New Latino Media Network buys Chicago's WRTO in $60 million deal with Univision

TUDN Univision Deportes Radio Chicago

The Spanish-language radio home of Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and Fire broadcasts has been sold to the newly formed Latino Media Network as part of a $60 million all-cash acquisition.

WRTO 1200-AM, the full-time outlet for TUDN Univision Deportes Radio, is one of 18 stations nationwide included in the 10-city deal with TelevisaUnivision announced Friday.

Even after the transaction receives Federal Communications Commission approval, listeners are unlikely to notice to any changes to WRTO. Univision Chicago will continue to oversee programming and sell advertising for the station under a local marketing agreement to run for a year or more.

Latino Media Network

Latino Media Network, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and founded by Latina social entrepreneurs Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto, includes such prominent investors as actress Eva Longoria and former Univision news anchor Maria Elena Salinas.

Billed as "one of the largest single acquisitions of stations by a Latino owned and operated company in history," the 18-station deal is expected to reach nearly a third of the Latino population in the United States.

“This is such an exciting day for the media landscape,” Longoria said in a statement. “My mission is to tell and amplify all of our community’s stories so the world can see the joy, the power and the heart of our community in ways that are still all too rare. Media can make a difference and real change in our world.

"I’m so proud to be a part of Latino Media Network as together we will ensure that our media includes narratives that uplift our voices.”

Other cities involved in the deal are New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Las Vegas, McAllen, Texas, and Fresno, California.

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey WRTO tied for 57th place with a cumulative weekly audience of 11,900.

Doug Levy, president and general manager of Univision Chicago, declined to comment on the sale.

Univision Chicago continues to own and operate regional Mexican WOJO 105.1-FM, adult contemporary WPPN 106.7-FM, and Latino Mix WVIX 93.5-FM, as well as Univision WGBO-Channel 66 and UniMás WXFT-Channel 60.

Friday's comment of the day: Andrew Herrmann: Salutes to Steve Warmbir, who successfully did the unenviable job of keeping the Sun-Times moving forward through, as the new editor says, "one of the most turbulent news cycles in Chicago history." Not to mention a pandemic and a merger with BEZ.