Delkáder has been named President of Union Radio, the radio division of PRISA, and President of SER – Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión (Spanish Broadcasting Company), replacing Ignacio Polanco. Delkáder was until now CEO of both companies, a position in which he will be replaced by Javier Pons, who joined the company in March this year as Deputy Managing Director. These appointments are part of a major restructuring of the boards of the Prisa companies, facing the new stage of growth of the holding company and its new governance model.
Ignacio Santillana, CEO of PRISA, and Iñaki Gabilondo have also been appointed Directors of SER and Unión Radio. Joining the latter on behalf of PRISA is also Ricardo Alarcon, GM for the company in South America. Javier and Carlos Godo continue as members of the Council representing the Godo group and Maite Ballester on behalf of the 3i fund. Finally, the new board is completed with two new members who have extensive and bright professional backgrounds in the multi-media industry: Alejandro Zubillaga and James Lillie.
The President of the Executive Committee of the Board of Prisa and CEO, Juan Luis Cebrian, said that with these additions the company now has greater chances of expanding and that a period of profound transformation has begun. Cebrian also announced that similar measures will take place in the various subsidiaries of the company in future dates.
The reorganization of the radio division has to do with a new investor coming into Prisa. Prisa is closing a deal with Liberty Acquisition Holdings, which is infusing $900 million into the company. Union Radio (US) spokesperson Luigi Bellizzi tells RBR-TVBR this big group of investors are going to redirect the way the company is doing things: “They are moving people and bringing in people that are much better suited to this new line of business.”
Said Delkáder: “The changes represent a further professionalization of our corporate structure. We will be more operational and efficient to the challenges of the new digital environment, and will boost our growth and expansion in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world.”
Added Pons, the new CEO: “Unión Radio has the resources and talent to develop the most ambitious project on the global radio and to become the leading multi-format content creation company in the markets in which we operate.”
RBR-TVBR observation: As we said earlier in the year, this is the latest sign that Grupo Prisa is coming to the U.S. in a big way with station ownership. The $900 million will likely be a big driver of that. Prisa, based in Spain, owns the cable system there, numerous television networks, radio stations, newspapers, publishing companies, etc. One of their first investments in the Americas was buying an interest in Mexico’s Televisa Radio. Televisa Television provides most of the important programming to Univision. Then Prisa bought another 800 radio stations in South America. Here in the states, the pieces are falling into place quite nicely for expansion: They currently own W Radio 690 in SoCal and WSUA-AM Miami. Prisa also set up US radio networks at their Burbank Broadcast Center to broadcast and distribute Hispanic content, via GLR (Grupo Latino Radio).