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MediaCo Acquires Hispanic Broadcaster Estrella Media


Estrella Media
Estrella Media

MediaCo, which owns WQHT-FM (Hot 97) and WBLS-FM in New York, has agreed to acquire Hispanic broadcaster Estrella Media, encompassing all network, content, digital and commercial operations but excluding its local radio and television stations for now. The deal, which was finalized on April 17, includes assets such as the EstrellaTV network, Estrella News, Cine EstrellaTV, Estrella Games and the EstrellaTV app.

Jacqueline Hernandez, formerly CEO and Founder of New Majority Ready, is appointed as the interim CEO of the newly expanded MediaCo. She'll spearhead the integration, focusing on leveraging the combined assets to fuel content growth and distribution, aiming to create a multicultural media entity. This merger is poised to significantly influence the U.S. Hispanic market, with MediaCo planning to further expand distribution through digital streaming, CTV and AVOD platforms.

"This combination of tested media brands and talented teams will fuel growth of content and distribution for the benefit of our multicultural audiences," said Ms. Hernandez. "We believe this combination is the first step in building a unique multicultural media company that will reach diverse U.S. audiences wherever they choose to consume content and create value for marketers working to reach these important audiences."

"This leverages the strengths of two great companies to build something new," said MediaCo Chair Deb McDermott. "We are committed to representing and serving the Hispanic marketplace, as well as continuing to represent and grow the diverse audience that MediaCo already serves. We see a need for media brands to embrace opportunities with all audiences, and Estrella Media is a key part of our growth strategy."

"This is a natural next step in the evolution of Estrella Media's content operations to better serve our important U.S. Hispanic audience," said Estrella Media CEO Peter Markham. "This transaction helps secure a bright and growing future for MediaCo to become the preeminent media company serving the multicultural audiences who drive ad spend ROI and brand growth."

The transaction involves a financial arrangement where Estrella Broadcasting, the previous owner of Estrella Media, received various forms of compensation, including stocks, preferred shares and cash. Additionally, MediaCo has secured a $45 million loan facility to support the acquisition, and has seen changes in its board composition to include three representatives from Estrella Broadcasting.

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