MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting

Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc (MRBI)   (Website) is a privately owned, for-profit operator of AM radio stations, mostly with ethnic (non-English, non Spanish) talk or religious formats.  They own 29 AM stations, and one Low Power FM (LPFM) Station.  The parent company also owns 6 TV stations, 5 of which they acquired in 2006 from Scripps (the newspaper people) for $170 million.   Their headquarters are located in New York City in Soho on Broadway Avenue.

History

Arthur Liu, the founder and principle owner of MRBI claims to have been the first Rock n Roll DJ in Taiwan in the 1950s.   In 1972, he started Sino TV in New York, a Chinese language TV service.  He holds a Master’s degree in Radio and TV from Syracuse University, and is a U.S. Citizen.

MRBI was founded in 1982 with the goal of providing information for recent immigrants to the United States, most notably Asians.   They provide programming in 30 languages.  Most of their broadcast stations are located in Major urban markets, which is logical since that is where most new immigrants to the United States settle, at least initially.  They also have created a group of 5 radio stations specifically targeted at people who speak Chinese.  Many of their stations are leased or sell blocks of time.  MBRI owns the stations and handles the FCC paperwork, since many of the people producing programs are not fluent in English.

In 2007, MRBI sold station WNTD-AM in Chicago to a Catholic radio service for $15 million.   The station had been involved in an ugly legal dispute with Air America over non-payment for leased time.

Major Stations – top 25 markets

New York, NY

WKDM-AM
WZRC-AM
WNSW-AM (Newark, NJ)
WNYG-AM (Babylon, NY)
WPAT-AM (Paterson, NJ)
WHWH-AM (Princeton, NJ)
WTTM-AM (Lindewold, NJ)
WWRU-AM (Jersey City, NJ)

Los Angeles, CA

KYPA-AM
KBLA-AM (Santa Monica)
KAZN-AM (Pasadena)

San Francisco, CA

KIQI-AM
KEST-AM
KSJX-AM (San Jose)

Houston, TX

KXYZ-AM

Washington, DC

WLXE-AM (Rockville, MD)
WZHF-AM (Rockvilel, MD)
WFBR-AM (Glen Burnie, MD)

Boston, MA

WLYN (Lynn)
WAZN (Watertown)

Seattle, WA

KXPA-AM
KARI-AM (Blaine)
KVRI-AM (Blaine)

San Diego, CA

KNSN-AM

Phoenix, AZ

KIDR-AM
KQTL-AM

Miami

WJCC-AM
WNMA-AM
WEXY-AM (Ft Lauderdale)

Ownership

The company is 70% owned by Arthur and Yvonne Liu of New York, who are immigrants from Taiwan.

Funding

GE Capital is the source of their funding (at least that which is disclosed on FCC Filings).

GE was the holder of the revolving credit facility for Radio Unica, a Spanish Language broadcaster than declared bankrupcty.   GE provided the funding in 2004 for MRBI to acquire Radio Unica‘s radio stations  for $150 million, essentially getting MRBI to indirectly assume the debt of Radio Unica.  The debt has grown to at least a $275 million credit facility by 2006, probably with the additional funding for the TV stations.

Financial Performance

Since the company is privately owned, there is no publicly available financial information about the company or its performance.   Anectdotal evidence (like a poorly maintained web site) suggests the company is not doing very well.    Several of the TV stations are just running infomercials.  The station in Bridgeport, CT is describing as being a New York City station, which is fallacious.

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