Americano Media, a Miami-based conservative media network that aims to become the Spanish-language version of Fox News, has run out of money and has been covering the company’s payroll while it searches for a new investor to stay afloat.
The online radio, news and television network have not been able to pay salaries since May, employees told the Miami Herald, with the company acknowledging that many if not all of its 100-plus employees are working without pay, hoping they are. It is compensated once the company finds an investor willing to throw a lifeline at it.
Founder and CEO Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo expects an offer from Texas-based Voz Media — owner of Mega TV stations in Miami and Puerto Rico — that would allow Americano Media to continue operations, sources familiar with the company’s situation said.
The offer was not made Thursday afternoon, which sources said was expected within hours, and which would include provisions that would “make the rank-and-file personnel complete.”
Garcia Hidalgo told the Herald that tough economic conditions made it difficult for Americano Media to achieve its goals before the company ran out of funding.
“Americano Media is creating a new multimedia platform during a historic recession, when attracting investment has proven to be more challenging than we anticipated,” Garcia Hidalgo said in a brief statement sent to the Herald. As a result, our company has grown faster than fundraising. Like any startup, we make adjustments to move forward. We are committed to paying our liabilities, especially back salaries to our team, and moving forward with determination into the future.”
Americano Media was launched in March 2022 with $20 million from investors backing Garcia-Hidalgo’s vision of building a network similar to Fox News in Spanish. The company sought to own 50 radio stations in key political markets nationwide before the upcoming 2024 elections.
to talk To The Washington Post in AprilGarcia Hidalgo said he aims to have these stations operational by the end of the year to reach 10 million listeners and increase the Latino Republican vote in the 2024 presidential election.
While Americano Media staff agreed that there was still potential to develop a conservative network for a Spanish-speaking audience in the United States, they told the Herald that there were flaws in implementing the plan.
Alfonso Aguilar, a former vice president and political director of the company, said he resigned a few days ago because he was dissatisfied with the media group’s business plan and the CEO’s vision.
“It’s a huge tragedy because here we have over 100 employees who haven’t been paid in over two months, and the problem during all of that time is that we kept asking for relief because the money was about to come in,” Aguilar added.
Several Americano Media employees who spoke to the Herald requested that their names not be used for fear that commenting publicly would hurt their chances of collecting the wages they were owed. They all agreed that overspending and mismanagement were behind the company’s problems rather than market conditions, which they feel still presents a strong opportunity for a well-run conservative Spanish-language news outlet.
Among the complaints from employees is that a number of Garcia-Hidalgo family members work for the company, but others said this was not a sign of mismanagement, but rather that the company was initially a family business that grew into an attractive startup once investors entered. .
Staff said its radio and online news operations were doing well, with the site getting about 200,000 unique visits per month. They said the radio station was slowly gaining ground after hiring established talent from other stations that had changed formats and were no longer conservative media outlets.
One of the employees said that the company started having problems when it tried to set up an Internet television division.
“They started spending millions and millions, betting on traditional TV content, which turned into an operation that was expensive and slow to start and had trouble building an audience,” the employee said.
He said the situation was made worse by the technology platform chosen to power the TV, which required potential viewers to subscribe through an app that seemed cumbersome compared to news programs readily available through social media.
Other employees agreed that the company spent too many resources on the TV side of the operation, getting into the project at full speed without first creating a solid revenue stream through other divisions.