by Alex Cosper
Take a virtual tour of Sacramento at SacTV.com
see also American Radio History
see also KZAP, KROY, KSFM, KWOD, KRXQ, KNDE, K108, index
Amador Bustos demonstrates how to create a radio empire
Sacramento has had some interesting radio entrepreneurs over the years, but none quite as successful as the guy who built the biggest Spanish radio chain in America in the nineties and then sold it to the emerging corporate giant, Entravision.
Amador Bustos was originally from Mexico. His radio background prior to owning stations was in radio and television advertising sales. In 1992 Amador Bustos launched Z-Spanish Network, a privately held company, with an initial $150,000 investment. At the time eleven percent of the U.S. population were Hispanic and Bustos had a dream of bringing that community together through radio. The flagship station where the programming originated was "Z92" (KZSA 92.1 FM).
Over the next eight years he was able to attract venture capitalists to investing in the network, which grew to 33 owned stations nationally along with 42 affiliates. It became the largest Spanish radio group in the country. It had grown to 15 stations the first four years and then doubled within the next four years. In August 2000 Bustos sold Z-Spanish Network to Entravision for $475 million (Entravision assumed the $109 million debt loan as part of the purchase price).
Bustos has served on many boards including Entravision in 2003. In 2004 he launched a new radio group called Bustos Media. In its first year the chain quickly put together a roster of 18 stations. In May 2004 the new group bought OM Media Radio Network, which produces Spanish language formats for national syndication from its studios in Sacramento. The following month Bustos Media announced it was acquiring Sacramento's top-rated Spanish station KTTA ("Buena 97.9") from Aztec Media and the very popular KEJC in Modesto. These two acquisitions marked Bustos' return to California radio.
Bustos re-entered the Sacramento market in May 2005 with the acquisition of KXCL (103.9)/Auburn from First Broadcasting, which Bustos flipped to Spanish adult contemporary KVMG ("Magia"). Then in 2005 Bustos made a deal to swap KVMG with Salem's KSFS 94.3, becoming Magia 94.3. It looks as though Bustos is creating another empire.
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