Juan Luis Cebrián, CEO of Spain’s Grupo Prisa, said that after his company acquired 12% of the television channel V-Me in 2009, he also wants to enter the U.S. radio market. “We intend to use our potential as a main global brand in the U.S., the world’s first economy”, Cebrián made these comments during a an interview last week to Spanish journalist association FAPE. Prisa already owns two radio stations (Miami and Los Angeles in the U.S.). GLR Networks is part of GLR (Grupo Latino de Radio), the U.S. subsidiary of Unión Radio, holding company for Grupo PRISA’s radio assets.
Prisa last week announced that it will reduce its worldwide staff by 18%. For an in-depth read on the implications of this decision, read our analysis piece Liberty takes charge. Cebrián said that 500 of the 2,500 employees that will be let go will be U.S. and Latin American based employees. 2,000 positions will be cut in Spain.
Cebrián explained the job cuts because of a necessary transformation to adapt the company to a XXI century media company: “The digital era demands an economy driven by demand, while media properties still are stalled in a supply driven economy.”
Cebrián also spoke about opportunities for Spanish-language media companies in the global Latin market. “What do Spanish-language media have that other media properties do not have? Hispanicity. We operate in a market of almost 500 million people, 45 of them are based in the United States, the world’s first economy. This is a unique opportunity, which as opposed to Brazil, we are not taking advantage of. Brazil wants to be a superpower in South America. To achieve that goal, they need to speak Spanish. That is why 15 million Brazilians learn Spanish in school. Spanish-language media is undergoing through the structural problems affecting most media properties, but we do have some advantages. We have a global market of Spanish-speakers. Of course a medium sized media company will not be able to meet the challenge. Only one, two or three groups will be successful.”, Cebrián concluded.