Tag Archive | "MundoFox"

MundoMax lawsuit

Chicago station sues MundoMax for fraud and breach of contract

MundoMax lawsuit

One day before MundoMax it is scheduled to permanently go off the air, its Chicago affiliate is suing the short-lived network.

Attorneys for KM LPTV OF CHICAGO-13, L.L.C. today filed a complaint against RCN-owned MundoMax in the State of California, accusing the company of breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices and false promises with no intention to keep them. In California that is considered fraud, according to Belinda Vega, an attorney from GERARD FOX LAW P.C., which is representing KM LPTV.

“MundoMax committed to certain obligations and failed to fulfill their promises,” Vega tells Media Moves.

KM LPTV OF CHICAGO-13 signed a four-year station affiliate agreement with MundoFox in May 2012. The obligations of that agreement were acquired by MundoMax when it became the sole owner of the network last year.

Under the terms of the original agreement, MundoFox/MundoMax became the WOCK TV 13’s exclusive national spot sales representative and guaranteed that if national advertising revenues during the second, third and fourth years of the deal was less than $600,000, the network would pay KM LPTV the difference.

According to the complaint, in February of 2014, under new management, but still under Fox-RCN co-ownership, then MundoFox agreed to pay KM LPTV on a quarterly basis, guaranteeing that if national revenues dropped below $150,000 in a quarter, they would pay the difference.

KM LPTV alleges that while it held its part of the deal, airing and marketing the network’s programming, “MundoMax booked $0 in national advertising sales revenue for the second, third and fourth quarters of the fourth year of the term” and then failed to pay the station the $450,000 it had guaranteed.

Since KM LPTV was bound by the agreement to have MundoFox/MundoMax as their exclusive sales agent, they were unable to seek other representation for national sales, resulting in “direct and consequential damages” for the station.

“MundoMax didn’t honor the agreement,” states attorney Vega, who argues KM LPTV did abide by the terms of the deal it signed. “MundoFox received a benefit and did not compensate KM LPTV for it and needs to do so.”

Although MundoMax will no longer operate as a network in the United States, they continue to have legal obligations.

“They’re alive and well as an entity, even if they’re winding down. They have an obligation to respond to the complaint,” says Vega.

KM LPTV is seeking a jury trial and $525,000 in damages.

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RCN takes over KWHY-TV signal, local newscasts canceled

RCN takes over KWHY-TV signal, local newscasts canceled

Noticias MundoMax22KWHY-22’s 5 and 10 pm local newscasts have been canceled, effective today. With very few exceptions, the station’s entire news, marketing and sales staff were laid off in the process. About 50 to 60 people today lost their jobs – about 40 were from the news department.

Employees were notified of the cancelation of “Noticias MundoMax 22” and layoffs during a noon staff meeting. Only 5 employees will be transferred to the MundoMax payroll and will be moving over to the MundoMax building on Sepulveda Blvd.

Among those that will hold on to jobs: the station’s lead anchor, Palmira Pérez, who will be doing one-minute local and national news briefs for the network, reporter Víctor Cordero and news director Ingrid Luquetta. It is not yet known what roles Cordero and Luquetta will have at MundoMax.

Some of those laid off said they expected different news at the meeting – that the station’s owners would announce they would once again become an independent TV station, after RCN took full ownership of MundoFox and rebranded the network.

Instead, staffers say, management told them Meruelo Media had signed a deal for RCN to lease KWHY-22’s signal and take over the station’s operations.

A source says the station’s owners – the Meruelo Group – who have other construction, real estate, food services and private equity holdings, and only entered the television broadcast industry with the purchase of KWHY just 4 years ago, felt running a TV station was too much of a hassle and that they weren’t making enough profit to continue operations.

In a late afternoon press release, MundoMax and Meruelo Media announced that under the terms of the partnership deal with RCN Television Group, MundoMax will assume sales and marketing responsibilities for L.A.’s KWHY-22 and Houston’s KUVM-CD Channel 34, “in cooperation with existing station management.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

What will happen with Super 22 and LA1?

Another source disclosed that as part of the deal, Meruelo Media cannot produce any local content. RCN/MundoMax is also taking over the digital subchannel Super 22 to rebroadcast the network’s programming.

Earlier this year, Meruelo Media president Otto Padrón announced the launch of a new superstation to be called LA1. What will happen to that project remains to be seen.

MundoMax will be taking over operations of both stations starting tomorrow, September 1. The new sales structure will be headquartered in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

MundoFox/MundoMax VP of National Sales Edward Jimenez will lead the new sales structure, alongside Tom Maney, who, according to network president Ibra Morales, “will remain in an advisory role for the near future.”

The future of the station, however, may well be defined with the broadcast spectrum auction in March of 2016. If the Meruelo Group is not interested in remaining in the broadcast industry, they could very well auction off KWHY’s signal.

Meruelo Media, which bought KWHY-22 from NBCU/Telemundo in 2011, was an independent station until 2012, when it became MundoFox’s flagship affiliate.

