TV mogul expanding empire

MIAMI — Low-profile Mexican TV mogul Angel Gonzalez has bought Chilean broadcaster La Red for $15 million, according to reports in Santiago.

Deal was closed by former Universal worldwide TV prexy Jim McNamara, a longtime friend of Gonzalez, who bought the net from Mexico’s TV Azteca and local newspaper group Copesa.

The acquisition adds Chile to a growing list of countries where Miami-based Gonzalez has TV assets, which reportedly include Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Gonzalez’s m.o. is to buy failing broadcasters and turn them around with low-cost programming — typically U.S. films and Latino novelas — acquired in multi-territory deals.

Azteca acquired La Red in January 1998, paying $10.3 million for a 75% stake, but the last eight months have seen the Mexican company put foreign expansion on hold, as its domestic biz has suffered from declining ratings and a soft ad market.

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