Radio Mambi Covers Final Main Election Earlier than Deliberate Possession Change


Amore Rodriguez grew up in Miami listening to Radio Mambi on automotive rides together with her tightknit Cuban household and of their house. For Rodriguez and lots of different Miamians, it was thought of the go-to station for information about Latin America.

After Radio Mambi got here underneath Univision possession by way of a 2002 merger with Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., hosts like “Queen of the Night time” Martha Flores and Ninoska Pérez Castellón cemented their on-air legacy by giving a voice to Cuban exiles via criticism of the Castro regime.

The nostalgic picture of the station melted away for Rodriguez in recent times as she listened to Radio Mambi drumming up concern in listeners, selling election misinformation, and peddling right-wing conspiracy theories.

The vacuum of rationality on the station was maybe most evident after the January 6, 2021, riots on Capitol Hill. In line with a Miami Freedom Mission report, the host of the station’s common En mi Opinión program appeared to recommend on air that the rebel was staged, stating, “I refuse to just accept that any of the people we noticed [on Capitol Hill] are genuinely individuals who help Donald Trump.”

Within the months main as much as immediately’s midterm election, incendiary and conspiratorial rhetoric has been widespread on Radio Mambi. One newly employed pundit instructed listeners in Might that Democrats have been “creating the border disaster with malevolent, Machiavellian intention to vary the face of the American citizen over the long run and remove the white majority that the Democrats detest a lot,” Florida Bulldog reported.

Rodriguez, secretary of the progressive group Florida Grassroots Coalition, says the rhetoric has been disheartening and harmful to any hope of sincere political discourse.

“What’s actually unhappy is that we’ve seen it flip into this manipulation and, to me, a really focused concern tactic to get Latinos to freak out and be afraid of what this nation can change into,” Rodriguez tells New Occasions.

Final 12 months, when reached by New Occasions for a narrative on Spanish-language media misinformation, station proprietor TelevisaUnivision maintained that its radio information personalities “are held to the identical requirements as Univision Information reporters” and that it might examine claims of misinformation purveyed on Radio Mambi.

Because the Republican Get together consolidates help amongst Hispanic communities in South Florida — partially by pushing the narrative that the Democratic celebration is dominated by radical communists — Radio Mambi is about to get a top-to-bottom overhaul.

In June 2022, the Latino Media Community (LMN), an organization owned by Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto, introduced it might purchase Radio Mambi together with 17 different stations from TelevisaUnivision for $60 million. The acquisition consists of stations based mostly in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Texas, and Las Vegas.

Valencia, a former U.S. Division of Commerce worker and voter-outreach director for President Barack Obama, will reportedly maintain a 55 p.c possession stake within the radio stations. Rocketto, a former Obama marketing campaign chief and onetime information strategist for the AFL-CIO union federation, will maintain a 37 p.c stake.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Fee opposing the Radio Mambi buyout, Republican lawmakers together with Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar claimed that the Latino Media Community may “train nearly uncontested affect over practically one third of all Hispanics throughout the nation.”

“Removed from benign, the proposed sale is the newest in a sequence of strikes by elite progressives determined to claw again help from Hispanic voters, who’ve rightly turned their backs on Democrats and their socialist priorities,” the lawmakers wrote.

The buyout has stirred renewed controversy within the lead-up to the midterm election, with Rep. Salazar telling CBS Information final week, “They wish to use these 18 radio stations and begin peddling socialism to the Hispanics.”

Salazar has criticized the function of Lakestar Finance LLC in funding the deal. The corporate is an funding agency tied to hedge fund supervisor George Soros, a distinguished funder of progressive organizations.

Mike Rivero, co-founder of the progressive group Cubanos Pa’lante, welcomes the format change, saying that Radio Mambi has been a constant supply of manipulative programming in South Florida, with reveals pushing Donald Trump’s election fraud claims.

“Issues which can be blatantly false and which have been disproven time and time once more are on the airwaves as if it was breaking information,” says Rivero.

A Brookings Institute overview discovered that Spanish-speaking voters within the U.S. are particularly weak to political misinformation as a result of social media corporations’ Spanish language fact-checking isn’t practically as strong as their English language fact-checking. Latino residents’ excessive price of use of messaging apps reminiscent of WhatsApp and Telegram additionally lends itself to the unfold of bogus info, in line with the overview.

The institute claims that many Spanish-language media retailers, together with radio stations, “supply little to no response to misinformation, permitting conspiracy theories to unfold.”

Though the sale of Radio Mambi might have been a loss to the conservative media ecosystem, Florida Worldwide College pupil Alex Franzblau believes Republicans have nonetheless discovered methods to attain political factors on the controversy throughout midterm election season.

“Lots of the rich Republican donors in Miami haven’t actually made a lot of an effort to counteroffer or try to purchase the station for themselves… What they’ll do is create scapegoats and, as all the time, their perennial villain is anybody they’ll slander as a communist or socialist,” says Franzblau, who’s an FIU Younger Democratic Socialists of America member.

Whether or not Radio Mambi’s listener base will tune in after the possession change stays to be seen. If the buyout goes via and programming modifications play out as anticipated, the 2022 midterm will mark the final main election that Radio Mambi covers as a staunchly conservative station.

“Our firm, and these stations, are for our neighborhood,” Rocketto stated in asserting the buyout. “We imagine within the energy and attain of radio and it stays a principal supply of media for a big variety of our neighborhood.”

Miguel Rodriguez, chairman of Florida Grassroots Coalition, says Radio Mambi’s AM format will restrict its attain to youthful Miamians.

“They stick to the viejitos [older people] and that’s it,” says Miguel Rodriguez, noting he believes Radio Mambi’s worth will diminish over time. “That’s it as a result of, all the brand new generations, we aren’t going to go along with that previous kind of radio.”

Underneath the cope with Univision, Radio Mambi will not bear programming modifications till the fourth quarter of 2023. However conservative hosts, together with Nelson Rubio and Lourdes Ubieta, have already been leaping ship to radio packages on Americano Media.


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