A change of language is in the works for a cross-border AM station targeting the San Diego and Los Angeles markets. Grupo Latino de Radio (GLR) has informed the Federal Communications Commission that it is selling the Tijuana-based XEWW (690) and the station will flip from Spanish-language news-talk “W Radio” to a Chinese-language programming.
In a filing with the International Bureau, GLR says it has agreed to sell its equity stake in XEWW to H&H Group USA. Financial terms were not disclosed. H&H Group USA is 97% controlled by Vivian Huo, with the remaining 3% owned by Julian Sant. Both are U.S. citizens. Huo is the founder of H&H Capital Partners, a New York-based investment banking firm. The XEWW purchase is believed to be its first media-related deal. The sale, which doesn’t need FCC approval since it’s a Mexican-licensed station, is expected to close in mid-July. The International Bureau will however get a say in whether the Irwindale, CA-based radio team can continue to relay programming via the internet to the Mexican radio station. In a request, the company says other than ownership and programming language, the operation of the station will be similar to the permit last renewed by the FCC in June 2017. “The applicant proposes to provide a full range of Mandarin Chinese language programming,” the filing says, “including music, entertainment, weather report, local (Los Angeles) traffic report and local Chinese community news.”
XEWW has 77,000-watts day and 5,000-watts night covering much of southern California. GLR has been operating the station under a programming and sales agreement since 2006. In recent years it has occasionally been tapped as an overflow station for the English-language play-by-play of USC Trojan football games when its regular flagship had a schedule conflict.
The move to sell XEWW is ironic given the fact that GLR Radio—an American subsidiary of the Madrid-based Grupo Prisa—had at one time looked for ways to grow into the U.S. market. But it was blocked by foreign ownership limits. Now that the FCC has said it would consider allowing a foreign company to buy a U.S. radio station, GLR is exiting ownership one of the biggest radio markets in the country. It’s not clear if GLR plans to sell its only U.S. station, Spanish-language news-talk “Caracol 1260” WSUA in the Miami market.