Requiring photo IDs on FCC applications

Current rules prohibit non-Citizens from owning radio station licenses. If the owner is a corporation, foreign ownership is limited to 20%. How well does that work in practice? Earlier this year, 5 stations in Texas changed hands. The buyer was Roca Radio LLC, who says who they are in their ownership report

Ownership report

The person who is listed as 80% owner lives inside a mail drop/forwarding service.

“Apartment 104202” is Box 202 in Suite 104 in the shopping center

Google Earth

The 20% foreign owner lives in Mexico. His name is ROBERTO CASIMIRO GONZALEZ TREVINO

The name has been in the news recently

Properties seized in Mexican corruption scandal go on sale in San Antonio

Federal agents of the Specialized Office of Investigation of Organized Delinquency searched the domicile of the businessman Roberto Casimiro González Treviño.
Saltillo. – SEIDO agents carried out a search this morning at the home of businessman Roberto Casimiro González Treviño, owner of the state-owned television RCG, Coahuila.

González Treviño also has radio stations as well as a spectacular advertisement company.

Even at noon on Sunday, this judicial proceeding was carried out at the home, deploying a strong operation with at least five vehicles of the Federal Police on the outskirts of the property.

Roberto Casimiro González Treviño is the brother of media entrepreneur Rolando González Treviño, who was arrested in the United States and who pleaded guilty to laundering money from Coahuila’s coffers in complicity with officials of the Moreira administration.

Rolando González Treviño in turn is related in the investigation by which Humberto Moreira and Juan Manuel “El Mono” Luévano was arrested in Spain. The latter is in prison for organized crime and money laundering, among other crimes.

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6 Responses to Requiring photo IDs on FCC applications

  1. JayMar says:

    I guess the FCC does not have the manpower to police their own laws. either that or they are scared to be called “mexicophobes” if they follow the law. What this whole thing boils down is that there are so many laws in the books that it becomes impossible for the agencies to ensure its compliance.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      The FCC has darn little jurisdiction and little staff.

      The NAB is pushing an end of cross ownership rules (Large City daily newspapers can’t buy TV or radio stations) and an end to the foreign ownership rules. Who owns the stock has nothing to do with who controls the company. Cumulus stock is worth something like $30 million but they owe $2.4 billion to lenders, where national identity is essentially untraceable.

      The foreign ownership rule was created at the request of FDR in the late 1930s (the FCC was created in 1934). Germans were using radio to build public opinion against FDR entering the war in Europe. Accusations that all Germans could not be trusted were rampant. Unlike the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, since Germans were the largest immigrant group from in the country, rounding up Germans and putting them in resettlement camps would have been impossible, and would have cratered the industry necessary to ramp up production of war materials. My grandfather had worked for a machine tools company that made big industrial gear to make things like tanks. His employer was selling equipment to the Soviet Union while they had their non-aggression pact. My guess is when Stalin and Hitler broke off their romance, he was devastated. He died a year before I was born, so I have no direct knowledge.

  2. If I ever need an advertising company, I want to make sure it’s a “spectacular” advertising company.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      And fantastically, incredibly huuuuge!

      To be fair, I let Google Translate do the word selection. The original words were “anuncios espectaculares” which from my brief research suggests that means “billboards” – hard to believe there is any connection between corrupt government offials and billboards. Growing up, the signs taught me that growing up meant drinking vodka and whiskey and smoking marlboros – and women would just throw themselves at my feet.

      Clear Channel is still a major player in outdoor advertising – tomorrow they are playing chicken with lenders to see if anyone is brave enough to trigger a forced restructuring. Cumulus is in much the same situation. Cumulus is asking to essentially use credit cards to make their mortgage payments. The bank holding the revolving credit line doesn’t like the idea of using the working capital to pay down debt.

      All of the big radio companies are in a world of hurt if/when LIBOR really starts climbing up, Many of their loans are variable rate.

      • CBS spun off their billboard division a while back. A local coffee shop snagged one of the old CBS eye logo signs which were at the bottom of the billboards and displayed it in their establishment, only they whited out the “C” in CBS.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          One of the Spanish radio networks also owned a bunch of billboards. If you think creatively, if a CBS TV station advertises on a CBS billboard, or a CBS Radio station, there are lots of ways to manipulate the financial performance of your company… or if Viacom advertised their products on CBS before they split apart. It is a great way to inflate income. I would not buy shares in the CBS Radio IPO if I had a 10 foot pole.

          Clear Channel used to own some TV stations, but they were immediately divested as part of the “going private” transaction to pay off some of the initial debt

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