The last MundoMax station to have a local newscast has pulled the plug on its news operations. WGEN-TV, the Mundomax affiliate in Miami, aired its last newscast at 5 pm today. A source tells Media Moves about 25 to 30 news staffers are out of a job.
Noticias MundoMax aired 5 and 10 pm newscasts, anchored by Andrea Linares and Freddy Wiles. Andrea and Freddy, as well as weather anchor Alfredo Finalé, sports anchor Jorge Carlos Díaz, reporters Giselle López and Ronald Acha, producers, photographers, editors and other news personnel were told today was the last newscast and their last day at work.
According to an inside source, management attributed the newscast cancellation and layoffs to “financial problems between main partners Caracol and RCN.”
WGEN-TV channel 8 is owned by Colombia’s Caracol TV. Its bitter rival, RCN TV, owns MundoMax network, which in Miami airs on Caracol’s Miami station.
WGEN-TV signed an affiliate agreement with MundoFox in 2012. But last year, RCN bought out its MundoFox joint venture partner Fox, rebranding the Spanish-language network to Mundomax.
According to sources, RCN had been negotiating a switch in Miami to Mega TV, but no deal was reached.
Rumors that MundoMax was pulling out of WGEN-TV were quashed this afternoon by network President Ibra Morales. He told Media Moves via email: “We just signed a new affiliate agreement.”
While he didn’t elaborate, another source stated that RCN renegotiated a substantially lower affiliate fee deal for MundoMax. That drop in revenue was blamed for the drastic cuts at WGEN-TV.
The 5 pm newscast will be replaced by talking head news analysis show “Brown y Compañía,” led by Ricardo Brown.
The MundoMax local newscast in Los Angeles’ KWHY-22 was cancelled in August of last year. KMCC-TV, the MundoMax affiliate in Las Vegas, shut down its news operations in November.