With RCN’s recent full acquisition of MundoFox, the network and all its affiliates underwent a rebranding to MundoMax. At the time, MundoMax shut down national news operations, laying off its news department personnel.

Now, news is off the menu at the local level as well, with the cancelation of “Noticias MundoMax 22.” Today’s 5 pm slot was filled with an old  dubbed extreme video show.

There may be some hope for news in the future at the network. The MundoMax release states the network will “return in 2016 with a revamped national news format.” No other details about that news format were revealed at this time.

UPDATE 9/1/15: During a phone interview, Meruelo Media spokeswoman Sara Picazo emphasized that RCN isn’t taking over the station, but rather control of the station’s signal, now overseeing content, programming, sales and marketing operations.

“Meruelo Media will continue its media business operations, including operating its secondary digital channels, production studios, broadcast center and radio station KDAY 93.5 FM,” she says.

Otto Padrón continues to be President of Meruelo Media, overseeing the company’s media business operations.

The “expanded partnership” includes the leasing of the signal to RCN/MundoMax. Meruelo Media still owns the stations in L.A. and Houston and will provide the technical support to transmit the signal.

FCC rules don’t allow full foreign ownership of U.S. television stations.

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MundoMax rebrands on network’s 3rd year anniversary

MundoMax rebrands on network’s 3rd year anniversary

MundoMax-sloganThe MundoMax transition is officially over. Today, on the third year anniversary of its launch, the former MundoFox network debuts its new brand identity across its television, digital and social media platforms.

The rebranding campaign, done in-house, calls for viewers to “live to the max” (“Vive al máximo”).

A MundoMax spokesperson tells Media Moves the network “worked very closely with our affiliates on the rebrand and provided them with all the necessary assets.”

Although management told its staffers of the network’s name change on July 28, when it cancelled the national newscast and laid off its news personnel, and it revealed the MundoMax logo three days later, it took another two weeks before the company implemented a complete image rebranding. It was timed to coincide with the anniversary launch date of the network on August 13.

Despite the network name change, the MundoFox branding was still clearly visible on-air and online for the past two weeks, making it a little confusing for viewers.

Did RCN jump the gun in announcing the renaming of the network prior to being ready for air as MundoMax?

A network rep insists: “Everything was announced and rolled out as planned.”

For the time being, there are no scheduled programming changes.

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MundoMax addresses relocation and affiliate rumors

MundoMax addresses relocation and affiliate rumors

MundoMax-logoRumors that MundoMax, formerly MundoFox, will be moving to Miami are being quashed by network President Ibra Morales.

“Although it is company policy to not comment on rumors and speculation, I can tell you that there are no plans at this time to relocate the network from Los Angeles,” he told Media Moves in an email statement.

According to Morales, MundoMax will continue to operate from the Sepulveda Blvd. Fox property in Los Angeles, despite its break-up with joint venture partner Fox International Channels.

Despite the affirmation, insiders say it’s a matter of time before the network eventually vacates the building.

When RCN Televisión’s took over full ownership of MundoFox on July 16, it was anticipated that there would be changes.

Two weeks later, RCN cancelled the national newscast and laid off about 35 news staffers. It also dropped the “Fox” from its name, rebranding the network MundoMax.

The changes came as a surprise to the network affiliates, which had not been given any prior warning. Two different sources told Media Moves the stations were very upset at the cancellation of the national newscast.

Rumors abound that MundoMax will switch affiliations in some markets.

When asked about this, Morales’ response seemed to indicate there may be some changes: “Our distribution will remain the same at this time and Los Angeles continues to be an important part of the network’s footprint. As it’s customary, some affiliation agreements are coming to an end and those will be addressed in the process of renewal.”

Another source suggests that the future of MundoMax lies beyond affiliate agreements, but rather in the outcome of the FCC’s 2016 broadcast TV spectrum auction, which will allow eligible full power and Class A TV stations to sell their spectrum usage rights.

If MundoMax affiliates relinquish their spectrum, the new network will be facing serious distribution challenges.

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MundoMax unveils new logo

MundoMax unveils new logo

MundoFox-to-MundoMaxMundoFox, now rebranded as MundoMax, has a new logo. The network, now 100% owned by Colombia’s RCN Television Group, after it bought out Fox International Channels earlier this month, will be officially rebranded MundoMax on August 13. That’s the 3-year anniversary of the broadcast network’s launch.

In a written statement sent to Media Moves, President Ibra Morales says RCN “is wholly committed to the success of MundoMax” and will continue “to offer high quality entertainment programming to our viewers.”

As part of the changes for the network, RCN cancelled “Noticias MundoFox” on July 28, laying off almost its entire news staff. Only anchor Rolando Nichols was spared, because he’s under a multi-year contract.

“In order to move forward and reposition MundoMax and fulfill its full potential, regrettably, it is necessary in the short term for us to eliminate a number of positions across various divisions – a decision that none of us take lightly,” states Morales.

Aproximately 35 people from the news department lost their jobs. There are rumblings that more cuts in other departments are imminent.

