- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A group of high-profile Hispanic investors bought up 18 radio stations across 10 cities in a $60 million deal bankrolled by an investment firm tied to billionaire liberal activist George Soros.

The group was founded by former Obama administration staffer Stephanie Valencia and campaign veteran Jess Morales Rocketto, who worked for both former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“We believe in the power and reach of radio and it remains a main source of media for a significant number of our community,” Ms. Rocketto told NBC News. “We hope to create relevant content for radio and other audio platforms with content that our community can trust and rely on.”

The radio stations form the new Latina Media Network.

The network’s association with the Democratic Party and the connection to Mr. Soros, however, alarmed Republican lawmakers. They warn that it is a “leftists” takeover of the airwaves.

One station in the deal is Radio Mambi, a conservative talk radio station based in Miami that Democrats have accused of spreading disinformation about socialism.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said the deal is “part of the leftist plan to wipe out Hispanic conservative voices.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is airing an ad in opposition to the purchase, warning voters about “leftists disinformation” coming from the airwaves.

A joint statement by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Maria Salazar, and Carlos Gimenez, all Florida Republicans, accused Democrats of trying to silence Hispanic conservatives with the purchase of Radio Mambi.

“Radio Mambi became a legendary home for anti-communist voices in South Florida because it was one of the few places where those who value freedom of thought could speak their minds and argue against socialist tyranny in our hemisphere,” the members said.

The three added that the deal is likely to be a botched effort to boost Hispanic morale for Democrats in the midterms.

“If this is an attempt by the left to sell Hispanics on their woke ideology and culture wars, then we predict this venture is doomed to fail the way Air America did,” they said. “Hispanics are much smarter than that.”

The group behind the deal said the stations will mainly offer sports broadcasting and music.

The network includes 18 stations in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, Las Vegas; McAllen, Texas, and Fresno, California.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Jess Morales Rocketto in one instance.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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