Raúl Alarcón Jr. is a broadcasting mogul who oversees the Spanish Broadcasting System, one of the largest Spanish-language media companies in the United States. Alarcón is the company's chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman. He joined the company, which was founded by his father Pablo, in its sales department in 1983. Commonly referred to as SBS, the company owns and integrates radio, television, and digital properties in diversified markets. It also produces live events anchored by its radio station presence.
- Raúl Alarcón Jr. is the CEO and chair of the Spanish Broadcasting System, which is one of the largest Spanish-language media companies in the U.S.
- Alarcón Jr. started the media company in 1983 with his father, Pablo Raul Alarcón.
- SBS is a multi-media company that includes Spanish-language radio and television stations, digital platforms, and a live entertainment division.
- Alarcón Jr. wanted to be a physician until his father asked him to join the sales department of SBS in 1983.
- The company went public in 1991 and trades over-the-counter under the ticker symbol SBSAA.
Early Life and Education
Raúl Alarcón Jr. was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 to Pablo Raul Alarcón and Alma Alarcón. His father was a successful entrepreneur who owned 14 radio stations across Cuba. The family fled Cuba in 1960 when Fidel Castro assumed control over the country, at which time Pablo became a political refugee.
The family settled in the Bronx, New York. There, Alarcón Sr. resumed his career in radio, working for a number of Spanish radio stations. While Alarcón Jr. was drawn to his father's work, he also had other ambitions and went on to attend Fordham University with the intention of becoming a doctor.
In 1983, the younger Alarcón's life took a different direction. His father, who borrowed $3.5 million to purchase New York City AM radio station WSKQ, asked him to run the sales department. Alarcón Jr. joined the company and began what has been a nearly four-decade career in radio. The father-son pair agreed on a partnership when the younger Alarcón joined and formed Spanish Broadcasting System, which is commonly referred to as SBS.
Spanish Broadcasting System's consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2021. It marked a 20% increase in overall revenue, despite a 27% drop in revenue in its television segment.
SBS has grown significantly under the leadership of Pablo Raúl Alarcón and his son Raúl Alarcón Jr. As noted above, SBS is the largest Spanish-language broadcasting company in the United States. What began with a single radio station in the New York City area in 1983, the company now operates:
- 17 radio stations in major markets like New York, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Puerto Rico
- Mega TV, a group of six owned and operated over-the-air television stations in South Florida, Puerto Rico, and Houston, along with other affiliates across the country
- Digital platforms LaMusica and HitzMaker
- SBS Entertainment, the company's live events and marketing division
Honors and Awards
Raúl Alarcón Jr. was awarded the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Businessperson of the Year Award in 2019. Alarcón received the award at the organization's National Convention in Albuquerque, which coincided with its 40th anniversary.
The award drew criticism from the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists or SAG-AFTRA. The organization (a labor union that represents entertainers and journalists) called on the chamber to rescind its award, saying SBS failed to bargain with employees at its Los Angeles radio stations who voted to unionize for a new contract.
Alarcón Jr. was promoted to company president in 1985 and had a seat on the board of directors (B of D). SBS became profitable by 1988, generating sales of $20 million. The company achieved a great deal of success and earned additional capital because of its modern Spanish format at WSKQ AM in New York. This allowed SBS to purchase KLAX in Los Angeles, its second property and its very first FM station.
SBS had a foot in east and west markets but needed more capital to build the empire of Spanish-language stations the father-son duo originally envisioned. With that goal in mind, SBS went public in 1991, raising over $435 million. The company's stock trades over-the-counter (OTC) under the ticker symbol SBSAA. This set both men on the path to broad expansion.
In 1994, Alarcón Jr. became the company's CEO. At that time, SBS had multiple radio stations and television offerings in select markets and via Direct TV, along with a division devoted to concert production called SBS Entertainment. SBS also began to develop an internet presence, starting with the purchase of JuJu Media, publishers of a Spanish-English website called LaMusica.com.
In 2021, Alarcón Jr. passed on the duties of company president to Albert Rodriguez, who serves as the chief operating officer (COO). He chose to focus on his role as CEO and chair of SBS. He signed a contract in 2018 that keeps him in these roles until 2022.
What Is Raúl Alarcón Jr. Known for?
Raúl Alarcón Jr. is CEO and chairman of Spanish Broadcasting System, which is one of the largest Spanish-language media companies in the United States. Established in 1983 by Alarcón Jr. and his father, Pablo, it has a national presence in radio and television and also operates a digital platform division as well as a live entertainment unit.
What Role Does Raúl Alarcón Jr. Play in Spanish Broadcasting System?
Raúl Alarcón Jr. is the chief executive officer and chair of SBS. He was studying at Fordham University to become a doctor but was asked by his father to join the company's sales department in 1983. In 1988, Alarcón Jr. was promoted to the role of president and also earned a seat on the company's board. He assumed the role of CEO in 1994. In 2021, Albert Rodriguez became president, allowing Alarcón Jr. to concentrate on his duties as SBS's CEO and chair.
How Can I Purchase Shares in Spanish Broadcasting System?
Shares of Spanish Broadcasting System trade over-the-counter under the ticker symbol SBSAA. You can purchase shares through an online or traditional brokerage firm.
The Bottom Line
Raúl Alarcón Jr. is a media mogul. Born in Cuba, he moved with his family to the United States in 1960. His father, who owned and operated radio stations in Cuba, started Spanish Broadcasting System in 1983 with a single radio station. Although he wanted to become a doctor, he joined his father's business that year. Since then, Alarcón Jr. has helped move his father's company to a national network, with a presence in the radio, television, and digital industries, as well as a unit that produces live entertainment.