Despite the cancellation of “Noticias MundoFox,” Morales says RCN is dedicated to “bringing quality news coverage” to the U.S. Hispanic community.

“To this end, we are currently evaluating our entire portfolio of content and restructuring it with the goal of bringing maximum value to all our stakeholders, including our viewers, clients and affiliates.”

Morales expects MundoMax’s new entertainment and news programming slate will debut in 2016.

Parent company RCN produces NTN24, an international 24-hour cable news channel. So it is highly likely MundoMax will tap into that NTN24’s resources if the rebranded network were to incorporate news to its lineup.

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MundoFox changes name, cancels national newscast & lays off staff

MundoFox changes name, cancels national newscast & lays off staff

Noticias_MundoFox

Noticias MundoFox with Rolando Nichols was cancelled effective today, July 28.

Just days shy of its 3rd year anniversary, MundoFox is no more. The network, now fully owned by Colombia’s RCN Televisión, has switched names to MundoMax.

The network also cancelled “Noticias MundoFox,” the national newscast that aired at 5:30 and 10:30 pm PT/ET, laying off its entire staff.

About 35 news personnel lost their jobs, including the show’s reporters, producers, editors and news management.

Anchor Rolando Nichols, who is under contract, was saved from the cuts. It’s unknown at this time in what his future role will be within the company.*

According to inside sources, news staffers were told during a meeting late this morning that there would be no newscast as of today, and after notifying them en masse of the layoff, began doing exit interviews.

MundoFox bug

The MundoFox bug is visible on air during the network’s 7 pm show.

One laid off staffer says that during that meeting, a Human Resources representative told them news was “never part of the plan” for RCN, which launched MundoFox as a joint venture with Fox International Channels (FIC) in 2012.

Network President Ibra Morales is currently in Miami, where an affiliate meeting was held today.

A source says the affiliates were given no prior notice about the network name change or the cancellation of the national newscast.

That time slot will be filled by “Lo más Intrépido,” a compilation of extreme action videos.

The name on the MundoFox Facebook page was switched to MundoMax, although remnants of the logo and the website remain.

The name on the MundoFox Facebook page was switched to MundoMax, although remnants of the logo and the website remain.

The “rebranding” was so sudden that the network’s MundoFox “bug” remained on air and the logo itself continued in use with the MundoMax name on the Facebook page.

The MundoFox page was shut down and replaced by MundoMax.

Just two weeks ago, FIC announced it had sold its stake in MundoFox to RCN.

Sources say the partnership was a rocky one, riddled with disagreements over programming, ratings and distribution, leading to Emiliano Saccone’s departure as President of the network and RCN bringing Morales as his replacement.

Media Moves reached out to Morales and RCN management, but has yet to receive a response with regards to the changes.

* CORRECTION: When first published, the story indicated Nichols was one of the layoffs.

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Fox sells its stake in MundoFox to RCN

Fox sells its stake in MundoFox to RCN

FOX-RCN-MFox logosFOX International Channels and RCN Television Group (RCN)are parting ways. Both companies announced today they will no longer be partners in MundoFox, the joint-venture broadcast network they launched in 2012.

FIC has sold its entire interest, making RCN the sole owner of the Spanish language broadcast network. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

During an interview in April of 2012, RCN president Gabriel Reyes told Media Moves that RCN would be contributing 50% to the partnership, in addition to content from the Colombian network’s catalog. He did not reveal the extent of RCN’s financial contribution, citing “information is protected by a confidentiality agreement.”

Since its inception, MundoFox has had a series of challenges, most notably, in securing nationwide distribution and finding a solid audience.

In 2014, the network also experienced a change in leadership. Founding network president Emiliano Saccone left and Ibra Morales replaced him.

A prepared statement from RCN states Morales will continue to lead the management team at MundoFox.

No word yet on how or if the new ownership will affect MundoFox’s personnel and programming. Stay tuned for more details…

Related stories:

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Adelante Media sells stations to DTV America

Adelante Media sells stations to DTV America

DTV America and Adelante Media GroupThe Sacramento-based Adelante Media Group has sold two of its MundoFox affiliate stations to DTV America Corp.

The stations are WBWT Channel 38 in Milwaukee and KBTU Channel 33 in Salt Lake City.

Adelante Media signed deals to turn the stations into MundoFox affiliates for the network’s launch in 2012.

DTV America, of Sunrise, Fla., paid $425,000 for both low-power stations.

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Veronica Villafañe, Editor and Publisher



I'm an Emmy award-winning journalist, who's worked as an on-air reporter in Spanish and English-language television news. I've worked for Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español and Los Angeles Fox and UPN stations before diving into a convergence model at the San Jose Mercury News. I was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from 2004 to 2006, and inducted into the Hall of Fame in August of 2016. As an online news manager, I was West Coast Web Editor for impreMedia and Managing Editor of IntersectionsSouthLA.org. In addition to running Media Moves, which I founded in June of 2007, I'm a regular contributor to Forbes and also do freelance work as writer, reporter and producer.