Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Latinx Community Remembers Walter Ulloa for his Incredible Work in Spanish-Language Media

Members of the media, business and political community mourn the death of Spanish-language media pioneer Walter Ulloa, CEO, and founder of Entravision Communication Corp.

Ulloa died of a heart attack on New Year’s Eve at 74 years old.

“It’s a big loss,” according to Tom Castro, the founder and CEO of El Dorado Capital, who said he had a 35-year friendship with Ulloa. “He was truly a role model, and he did not seek attention for all he accomplished.”

Ulloa transformed Entravision from “a traditional multi-linear Spanish language company that owns and operates 100 domestic television and radio stations to a global digital media powerhouse with a footprint that reaches 40 countries.”

Ulloa grew up in Brawley, California, back when it was a segregated community. As a graduate of the University of Southern California and Loyola Law School, he chose to start his career at KMEX in Los Angeles, a Spanish-language station run by Danny Villanueva Jr., the founder of Univision. Ulloa worked as the operations and production manager, news director, sales manager, and chief executive officer at the station before branching out independently. Ulloa co-founded Entravision in 1996, becoming its first chairman and CEO.

Castro said that even though Ulloa achieved a high level of business success, his “burning desire to improve the community and serve the community never died.”

Ulloa had wanted to work with Latino Media Network’s owners Stephani Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto, and together they purchased 18 radio stations owned by Univision on Dec 15, Castro said.

Valencia and Morales Rocketto said, “He saw the value and promise of the Latino media industry before many others did. His north star was to serve our community, and that he did … Walter’s commitment to this cause has been and will continue to be an inspiration for us.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz said Ulloa’s upbringing in the Imperial Valley, a heavily Latino and agricultural area, made an impression that stayed with him. The outgoing chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a tweet, “I am heartbroken by the sudden passing of my friend, Walter Ulloa, a trailblazer who has helped transform Spanish-language media.”

“Most highly successful Latino businesspeople, their commitment to social justice becomes less and less a part of their lives over time, and in Walter’s case that never happened. That burning desire to improve the community and serve the community, that never died,” Castro said.

NBC News