Liberman Buys Chicago LPTV

Liberman Broadcasting acquires W40BY from Trinity Broadcasting and will switch the religious format to LBI's Spanish-language Estrella TV, boosting the network's presence to 26 Hispanic TV Markets with full presence in the top 15.

Liberman Broadcasting Inc. today announced the acquisition of its ninth owned-and-operated television station, the low-power W40BY Chicago, from Trinity Broadcasting Network Inc. The station is a translator for Trinity’s WWTO Chicago. The price was not disclosed.

The deal, which comes on the heels of LBI Media’s $6.5 million purchase of KWHD Denver earlier this month, broadens the reach of the company’s popular Hispanic broadcast network, Estrella TV, to 73% of the U.S. Hispanic population. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Licensed to Palantine, Ill., W40BY serves the Chicago market on ch. 40 from the Willis Tower, formerly named the Sears Tower. The Chicago market is the sixth largest Hispanic television market in the United States, representing more than 490,000 Latino TV households. As early as the spring, area viewers will be able to watch the Estrella TV lineup, which includes musical-variety, comedy, drama, talk and game shows, as well as daily national news and magazine programs.

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“With the addition of the Chicago station to our O&O stable, LBI Media has achieved yet another significant milestone: Estrella TV will now be seen in each of the top 15 U.S. Hispanic markets,” said Lenard Liberman, president-CEO of LBI Media. “Hispanics are among fastest growing segment of Chicago’s population with nearly two million living in the metropolitan area. We seek to enrich the community with Estrella TV’s refreshing news and entertainment, in addition to providing advertisers with a unique platform to engage a coveted demographic.”

Spanning 26 markets nationwide, Estrella TV currently boasts a presence in 21 of the top 25 Hispanic U.S. markets. The network counterprograms the imported content and telenovelas found on other Hispanic networks. It produces 56 hours of weekly programming out of its Burbank studios with talent from the U.S., Mexico and Latin America and has a library of over 5,000 hours of programming.

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