Raúl Alarcón Jr.

Who Is Raúl Alarcón Jr.?

Raúl Alarcón Jr. is the president, CEO, and chair of the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS). SBS is a media company that Alarcón Jr. formed with his father Pablo Raul Alarcón, in 1983. SBS is a publicly-traded media company with radio, television, and Internet properties geared to the growing U.S. Hispanic population.

Key Takeaways

  • Raúl Alarcón Jr. is the president, CEO, and chair of the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS).
  • Alarcón Jr. started the media company in 1983 with his father, Pablo Raul Alarcón, with an eye on the growing Hispanic marketplace in the U.S.
  • SBS is a multi-media company that includes 17 Spanish-language radio stations in the U.S., the LaMusica app, as well as a number of television, entertainment, and Internet businesses.
Raul Alarcon Jr.

Alison Czinkota / Investopedia

The company owns key radio properties in diversified markets like Los Angeles, New York, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco. The company also has a division called SBS Entertainment, which produces live concerts in selected markets anchored by their radio station presence.

Understanding Raúl Alarcón Jr.

Alarcón Jr. was born in Havana, Cuba in 1956 to Pablo Raul Alarcón, a successful entrepreneur with 14 radio stations in Cuba, and his wife Alma Alarcón. In 1960, the family fled Cuba, with Alarcón Sr. deemed a political refugee. Settling in the Bronx, New York City, 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.

But in 1983, at the age of 27, his life took a different direction. His father had borrowed $3.5 million to purchase WSKQ, an AM radio station in New York City, and asked him to run the sales department. Alarcón Jr. joined the company and began what has been a nearly four-decade career in radio. At the time of his joining, the father-son pair agreed on a partnership, and together they formed Spanish Broadcasting System, (SBS).

In 2019, Raul Alarcón Jr. was awarded the Businessperson of the Year Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Evolution of Spanish Broadcasting System

By 1988, the company had become profitable and had generated sales of $20 million. By then, Alarcón Jr. had been promoted to be the company’s president and had a seat on the board of directors. With extra capital available due to the success of their modern Spanish format at WSKQ AM in New York City, the company was able to buy its second property and its first FM station, KLAX in Los Angeles.

The company had a foot in east and west markets but needed more capital to build the empire of Spanish language stations the father-son duo had envisioned. With that goal in mind, SBS went public in 1991, raising over $435 million, and setting them on the path to broad expansion. In 1994, Alarcón Jr. became the CEO of the company, which by this time had multiple radio stations, television offerings in select markets and via Direct TV, and a division devoted to concert production called SBS Entertainment. SBS also began to acquire an Internet presence, starting with the purchase of JuJu Media, publishers of a Spanish-English website called LaMusica.com.

In 1999, Alarcón became the chair of the board and continued on as CEO and President. SBS currently owns 17 radio stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and the LaMusica app. The company is based out of South Florida.

Article Sources

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  1. Sun Sentinel.com. "Obituary: R. Alarcon, 82, Hispanic radio mogul." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  2. Reference for Business. "Raul Alarcon Jr. 1956–." Accessed Mar. 26, 2021.

  3. Billboard.com. "SBS' Raúl Alarcón Jr. Accepts Businessperson of the Year Award From the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  4. Spanish Broadcasting.com. "Leadership, Executive Management, Raúl Alarcón, Jr." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  5. Spanish Broadcasting.com. "Our Company." Accessed March 26, 2021.