George Soros Quietly Building Radio Empire

George Soros Quietly Building Radio Empire

George Soros believes that investing in audio media is not only good business but also potentially good politics.

In the past two years, Soros Fund Management, founded by the billionaire investor and now managed by the Open Society Foundations, has significantly increased its presence in radio, the oldest electronic mass media.

In February, the firm became the largest shareholder in Audacy, the second-largest radio company in the U.S., which owns over 230 stations and notable podcast platforms like Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios.

In 2022, Soros made an undisclosed investment in Crooked Media, a liberal podcast network known for shows like Pod Save America.

Additionally, a Soros-affiliated firm played a pivotal role in Univision's sale of 18 Hispanic radio stations for $60 million in 2022 to a new entity led by Democratic political veterans. This transaction, which included prominent conservative Cuban broadcasters in Miami, faced opposition from Republican lawmakers.

This venture into radio, despite its challenges, may signal a broader strategy of acquiring audio media assets, according to sources familiar with discussions with Soros executives. The fund has explored purchasing other major radio companies, such as Cumulus Media, although regulatory constraints on station ownership present obstacles to such mergers.

Michael Del Nin, the fund's lead media investor, has engaged with key figures in digital media and audio, including Project Brazen, a podcast company. The fund has also considered acquiring companies like Pushkin Industries, founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, and Lemonada, known for its interviews hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. However, some potential buyers have hesitated due to Lemonada's high valuation, according to industry insiders.

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