As President Biden’s approval ratings among Hispanic voters continue to tank, an investment group led by George “Spooky Dude” Soros has backed the acquisition of 18 Univision radio stations in a $60 million all-cash deal.
Latino Media Network (LMN) has signed a “definitive agreement” to purchase the AM and FM stations, which are located in “10 of the country’s largest Latino markets, including Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, and Las Vegas,” reports WLRN.
At the helm of LMN is Stephanie Valencia, who served under former President Barack Obama as a Latino outreach director, and Jess Morales Rocketto, a Democratic activist.
LMN secured its financing from “leading Latino investors” and from Lakestar Finance, an investment group tied to Soros Fund Management.
“Lakestar Finance, an investment entity affiliated with the Soros Fund Management, is leading the investment with other individuals, including Hollywood actress and entrepreneur Eva Longoria, who are also investing,” Axios reported. “Award-winning Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas and Al Cardenas, former chair of the Florida Republican Party and American Conservative Union will serve as advisors.”
According to Newsbusters, the purchase “is clearly a panic move” meant to combat the spread of “disinformation” on conservative Spanish-language radio.
— David Reaboi, Late Republic Nonsense (@davereaboi) June 3, 2022
And there is good reason for Democrats to panic as the midterm elections rapidly approach: Hispanic voters are fleeing the Democratic party.
According to a Quinnipac University study published in May, 60% of Hispanics disapprove of Biden’s performance, with only 26% saying they approve, compared to a 55% approval rating for Biden this time last year.
“A Republican lean among Hispanic voters, who make up roughly 12.5% of the eligible population, could prove disastrous for Democrats in the November midterms,” the New York Post reported at the time.
Included in the media purchase is Radio Mambí (WAQI 710), an iconic, ultraconservative station popular in Miami’s Cuban community.
In 2020, WLRN notes, talk show hosts at stations such as Mambí called candidate Biden a “socialista” and claimed he’d turn America into Venezuela.
In an effort to promote “balanced journalism,” Valencia said those sorts of things will change at Mambí, but the station won’t be transformed into a left-leaning one under LMN.
“There are elements of Radio Mambí that are really important to preserve,” she said. “It has been an important part of the community and experience in Miami.”
“But,” she added, “we do believe in… balanced journalism.”
Valencia insists the station purchases aren’t politically motivated. Rather, it’s about disinformation.
“Latinos are constantly trying to navigate the ocean of information,” she said. In some cases that is disinformation, in some cases that is very one-sided communication.”
“In the Latino community radio still plays such an important part,” she continued,” and in places like Florida it obviously plays a critically important part… From some of the research we’ve seen, upwards of 70% of Latinos are getting their news and information about politics and elections from places like YouTube.”
Noting that YouTube isn’t always the most reliable of sources for news, Valencia says Latinos “are looking for trusted voices.”
As the media grabs by LMN must still receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval before the group can fully operate the stations, it is unlikely that LMN will have much influence on the midterms. The approval process could extend well into 2023 — just in time for the 2024 Presidential campaigns.
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