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Soros-Funded Takeover of Conservative Radio Station Comes with Obama-Era Leaders

Television, movies, news media, universities, sports, nonprofits and even major corporations are increasingly controlled by leftists. One island of conservative sanity is talk radio, a medium in which leftists have been unable to succeed despite their best efforts and the government funding of NPR, which even some liberals are finding to be too much. The Hispanic community in South Florida, with its large Cuban-American population, has been right-leaning and pointedly anti-communist. That has made a success of Radio Mambi — WAQI-AM — in Miami, with its conservative Spanish-language programming. But not for long, if a George Soros-backed sale of the station and others is completed. The leftist billionaire is a “lender,” as opposed to an investor, in the development of the Latino Radio Network, which will be made up of WAQI and 17 other Hispanic radio stations, Fox News reported. The purchase of the stations from Univision would include some financing by Lakestar Finance, which is affiliated with a Soros fund management firm. The Latino Radio Network’s founders both worked for former President Barack Obama. Stephanie Valencia was deputy director of the Latino Vote Program for Obama’s 2008 campaign and went on to have several positions in the Obama White House’s Office of Public Engagement, according to her LinkedIn page. Meanwhile, Jess Morales Rocketto, a former senior new media strategist for the AFL-CIO who also worked on Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, was the engagement program manager for Obama’s 2012 re-election bid. Valencia is the executive chairwoman of the board for the Latino Radio Network, while Rocketto is a board member. Neither woman sounds like a good match for Radio Marti. Neither does the inflow of Soros money. Some on-air personalities have broadcast they will not accept retention bonuses to stay with Radio Mambi. Lourdes Ubieta announced earlier this month that she’s moving to Americano Media, a SiriusXM radio network that features a conservative Spanish-language perspective. This week, Dania Alexandrino and Nelson Rubio said they too were leaving WAQI for that venture, Fox News reported. “They don’t want a dime of Soros money,” said Jorge Bonilla of the Media Research Center. Some advertisers are planning to leave, too, he said. Bonilla said the planned purchase “is about controlling the flow of information to a specific community for political purposes.” “You’re looking at the shutdown or the radical restructuring or the reformatting … of an iconic radio station, a station that for decades has been a beacon to Miami’s Cuban-American community,” he said. Radio Mambi, according to Bonilla, “has been really the community’s voice politically and culturally. It’s a beacon of anti-communism, and so these are the concerns that emerged as a result of this transaction.” He said a parallel would have been for Rush Limbaugh to be removed from WABC-AM, his flagship station in New York, in the 1990s and replaced with Air America, the left’s unsuccessful talk radio effort. [firefly_poll] Bonilla called the Radio Mambi situation “unprecedented.” A long-forgotten mandate of the Federal Communications Commission — which must approve the sale of the stations to the Latino Radio Network — is that, according to the Communications Act of 1934 — stations should operate “in the public interest, convenience and necessity.” Were the FCC operating along those lines, a serious case could be made that Radio Mambi was fulfilling its public mission by its focused service to a specific ethnic community. But if its past behavior is any indication, it’s unlikely the FCC — its board made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, with one vacancy — will oppose the sale. There have been some demonstrations against the proposed sale, and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has been critical of it. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, tweeted, “The Soros-funded radical Left is running a scheme to manipulate local media in Florida to push their Marxist agenda on voters.” His campaign has run ads in Spanish that said, “Warning, voters! The left is taking control of our local media. Billionaire George Soros, known for financing extreme leftist causes, is now financing the purchase of Hispanic radio stations right here in Miami,” Fox News reported last month. And there was an event at Radio Mambi that has a kind of precedent. Veteran broadcasters know the first two things new owners do when they take over a radio station: First, they say there will be no changes in personnel. Second, they fire everybody. The loss of current staffers might reduce the value of the station. That may be one reason Valencia went to Miami on July 7 to attempt to calm angry Radio Mambi staffers, according to Fox News. Under new ownership, she told them, “Nothing will change.” “Nobody believes her,” an individual at the station told Fox News. “Honestly, they really believe we are that stupid.” Now more personalities have left WAQI, and Americano Media is poised to carry on the tradition of conservative Hispanic talk radio. Founder Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, told NBC News the venture, which launched in March, was coming at just the right time. “Democrats took Hispanics for granted for too long, and no one thought to create a home for us in conservative media,” Garcia-Hidalgo said. “There is an appetite for this,” he said. “You see it on social media. You see it in elections.” And that, Comrades Soros, Rocketto and Valencia, is one way we do capitalism. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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