Televisa Radio (incorporated as Sistema Radiópolis, S.A. de C.V.) is a division of Televisa focused on AM radio and FM radio broadcasting. Since 2001, Televisa Radio has been a joint venture with Spanish media conglomerate Grupo PRISA.
Televisa Radio got its start with the establishment of each of the Mexico City stations in the 1930s and 1940s. XEW-AM, founded by Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, came on air September 18, 1930 and immediately became the country's most important broadcaster. XEQ-AM was established eight years later, and in 1947, XEX-AM joined the stable. Several repeaters of XEW were built in the late 1940s and early 1950s,:54 including XEWK-AM in Guadalajara, two XEWA-AM stations in Monterrey and San Luis Potosí, and XEWB-AM in Veracruz. In 1975, Grupo Radiópolis was officially formed, including XEW, XEQ and XEX as well as their FM counterparts.
1992 saw the acquisition of the former Radio Comerciales de Jalisco stations in Guadalajara owned by Francisco Javier Díaz Romo, including XEBA-AM-FM, XEHL-AM-FM, XELT-AM and XEZZ-AM. These were the first Radiópolis stations outside of Mexico City,:97 excluding the repeaters which no longer rebroadcast XEW. The group also expanded into Mexicali with XHMOE-FM.
The 1990s saw several notable leaders head up Radiópolis. The first, journalist Ricardo Rocha, had been tapped in 1995 to revive the radio station division but was seen to be using Radiópolis as a "trampoline" into the television industry. After he left for Grupo ACIR in 1998, Eugenio Bernal took his place. Bernal renamed Radiópolis to Televisa Radio and reorganized XEW-AM and XEQ-AM into two similar "networks", the Cadena Azul y Plata (with a more traditional format) and Cadena Verde y Oro focusing on a male audience.
In May 2000, Televisa attempted to buy Grupo Radio Centro, a major competitor in the Mexico City radio market and the country's leading radio broadcaster. The two announced an agreement in principle for a merger. The Federal Competition Commission recommended that Televisa sell some stations, and ultimately, three months after the announcement, talks ended in a surprise to markets. Analysts suggested regulatory hurdles, dissent within the Aguirre family which owned Radio Centro, and a dispute over GRC's valuation as reasons for the sale falling apart. Another roadblock was that newscaster José Gutiérrez Vivó, who hosted the Monitor newscasts on Radio Red, refused to work with Televisa.
With its bid to buy GRC frustrated, Televisa next targeted another of its main rivals, Grupo ACIR, which at the time was Mexico's largest owner and operator of radio stations. In September 2000, Televisa announced it had spent $101 million to purchase 27.82 percent of the company and combine its operations with Radiópolis to form Grupo ACIR-Radiópolis, which would have controlled 116 stations serving 95 percent of the country. Three months later, however, the Federal Competition Commission unanimously denied the bid, saying that the combination of ACIR-Radiópolis with the nation's dominant television broadcaster would have given Televisa an unfair advantage in securing advertisers. The antitrust authority cited that ACIR-Radiópolis would have controlled 174 stations—12.44 percent of the national total.:112
With both of its bids to acquire another broadcaster thwarted, Televisa turned to Grupo PRISA of Spain. In October 2001, PRISA bought half of Sistema Radiópolis, a $50 million investment for the company. PRISA put its expertise in radio, as owner of the successful Cadena SER, to work. In 2002, XEW was relaunched as "W Radio" and XEX-FM flipped from a pop format known as Vox FM to PRISA's Los 40 Principales format, which entered Mexico for the first time. Televisa Radio, in turn, signed a deal with Radiorama in order to syndicate the W Radio and Los 40 Principales formats along with its own Ke Buena grupera concept across the country. Other local and regional broadcasters, including Radio Núcleo of Chiapas and Grupo Chávez Radio in Sinaloa, carry Ke Buena and Los 40 formats on some of their stations.
Stations and formats
Televisa Radio primarily syndicates the Ke Buena grupera format and Los 40, PRISA's pop format, which was introduced in Mexico when PRISA bought half of Televisa Radio. Including its 17 owned-and-operated stations, it has 98 affiliates reaching 28 of Mexico's 32 states.:62 It also formerly syndicated W Radio, a talk format still featured on XEW-AM/FM, but W Radio has gradually been disappearing from interior Mexico in recent years. The remaining AM stations generally carry other formats, ranging from sports to Catholic radio.
List of stations owned by Televisa Radio
- XEWA-AM 540, Monterrey
- XEWA-AM/XHEWA-FM 540/103.9, San Luis Potosí (operations subcontracted to Grupo AS/Radiorama)
- XHMOE-FM 90.7, Mexicali
- XHWB-FM 98.9, Veracruz
- Edgar Rogelio Ramírez Solís, "La Cultura Tiene Permiso: XEJB y la Política Cultural del Estado de Jalisco, 1941-1992", ITESO thesis, 1993
- Alán René Coronado Ponce, "La radiodifusión familiar en México y su inserción en la dinámica de concentración de medios: un estudio de caso en Guadalajara", UDG thesis, 2004
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- Aguilar, Alberto (2007-08-06). "Analiza Televisa disolver su alianza con Prisa en Radiópolis tras magros resultados en seis años". El Universal. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- Televisa Annual Report for 2015