New Univision Owners File For FCC Waivers; Radio Sale Rumored
July 25, 2006 at 6:15 AM (PT)
Could the new owners of UNIVISION be required to spin off media interests in several markets to comply with FCC crossownership rules? The MIAMI HERALD reports that a UNIVISION SEC proxy statement discloses that UMBRELLA HOLDINGS, the group headed by producer HAIM SABAN that is buying UNIVISION, has filed with the FCC for crossownership waivers because two of the equity partners in the group own parts of other media companies the interests of which overlap with UNIVISION markets.
PROVIDENCE EQUITY PARTNERS, a partner in the SABAN group, holds an interest in FREEDOM NEWSPAPERS, which owns several newspapers in UNIVISION markets in CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, and TEXAS (including the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, which overlaps with UNIVISION's key LOS ANGELES radio/TV cluster), while partner MADISON DEARBORN owns part of TV station owner COUNCIL TREE HISPANIC BROADCASTERS. Markets where the group has filed for waivers include L.A., SAN FRANCISCO, DALLAS, PHOENIX, HOUSTON, FRESNO, HARLINGEN-BROWNSVILLE, and ODESSA-MIDLAND.
The HERALD reports that former FCC Commissioner MICHAEL POWELL is consulting UMBRELLA HOLDINGS on regulatory issues related to the purchase.
In an earlier story, the HERALD suggested that the company may spin off its radio division, seperately or in a package with the music division, and said that "at least two groups of investors, mainly comprising former Spanish-language radio executives, have already aligned in LOS ANGELES and MIAMI, ready to bid." The paper valued the radio division at $3.5 to $4 billion.