José Villafañe (no relation) has big plans to create a new Spanish-language format regional radio network.
His first acquisition is WCCM LatinX 103.7 FM in Boston through an LMA to purchase agreement with Costa Eagle Media.
Villafañe, a former Entravision executive and currently CEO and Chief Revenue Officer of MNA Sales, acquired the station through Costa Media Boston LLC, a company he co-founded in July with executive media sales veteran Bill Blake, who is now General Manager of LatinX Boston.
Gerardo López, CEO of the Chiquibaby Radio Show and Podcast and La Pantera Radio Network, will serve as VP of Programming.
“We strategically selected Boston as the first market to launch our broadcast division because of the lack of radio stations catering the Hispanic community that offer premium content for the local market,” says Villafañe. “Although this is a Top 10 market, most of Boston’s Spanish-language radio stations broadcast nationally syndicated programs or broker Spanish-language radio. We want to change that by super-serving the local community through premium local programming.”
Villafañe says the short-term goal is to have five stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, and Washington, DC. to beef up a “Northeast Network outside of New York where 2M+ Latinos currently live.”
When asked about why he’s launching a new radio network and if he thinks radio is still a good business proposition, he expresses no doubt:
“Except for live sports and red carpet Events, television has decreased in viewership due to OTT platforms. Despite Streaming Services such as Pandora and Spotify, radio is stronger than ever with Listenership at an all time high. In addition, radio with its media extensions such as streaming, social media and podcasting provide clients with a complete media plan to gain customers and increase sales. More and more dollars are shifting to audio and that is where we want to be.”
Villafañe was President of Entravision Communications, where he created and launched the Entravision Radio Network. He previously worked with Radio Unica and Univision Communications overseeing National Sales for Radio, Television, Digital Media and Business Development. He started his career at Katz Media Group.