Audacy Jumps Into Miami’s Spanish-Language Talk Fray


In July, Lourdes Ubieta said goodbye to a longtime Spanish-language voice of the Cuban exile and dissident community in Miami. She was concerned, like some other staffers and many listeners, that “Radio Mambí” was heading in a liberal direction. That’s because the station, WAQI-AM 710, is being acquired by Latino Media Network — a group with funding from George Soros, known for his support of liberal causes.

While LMN co-founders Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto, featured on the cover of the September 2022 edition of the Radio Ink magazine, dismiss such talk, Audacy Corp. is taking advantage of listener concerns by jumping into Spanish-language talk in South Florida.

Come Monday, “Radio Libre 790” will replace the sports talk programming on WAXY-AM 790. And Ubieta will be back on Miami radio.

The change is the direct result of a partnership with the SiriusXM-distributed Americano Media, which calls itself “the nation’s first national conservative Hispanic network in Spanish.”

“We’re proud to introduce Spanish radio to our South Florida portfolio for the first time ever and empower the voice of so many of our neighbors in this community,” said Claudia Menegus, Regional President and Market Manager for Audacy Corp. “With the launch of this station, we aim to not only serve our listeners but give them a reliable home for the news they seek and the information they rely on every day.”

For Audacy, it indeed brings a Hispanic audio asset to a group of radio properties comprised of Adult Contemporary “101.5 Lite FM,” Classic Hits “102.7 The Beach,” Country WKIS-FM 99.9, Sports WQAM-AM, Rhythmic CHR “Power 96,” and Alternative Rock “104.3 The Shark.”

For Americano Media, it sends a message to LMN that “Radio Mambí” is on notice that conservative Spanish-language listeners, which include immigrants from Venezuela and Central America who have escaped dictatorships from leaders such as Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega, won’t stand for any loss of the programming they have come to love.

As Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo, Founder and Chief Executive for Americano Media, sees it, “The joint endeavor with Audacy is a natural fit for Americano.”

Garcia-Hidalgo also confirms that this is the first of many terrestrial radio syndication agreements for Americano, and that it looks forward to “a strong partnership with Audacy.”

In early June 2022, one of the biggest radio deals in the last 24 months came to fruition. Many questions arose across the radio broadcasting industry regarding the individuals behind Latino Media Network, which had announced it was purchasing 18 radio stations in 10 markets from TelevisaUnivision for $60 million.

Closing is on track for the fourth quarter of 2023 for LMN, which sees Hispanic media veteran Tom Castro on its board of directors. Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto are the co-founders and are featured on the cover of the September 2022 edition of the Radio Ink magazine.

In Miami, listeners to one of the stations LMN has agreed to purchase voiced their concerns about the transaction. Some of the air personalities at the station, WAQI-AM “Radio Mambí,” a longtime voice of the Cuban exile and dissident community, fretted that LMN would shift the station’s content away from conservative-leaning Spanish-language talk and exited. Links to George Soros arose, with FOX News making the connection in a Thursday (9/29) report that Lourdes Ubieta, who quit Radio Mambí in July and is now with Americano Media, will host today Philadelphia’s first-ever “Hispanic Town Hall” with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.

Come Monday, Ubieta will again be heard in Miami — as will former “Radio Mambí” hosts Nelson Rubio and Dania Alexandrino. They’ll be offering commentary and observation en español of the day’s political and critical news events, technology, and breaking news.

Americano Media will produce 18 hours of original programming weekdays from 6am-midnight for “Radio Libre,” which translates to “Freedom Radio” in English.

It is not yet known what will air outside of those hours.


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