Most-watched TV programme (2003): Big Brother - Grand Final
Best new TV format: Quiz shows are making a comeback
MAJOR LOCAL MEASUREMENT TOOLS
Circulation: Media Verifying Institute (IVM), Certified Audit of
Readership: Ipsos Bisma, Arbitron, Gallup, Nielsen
TV viewing: IBOPE AGB
TOP MEDIA OWNERS
Newspapers: Organizacion Editorial Mexicana, Compania Periodistica
Magazines: Editorial Televisa, Editorial Nova
Television: Televisa, TV Azteca
Media topic du jour - The commoditisation of agencies.
Reigning media guru and why - Televisa's revered news anchor, Joaquin Lopez Doriga.
Media mogul to be seen dining with and why - Emilio Azcarraga, the chairman of Televisa. If he already has a dinner date, then Ricardo Salinas, the chairman of TV Azteca.
Car to drive - BMW.
Top-selling beer brand - Sol.
Phone to carry - The latest Nokia.
Whatever you do don't say... "Trust me, I'm a politician."