Pio Ferro Joins Meruelo Media To Lead Programming and Content


    Los Angeles’ Meruelo Media has announced the appointment of Pio Ferro as its new Senior Vice President of Programming and Content, effective May 13. Ferro joins Meruelo from MediaCo in New York City, where he oversaw programming at Hot 97 (WQHT) and WBLS.

    Ferro’s three-decade career also includes roles such as Senior Vice President of Operations and Content at Emmis Communications, Vice President of Hispanic Programming at CBS Dallas, and National Program Director at Spanish Broadcasting System.

    At Meruelo, Ferro will lead programming operations and manage digital content and resources for Power 106 (KPWR), Cali 93.9 (KLLI), KLOS-FM, 93.5 KDAY, and KWHY-22 TV.

    Meruelo Media President and CEO Otto Padron commented, “Pio brings a unique balance of practical science layered with the strategic insights required to shape today’s hybrid environment of linear and streaming content. This operational approach coupled with his calm brand of stress-tested leadership, personal values, and adventurous entrepreneurial spirit is the perfect storm for us.”

    “Pio is a proven media veteran with a successful track record of guiding institutional brands while digitally weaponizing them without compromising their legacy.”

    One-on-One With Pio

    Radio Ink sat down with Ferro for an exclusive interview on the move and his vision for Meruelo’s future.

    Radio Ink: Changing coasts like this – always a big shift. What drew you to Meruelo?

    Pio Ferro: It’s a big opportunity to be back on the West Coast and to have the opportunity to work for brands like Power and KLOS and KLLI and, of course, KDAY. My thought was, “When’s the next time that this opportunity is gonna happen?” And it just so happened that I’m able to make this move now. After a long family discussion, we said, “Yeah, let’s go.”

    Radio Ink: So what’s your first order of business when you get out to LA?

    Pio Ferro: My first order of business, like everybody else should be, is to go to In-N-Out and have a Double Double. And then after the food coma, I want to get familiar with the building. Because of the Emmis days, I’m incredibly familiar with Power and KLOS, but I want to meet everybody.

    It’s important to me to create my team from the team that’s already there. I’ve always had a lot of success doing that.

    Radio Ink: In New York, you’ve worked with, coached, and recruited some incredible talent. How do you plan to integrate your past experiences with more of the diverse brands under Meruelo?

    Pio Ferro: You know what’s funny? You learn so much more from failure than you do from success. I want to make sure to use the knowledge that I’ve gained from messing up and not do that in LA [laughs].

    We’ve brought in some amazing people in New York. I’ve had the opportunity to work with incredible talent like Ebro and Peter Rosenberg and Laura [Stylez] and Funkmaster Flex.

    And there’s a lot of great talent at Meruelo! The Brown Bag morning show is doing so well at Power. I can’t wait to work with Heidi and Frank at KLOS – there’s a monster morning show. Coming in, I just want to see if there are any mistakes that they may be making that perhaps I’ve already made and work with that team out there.

    Radio Ink: You have an extremely rich history in Hispanic media programming, and of course now you’ll also be overseeing Cali 93.9. This is a time when Spanish-language radio is really coming into its own as a significant player and causing more conversations in the industry. How do you plan to leverage that growth and the power of LA’s Hispanic audience?

    Pio Ferro: Yeah, the Hispanic population continues to boom. I’ve been doing this now for three decades, two of which were in the Spanish media world. The great thing is that I know the landscape in Southern California and have worked with some amazing Spanish brands out there. Again, it’s about bringing my experience – my battle scars – into the fold and building from there.

    Radio Ink: One in five dollars in radio revenue are now digital. What’s your vision for digital content with Meruelo?

    Pio Ferro: Digital is really the big opportunity. Finding a way to connect via social, whether that’s YouTube or another platform, is the biggest opportunity that I see. I want our stations to do everything we possibly can to generate the biggest ratings we possibly can. I know the digital team at Meruelo is full of very talented folks. I haven’t met them yet, but I’ve heard all about them. We’re going to start by finding that one thing that really clicks with each brand and go from there. That’s very high on my priority list.


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