In one fell swoop, Meruelo Media said late Wednesday it has closed on the purchase of two Los Angeles FMs in a pair of separate transactions: a $43 million deal to buy rocker KLOS (95.5) from Cumulus Media and a $35 million purchase of regional Mexican “Radio Centro 93.9” KXOS from 93.9 Holdings, Mexican radio giant Group Radio Centro’s U.S. subsidiary.
Meruelo Media took over programming of KLOS April 16 under a local marketing agreement. Now it says it will relocate the heritage rocker’s operations from Culver City to its Burbank facility later this year. KXOS already operates out of the Burbank facility.
The company has also announced a series of appointments. Meruelo’s executive team is taking control of KLOS operations, with President Otto Padron serving as interim Market Manager, Tomas Trujillo overseeing the day-to-day operations, David Criscitelli, VP of Meruelo Media Client Solutions, looking after sales, and Dianna Jason, VP of Marketing, handling communications and marketing.
Keith Cunningham will continue as KLOS Program Director. Irma Barrios will add KXOS to her existing duties as General Manager of KWHY-TV and KPWR Music Director Emmanuel “DJ E-Man” Coquia will assume interim music and programming duties for KXOS.
The back to back purchases give gives Meruelo three full-signal FMs in radio’s richest revenue market, joining rhythmic CHR “Power 106” KPWR, which it acquired in 2017 from Emmis Communications. Meruelo, which says it is the largest minority-owned media group in California and operates media properties solely in Southern California, also owns the classic hip-hop simulcast of KDAY Los Angeles and KDEY Riverside-San Bernardino, along with KWHY-TV in L.A. and sister KBEH-TV on Oxnard, CA.
In a press release, Padron called the closings “the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in L.A. media.” He stressed that Meruelo is “absolutely committed” to the KLOS brand “with its amazing cadre of talented employees and iconic personalities.” Adding the heritage rocker to its existing assets will give the company “great scale and access to a highly desirable market sector, in addition to giving our clients and partners a newly energized local option.” Padron also pledged to devote operational and content resources to KLOS “that will drive significant audience growth for a larger share of advertising dollars.”
As for KXOS, Padron simply said, “Stand by, exciting news about KXOS coming soon.” KXOS is one of four regional Mexican stations in Los Angeles.