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NBCU Selling L.A. Spanish-Language Television Station

If the FCC approves the deal, the Meruelo Group will acquire KWHY

Just two days before final approval on their merger with Comcast, NBC Universal has sold KWHY, a Spanish-language television station.

The Spanish-language station will be owned by The Meruelo Group, a California company that has interests in banking, restaurants, construction and other services, 

The acquisition will make KWHY the only Latino-owned television station in Los Angeles.

NBC-U has owned KWHY and KVEA since it acquired Telemundo in 2002. As part of NBCU's merger with Comcast, NBCU made a diversity commitment and pledged to make efforts to sell KWHY to a minority-controlled business.

NBCU worked with Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find a buyer.

Jose Cancela, a long-time executive in Hispanic broadcasting, will oversee the sale of KWHY through a special divestiture trust that was set up under FCC rules.

"With his outstanding business acumen, deep roots in Southern California and strong ties to the Latino community, Mr. Meruelo is the perfect choice to lead KWHY into the future," Cancela said in a written statement. "This is a great day for both Hispanic broadcasting in Southern California and for the diverse communities of Los Angeles."

Alex Meruelo, founder and CEO of the Meruelo Group, said in a written statement that "as one of the oldest independent Spanish-language television stations in the U.S., KWHY is a station with a great history and an ongoing mission to serve a vibrant and growing community."

His company has interests in La Pizza Loca restaurant chain, Commercial Bank of California and several utility construction firms.

Meruelo's purchase of KWHY is expected to be completed by mid-year. Financial terms were not released.

NBCU will continue to own two stations in Los Angeles -- KNBC and Telemundo KVEA.