Journo buys out partner in Canal 9

Web says management will continue unchange

Argentinean journo-lawyer Daniel Hadad has bought the 50% he didn’t already own in Canal 9 for $30 million from Raul Moneta, the net said Wednesday.

A banker, Moneta bought the holding in the country’s third-ranked broadcaster in 2003. But the federal broadcasting regulator reportedly declined to approve the transaction on grounds that his funding source was never identified.

Moneta, chairman of a cable holding company in the 1990s, was on the run from the law for nearly seven months in 1999 accused of conspiracy and tax fraud; charges that were later dropped.

Canal 9 said management would continue unchanged, with Sandro Scaramelli as CEO and Daniela Gonzalez as head of programming.

Hadad faces an expected decline in ratings and ad coin this year because of the departure of Marcelo Tinelli, Argentina’s most influential TV host and impresario. After a year with Canal 9, he shifted to No. 2 Artear-Canal 13 (Grupo Clarin) this year.

To win auds, Hadad is betting heavily on fiction via an 18-hour-a-week deal with Underground Prods., run by Sebastian Ortega, Tinelli’s former right-hand man.

Ortega, behind hits like comedy “Los Roldan” (The Roldans), is prepping a househusband sitcom, a weekly prison drama and daily comedies about thirtysomethings and wrestling fanatics.

Another challenge is to pull the net out of bankruptcy protection on an estimated $21 million-$30 million debt, most of it owed to studios.

Hadad has been piecing together a media group since buying Canal 9 in 2002 from Spain’s Telefonica and U.S. bank J.P. Morgan Chase. He now has investments in radio and a financial newspaper.

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