Launched Women-Led Latino Media Network with $60M Acquisition of Radio Stations TelevisaUnivision

Two Latino social entrepreneurs today officially launched the Latino Media Network (LMN), a new media content creation, talent incubation and distribution company, aimed at reaching the Hispanic market, initially focused on audio.

Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto have raised $80 million — one of the largest fundraising rounds for a Latina-owned and operated startup in the United States — from a diverse set of investors. They also enlisted a series of high profile entrepreneurs, media and celebrity advisors and board members to support the new venture, including actress Eva Longoria, news personality María Elena Salinas and Christy Haubegger, founder of Latina magazine and current head of WarnerMedia.

“As Latinos drive population growth in the United States, they continue to navigate the ocean of information about what is happening in the world and their place in it. With the decline of minority media, it is Now is the time to invest in more resources to create content for Latinos by Latinos. Through the unique combination of creative content and new and existing media platforms serving our community, we can embrace cultural pride and collectively empowering Latinos,” said LMN co-founder Stephanie Valencia.

To coincide with its launch, the company also announced that it had signed a definitive agreement with TelevisaUnivision to purchase 18 radio stations in 8 of the top 10 Latin markets in a $60 million cash deal. LMN secured equity investment from leading Latino investors and debt financing for the acquisition from Lakestar Finance LLC, an investment entity affiliated with Soros Fund Management LLC.

The 18 AM and FM stations are WADO-AM (New York), KTNQ-AM (Los Angeles), WRTO-AM (Chicago), KFZO-FM and KFLC-AM (Dallas), KLAT-AM (Houston), WAQI- AM and WQBA-AM (Miami), KXTN-AM (San Antonio), KISF-FM, KLSQ-AM and KRGT-FM (Las Vegas), KGBT-FM, KBTQ-FM and KGBT-AM (McAllen), KLLE- FM, KOND-FM and KRDA-FM (Fresno).

“Our business and these stations are for our community,” said LMN co-founder Jess Morales Rocketto.. “We believe in the power and reach of radio and it remains a primary 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.”

The two companies have agreed to a one-year transition of stations following FCC approval, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.

A TelevisaUnivision spokesperson released a statement from the company acknowledging the agreement “to divest 18 of its non-core radio stations”, reaffirming that it is not giving up the radio business. “Upon closing of the transaction, TelevisaUnivision will still operate the nation’s largest Spanish-language radio footprint by audience, with 39 stations in 12 premier markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston. . , and a network of 228 affiliate stations in 79 markets. Audio and music will continue to be a strategic priority through investments in core radio assets and Uforia, TelevisaUnivision’s audio brand which includes audio streaming, podcasts and live concert series.

LMN says it plans to keep current TelevisaUnivision employees who work at the stations it acquires and is recruiting top talent for its management team, to be announced later this year.

The new company’s board members, investors and advisors include:

  • Maria Elena Salinas: Award-winning journalist and author, former co-anchor of Univision’s evening news for over 30 years. Director of MES Multi-Media LLC.
  • Eva Longoria: Director, actor, activist and philanthropist. CEO and Founder, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Founder, Casa del Sol Tequila.
  • Dr. Eduardo Padron: President Emeritus, Miami Dade College; Corporate Strategic Advisor; Council, Urban Institute. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Al Cardenas: Board Member Coral Gables Trust Co., Investor and Treasurer, American Business Immigration Coalition; former chairman of the Florida Republican Party and former chairman of the American Conservative Union.
  • Maria Contreras Sweet: Co-founder of Pro-America Bank; former US Administrator of the Small Business Administration; former Secretary of Business and Transportation for the State of California.
  • Monica Lozano: Former publisher and CEO of Opinion and CEO of its parent company, ImpreMedia, LLC. Currently a member of the Walt Disney Boards of Directors
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  • Henry R. Muñoz III: Activist, business leader and philanthropist who started national movements such as Momento Latino, TheDream.US and Latino Victory, supports the Latino community.
  • Luis Ubinas: Investor and advisor. Former President of the Ford Foundation, Senior Partner McKinsey and Company. Current director at AT&T
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  • Tom Castro: Founder and CEO of El Dorado Capital and radio entrepreneur, investor and corporate director. Bought and sold over 50 radio stations serving the Latino community. Former director of Time Warner.
  • Juleyka Lantigua: Founder/CEO, LWC Studios. Audio creator nominated by Peabody, former NPR, Atlantic Media and Random House.
  • Tom Chavez: Tech entrepreneur, author and co-founder of super{set}, 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. Partner and investor in several companies, including Kinzie Capital Partners and Core Innovation Capital.
  • Jess Morales Rocketto: Head of Moonshot Strategies at Equis. Co-founder of Families Belong Together, Poderistas and Supermajority. Formerly National Domestic Workers Alliance, Hillary for America, Obama for America.
  • Stephanie Valencia: Co-founder and president of Equis. Co-founder of Poderistas, Latino Talent Initiative, The Latina Collective and Latinos44. Formerly Google, Obama White House, United States Congress.
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Fletcher Heald and Herrera Arellano all advised on the case.

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