You might say this company is turning up the volume on Spanish radio. Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) is one of the largest Spanish-language radio broadcasters in the US (along with Univision Radio and Entravision) with 20 stations in the US and Puerto Rico. Its radio stations serve such large markets as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami, reaching about half the US Hispanic population with music formats ranging from regional Mexican to Spanish tropical. In addition, the company operates website LaMusica.com, and several TV stations that offer original and syndicated Spanish-language programming under the Mega TV brand. Chairman and CEO Rául Alarcón Jr. controls about 80% of SBS.
While its focus on the Spanish-speaking demographic has in the past helped SBS buck the trend of declining revenue that has afflicted others in the radio industry, that strategy has not saved the company from the effects of the recession. SBS has responded to declines in advertising by focusing on reducing operating costs at its stations.
The company's TV operation, however, has been growing steadily since it acquired the stations in 2006. It continues to invest in original content for its stations (about 70% of its TV airtime is produced in-house), which is also broadcast nationwide through DIRECTV on DirecTV Más. Television broadcasting now accounts for more than 10% of sales. Through various affiliations and agreements, SBS's television stations reach about 6.5 million households throughout the US and Puerto Rico. The company purchased the Houston television station KTBU-TV and its assets in 2011.
Founder Pablo Rául Alarcón died in 2008 at the age of 82. He got started in radio in Cuba during the 1950s before the government there seized control of his stations. Alarcón moved to New York in 1960 and launched WEVD, New York's first Spanish-language radio station, ten years later.
CBS Radio, part of media giant CBS Corporation, has a 10% interest in the company.
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