By Jon Dougherty. Media: Explain America.
OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Federal Communications Commission has given a victory to a far-left group linked to leftist billionaire George Soros. Last week, the federal agency gave the green light to buy up Spanish-language radio stations throughout the country, including a conservative outlet in Miami, Radio Mambi, from Televisa Univision for $60 million.
The station has major ties to the city’s large Cuban exile population, which tends to lean to the right and helped propel Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, to major election victories earlier this month. The station, which offers anti-Communist views, will be controlled by liberals after the deal goes through, Fox News Digital reported, adding:
Latino Media Network, which is partially financed by an investment group affiliated with Soros Fund Management, is controlled by Jess Morales Rocketto, a former Hillary for America and AFL-CIO employee, and former Obama White House staffer Stephanie Valencia. The FCC rejected a petition to block the proposed sale.
“We have reviewed the applications and find that Univision is qualified to assign, and LMN is qualified to hold, the licenses for the stations,” FCC Audio Division chief Albert Shuldiner wrote in a decision that was released on Monday and first reported by Inside Radio.
The Soros-linked group is also on a path to control Spanish-language stations in several other major markets including New York City, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. A number of conservatives, and in particular, right-leaning Hispanics, have blasted the sale, calling it an effort to control information that is available to Spanish-speaking voters.
“Radio Mambi staffers have been furious for months, and some of the station’s biggest stars walked away before the FCC even paved way for the deal to happen. Conservative host Lourdes Ubieta quit in July, saying she would never accept a paycheck from anyone connected to Soros,” Fox News Digital reported.
Ubieta told the outlet: “America is a free country. Even an avowed global socialist with a clear radical political agenda can buy our media outlets to silence their opposition.”
She also noted that Soros has been down this road before.
“It’s also a country where we can leave such a workplace, start our own radio station at Radio Libre, and beat the pants off that socialist in the ratings,” Ubieta added. “George Soros tried talk radio once before with Radio America and failed miserably. And today, Miami market ratings show he’s on his way to defeat again, even before he gets started.”
Audacy’s new Radio Libre 790 officially launched in September, well in advance of the Soros takeover of Radio Mambi, giving Miami’s Spanish-language population a conservative alternative. The lineup includes former Radio Mambi hosts Nelson Rubio, Dania Alexandrino and Ubieta. The station broadcasts “content from upstart Americano Media,” Fox News Digital added.
Jorge Bonilla, the Latino director at the conservative Media Research Center, has criticized Soros’ planned takeover of the radio stations for months. He said he sees it as an attempt to gain control of narratives with blocs of voters in major centers.
“With the last significant roadblock removed, the Soros-backed Latino Media Network can finalize its purchase of the Univision stations, neuter or kill anti-communist bastion Radio Mambi, and attempt to exert influence upon the 2024 election across the nation’s top Hispanic markets, which include such places as the Rio Grande Valley (McAllen, TX) and Las Vegas,” Bonilla wrote.
“The establishment of ‘Radio Soros’ as a trusted purveyor of information is critical to the next stage of The Great Spanish-Language Disinformation War we’ve seen unfold over the past few years,” he added.
He also discussed particulars of the eventual deal that led to Soros’ success in purchasing the stations.
“There was nominal opposition to the deal, which the FCC promptly shot down. That is, in part, because the best time to kill this deal was in 2017- when the incoming Republican Congress had the power to do so under the Congressional Review Act,” Bonilla noted. “Recall that it was under cover of the Obama-Trump transition that the FCC approved a sweeping rule change that enabled Univision to increase its foreign ownership stake from 25 to 49 percent.”