Otto Padron is President and CEO of Meruelo Media, the fastest growing Minority owned Media Company in California. Otto’s mass media experience and leadership has been the instrumental vision powering Meruelo Media into an industry trailblazing organization. As such, there is no U.S. based minority owned and operated media company with the platform diversity, reach and execution of Meruelo Media.
Otto conceived, shaped, formed, and currently operates the most diverse Super Cluster in the Nation with a carefully curated and culturally unique multi-lingual collection of brands under one flag – Meruelo Media, Los Angeles. As such, this distinct organization is one of the fastest and strongest growing media companies in the Nation with six key broadcast properties serving
the Greater Los Angeles area. Its broadcast portfolio holds some of the most legendary brands in the U.S. The oldest independent Spanish language TV station in the U.S., KWHY-TV 22 celebrating a 35-year broadcasting legacy with its combo full power sister station, KBEH-TV 63. These institutional properties are joined by heritage rock station KLOS 95.5 FM super serving SOCAL for over 50-years, coupled with the legendary KDAY 93.5 FM commemorating 40- years as the first U.S. commercial radio station to play Hip-Hop which is now joined by the iconic tastemaker rhythmic FM stations in the Nation – Power 106; the super cluster is capped by the new KLLI “CALI” 93.9 FM playing the hottest Spanish Language hits. All these iconic brands offer a deep and multiprong digital strategy to engage multimedia users at all relevant touchpoints. Such is the case for Power106 and its near 2 Million YouTube subscribers. In 2014, Otto led the design and construction of the new Meruelo Media Los Angeles multimillion-dollar Broadcast and Studio Center (www.meruelostudios.com) now home to FOX Television’s African American OTT/Streaming service – FOX Soul. As a widely respected and award-winning content creator, Otto brings a unique combination of revenue generation coupled with a well footed and pragmatic production approach that drives creative innovation at every phase of execution.
As a young Cuban immigrant growing up in the US, Otto formed a passionate bond with mass media thanks in great part to his father, a broadcast engineer in the then nascent Spanish language network, Univision. Many years later, Otto would serve as the Senior Vice President of Programming at Univision leading the network’s content strategy in setting viewing records and establishing itself as one of America’s most watched TV Networks – regardless of language! Otto is the only executive to have successfully headed programming for both major US Spanish language networks, Univision and Telemundo. His unique media background brings a rich perspective and matchless insight of the Latino viewer profile, content, and cultural preferences to any operation. As a shaping member of these powerhouse brands, Otto skillfully blended solution-based content ideas with a value-oriented production management style driven by bottom-line results. During his +20-years programming these competitive networks, Otto developed a keen understanding of relevant entertainment/information formats and has established a reputation for delivering winning results through relevant and compelling editorial, production excellence and flawless execution.
During his nearly 15-year tenure at Univision, Otto assumed various positions of growing responsibility culminating as Senior VP, Programming and Promotions. He directly managed all domestic entertainment productions, operations, on-air promotions and key positioning and branding strategies. He was responsible for the development and launch of many of the programs that continue on-air today. Overall, he was responsible for the management of an annual content budget of over $500 million and supervised a team of more than 300 employees. Moreover, he managed all programing aspects of the content agreements with Televisa (Mexico), Venevision (Venezuela) and RCN (Colombia), as well as the network’s general entertainment domestic U.S. productions. Otto is a Retired Colonel with 38 years of distinguished military service. He was commissioned as an Infantry officer and began his military career in the Special Operations Command serving as an
Airborne Ranger in the legendary 75th Ranger Regiment. His career continued with assignments in some of the most demanding active-duty units in the U.S. Army. He retired in 2022 as the Deputy Division Commander of the 91st Training Division in Fort Hunter-Liggett, California. For his numerous military achievements, Otto was a featured Soldier in a U.S. Army Strong campaign as one of America’s top Latino leaders. COL Padron (Ret) most notable awards are the Bronze Star Medal; Legion of Merit; the coveted Ranger tab; Pathfinder Badge; Master Parachutist Badge and the Combat Infantry Badge for valorous service under enemy fire. (Army Campaign – click). Today Otto continues to serve as an Army Ambassador, a title that carries the protocol rank of a 2-Star General. Otto is the Vice Chair of the world-famous Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame committee. He also sits on various boards and commissions in the SOCAL region with an emphasis on increasing minority voices, academic resources and access for hard- to-reach communities. As such, Otto is a key member of the FCC Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CDEC) bringing a minority and veteran perspective to the FCC council. He is married to Mexican actress, Angelica Vale and has four children. Otto is a distinguished master’s program graduate from the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and is a Worlds Ahead Graduate of Florida International University’s Chapman School of Business with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Otto is a Hurricane who proudly holds a double Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Communications and Economics from the University of Miami, Coral Gables – his alma mater.