Azteca Changes Channels In Southern California

The Spanish-language Azteca América broadcast TV network has officially concluded its 17-year run on KAZA-54, with all programming shifting Wednesday (1/4) to a station that once served as the flagship for the LATV network.

Now branded as “Azteca Los Angeles 57” is KJLA-57, a station owned by Walter Ulloa — but not the company he oversees, Entravision.

KJLA is a full-power station and all of the programming formerly on KAZA has made the move.

The shift of Azteca América to KJLA is the result of the Oct. 25 acquisition of the channel-sharing agreement for KAZA, licensed to the island municipality of Avalon, Calif., to Norman Shapiro’s Weigel Broadcasting Co. for $9 million.

As reported by Radio + Television Business Report,  a $91,116,442 bid was accepted in the FCC’s incentive auction, giving the spectrum of KAZA to wireless telecommunication companies.

“Securing a robust presence in Los Angeles with full HD carriage on all cable and satellite providers is a significant move for Azteca America,” said Manuel Abud, the network’s President/CEO.

He added that Azteca’s launch on KJLA is part of HC2 Holdings Inc.’s strategy “to preserve and expand Azteca America’s distribution footprint and solidifies its commitment to serving the number one Hispanic market in the country.”

HC2 acquired Azteca América on November 30.

“We look forward to entering the new year with a renewed commitment to serving the Latino community and offering our advertising and business partners the best service and most impactful marketing solutions to connect with our KJLA viewers,” said Enrique Perez, EVP of Azteca America Station Group.

How long viewers will be able to view KJLA at its present home is the next question facing Azteca consumers in Southern California. That’s because KJLA’s spectrum fetched $135,542,845 in the FCC’s incentive auction.

KJLA enjoys a Channel-Sharing Agreement; the transition will be seamless to all except viewers who receive the station via an over-the-air digital antenna.