Tuesday, April 23, 2024

DeSantis Warns Soros Radio Network Is No Friend To Hispanic Voters

Nearly a year-and-a-half later, it’s still fresh.

For those who love America’s founding principles or just good entertainment, the passing radio legend Rush Limbaugh has left a gaping wound that is slow to heal. And much like how a radio transmitter operates, Limbaugh’s passing has created a ripple effect around the entire radio world, raising questions of its future viability as a medium.

For those working tirelessly to reimagine America as something entirely unrecognizable from what our Founding Fathers envisioned, Limbaugh’s passing represents an opportunity to break into radio, but not an incredibly hopeful one. Previous offerings such as Air America with the comic stylings of Al Franken and Rachel Maddow failed to gain traction with the workaday types who typically tune in to talk radio.

But the one thing these two types of people have in common: they’re by default talking about English-speaking radio.

Speaking of the viability of radio, go flip on the AM dial. See if you can figure out how to get to it from some newer screen-based vehicle interfaces. Tune around. Much of it might be in Spanish depending on where you live. Spanish-language radio in the U.S., be it on the AM or FM dial, is a teetering market, with around 43 million listeners in the U.S., and reaching 95% of Hispanics 18 and older (compared to 83% for TV) on more than 1,000 terrestrial radio stations.

Who knew? George Soros, apparently.

Although much of those Spanish-language stations are culturally conservative and largely apolitical, radical Leftist mega-donor Soros may be willing to bet that’s a way to finally take control of the coveted radio waves. But like everything else he’s involved with, his plans are vague and shadowy.

Soros is starting with 18 radio stations belonging to TeleUnivision in a $60 million deal — that may not seem like much but it was enough to evoke a warning from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the form of a campaign of Spanish-speaking radio ads directing listeners to a push website titled Miami Radio Libre.

Ripple effect

More about Soros’s latest move down below. But first, let’s look back at recent radio history. Limbaugh, who hosted his last new episode on Feb. 2, 2021, died on Feb. 17, 2021 at age 70 after a much-discussed battle with cancer. At that time, Premiere Networks announced it had assembled an archive of some of Rush’s commentary on recurring political hot-button issues — enough to provide 90 days’ worth of posthumous material with which a guest host could play disc-jockey and address breaking news.

After the three-month mourning period had expired, a rush to take EIB’s famed Golden Mic took place, resulting in at least four major contenders as the rightful mantel-holder. Would it be Dan Bongino, Dana Loesch, a regional favorite, or perhaps one of Rush’s favorite fill-in guest hosts?

EIB made their deals, and “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” continued the ongoing deals with Premiere Networks — taking the EIB branding, bumper sound effects, and “Back to Ohio” with them on over 600 stations, despite numerous stations and networks breaking for Bongino, Loesh, or other talent.

But everything about Rush was big, and so are his shoes. Limbaugh owed much of his rise in fame to hard-working individuals taking a mid-day break from work to catch up on the day’s events and listen to an authoritative-sounding voice tell us what we’re all thinking and feeling about the state of national affairs. That’s how Limbaugh effectively saved talk radio as a medium and, many say, kept the AM band viable. He may have kept FM from going all-digital as TV channels have, for that matter. And that goes for all languages.

That conservative-leaning mid-day audience still exists, whether they prefer to flip on the car stereo, download a listen-live app, or dust off the weather radio in the corner of the employee breakroom. “Clay and Buck” fill a gap, but does it turn a buck? So far they’re showing ratings gains.


Now back to Soros and his Spanish-language experiment. Gov. DeSantis took out several Spanish-language radio ads in the Miami market “warning” of Soros’s plans to launch Latino Media Network and “spread disinformation” over the air.

Fronting Soros’s move via Lakestar Finance is Stephanie Valencia, a former Obama administration staffer, and Jess Morales Rocketto, a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign veteran. Their stated goal: to reach one-third of all Hispanics living in America.

Left-leaning Actress Eva Longoria is also investing in Soros network, with plans of spreading to New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. So far, the network has denied plans to go political like EIB. Former Florida GOP Chairman and Trump detractor Al Cardenas is one of the network’s early advisers.

Will it survive?

But let’s assume anything touched by Soros takes a hard-left turn in time. Will it flop like Air America or succeed in a growing and untapped market?

Soros may be concerned about the long haul, as Hispanic voters are slowly favoring the GOP. Though political priorities still differ, it has long been known that Hispanics are largely pro-life, pro-family, overwhelmingly Christian, and concerned with affordability. And they turned out for Trump in ways that caused the political establishment to develop PTSD. Awakening this demographic been a dream of Republican operatives for as long as Democrats have hoped to give Rush a run for his money.

But now it’s happening. Enough that the first conservative and bilingual Hispanic network has already launched, and in May. While it hasn’t purchased any radio transmitters, Americano is taking to streaming and satellite and is by no means peddling socialism.

According to that bastion of accurate and objective information, NBC News, Americano’s founder and CEO, Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo, balked at fear-mongering distributed by the Left that Americano will be a “disinformation outlet.” We’ll let him have the final word.

“They’re scared. And they should be,” Garcia-Hidalgo said, per NBC News. “Democrats took Hispanics for granted for too long, and no one thought to create a home for us in conservative media. There is an appetite for this. You see it on social media. You see it in elections.”