TelevisaUnivision Sells 18 AM/FM Properties To New Group

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In a surprise announcement, a newly formed Santa Fe, N. Mex.-headquartered media company super-serving U.S. Hispanic consumers has agreed to acquire 18 AM and FM radio stations from TelevisaUnivision.


The company, Latino Media Network (LMN), is paying $60 million for the properties, located in such markets as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, McAllen-Brownsville, Fresno, and Las Vegas.

Stephanie Valencia, the co-founder and President at Equis who the company describes as “a social entrepreneur, public servant, and author,” will serve as LMN President, RBR+TVBR has confirmed.


COMING JUNE 7: Stephanie Valencia speaks with RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson about LMN’s growth plan in the latest InFOCUS Podcast, presented by dot.FM.

 

To be clear, LMN is only purchasing a portion of TelevisaUnivision’s Univision Radio stations across 10 markets.

The stations being sold are:

  • Los Angeles – KTNQ-AM 1020
  • New York – WADO-AM 1280
  • Miami – WAQI-AM 710; WQBA-AM 1140
  • Houston – KLAT-AM 1010
  • Chicago – WRTO-AM 1200
  • Dallas  – KFLC-AM 1270; KFZO-FM 99.1
  • San Antonio – KXTN-AM 1350
  • McAllen – KGBT-AM 1530; KGBT-FM 98.5; KBTQ-FM 96.1
  • Fresno – KOND-FM 107.5; KRDA-FM 92.1; KLLE-FM 107.9
  • Las Vegas – KLSQ-AM 870; KISF-FM 103.5; KRGT-FM 99.3

That said, TelevisaUnivision is concluding radio station ownership in Las Vegas, Fresno, and the Rio Grande Valley.

TelevisaUnivision will retain ownership of the following properties:

  • Los Angeles – KLVE-FM 107.5, KSCA-FM 101.9, KRCD-FM 103.9 and KRCV-FM 98.3
  • New York – WXNY-FM 96.3
  • Miami – WRTO-FM 98.3 & WAMR-FM 107.5
  • Houston – KAMA-FM 104.9, KLTN-FM 102.9, KOVE-FM 106.5 and KQBU-FM 93.3
  • Chicago – WOJO-FM 105.1, WPPN-FM 106.7 and WVIV-FM 93.5
  • Dallas  – KDXX-FM 107.9, KESS-FM 107.1 and KLNO-FM 94.1
  • San Antonio – KVBH-FM 107.5, KMYO-FM 95.1, KROM-FM 92.9 and KBBT-FM 98.5

TelevisaUnivision radio properties in Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Austin are also being retained by the company.

BEHIND THE BUYER

Who is fueling the finances of the newly formed Latino Media Network (LMN)?

LMN says it has secured equity investments from “leading Latino investors,” listed below, and debt financing for the acquisition from Lakestar Finance LLC, an investment entity affiliated with Soros Fund Management LLC.

Valencia, the LMN President, is among a group of Hispanic market luminaries including the company’s co-founder, Jess Morales Rocketto. Rocketto is “a social entrepreneur and civil society leader,” and she works alongside Valencia at Equis.

As LMN sees it, the purchase of the radio stations follows “one of the largest capital raises of a Latina-owned and -operated startup in the U.S.” More than $80 million in capital was raised “from a diverse set of investors.” As such, Latino Media Network aims to be “a media company serving the Latino community, owned by Latinos for Latinos.”

Its mission — “to help Latinos make sense of the world and their place in it by inspiring, informing and celebrating Hispanics through an audio focused multimedia network. The network will embrace cultural pride by telling Latino stories, addressing community concerns and talking about opportunities for a better future.”

Board members, investors and advisors include:
  • Maria Elena Salinas: The journalist and author who co-anchored Univision’s evening news for more than 30 years. Today she is a Principal of MES Multi Media LLC.
  • Eva Longoria: The Director, Actor, Activist, Philanthropist and Businesswoman.
  • Dr. Eduardo Padrón: President Emeritus of Miami-Dade College.
  • Al Cárdenas: Former Chair of the Republican Party of Florida and former Chair of the American Conservative Union.
  • Maria Contreras Sweet: Co-Founder of Pro-America Bank and former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Mónica Lozano: Former ImpreMedia CEO and Publisher/CEO of La Opinión newspaper in Los Angeles.
  • Henry R. Muñoz III: A business leader, designer and philanthropist.
  • Luis Ubiñas: An investor, advisor, and corporate board member.
  • Tom Castro: Founder and CEO of El Dorado Capital who is presently a Cumulus Media board member. He is also a former co-founder and CEO of now-defunct Border Media Partners.
  • Juleyka Lantigua: Founder/CEO of LWC Studios and a key podcasting business figure.
  • Tom Chavez: High-tech entrepreneur, author and co-founder of a startup studio that builds and funds software companies.
  • Christy Haubegger: Founder of Latina magazine and current EVP/Chief Enterprise Inclusion Officer and Head of Marketing & Communications at WarnerMedia.
  • Alicia Bassuk: Founder of Ubica Leadership Strategies, advising senior executives including public, private and nonprofit sectors, and championship sports franchises globally. Bassuk is a partner and investor in several ventures, including Kinzie Capital Partners and Core Innovation Capital.

“As Latinos drive population growth in the United States they continue to navigate the ocean of information on what is happening in the world and their place in it,” Valencia said. “With minority media on the decline, now is the time to be investing in more resources to create content for Latinos by Latinos. Through the unique combination of creative content and new and existing media platforms to serve our community, we can embrace cultural pride and collectively empower Latinos.”

Valencia thanked TelevisaUnivision “for the great work they have done building these stations in Latino communities and entrusting us to grow them moving forward.”

Rocketto added, “We believe in the power and reach of radio and it remains a main source of media for a significant number of our community. We hope to create relevant content for radio and other audio platforms with content that our community can trust and rely on. Latino Media Network is going to ensure that the Latino community continues to be served with the news and information that local communities deserve.”

WHEN THE CHANGE OCCURS

When will LMN take on full ownership of the stations?

Transition of the stations will happen following FCC approval and, importantly, a one-year transition agreement between TelevisaUnivision and Latino Media Network. This is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Meanwhile, LMN is in the process of recruiting “outstanding talent” and plans to make an announcement about its senior management team later this year.

LMN intends to retain current TelevisaUnivision employees who work at the stations included in this acquisition.


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Fletcher Heald, and Herrera Arellano all advised on the deal.


 

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