It was the highest price paid for a station in New York that is to have its format changed. Tichenor said. The sale of WNWK underlines an overall trend of soaring prices for the Spanish-language newspapers and radio stations, the assumption being that there are not enough media outlets for a rapidly growing Hispanic population. Peter Davidson, the chief executive of Latin Communications Group, which owns the newspaper El Diario in New York and 15 Spanish-language radio stations, says people are ''recognizing the Hispanic community is large enough to pay big money for a radio station. Heftel, which plans to begin programming in the next few months pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission, declined to disclose the type of Hispanic music the station would be playing. For fans of Spanish-language music, the arrival of a third major station is a good thing. Mega, which plays a mix of salsa, merengue and Latin house music, is widely seen as stale and out of touch. View on timesmachine.
Latinos in the city are indeed not just any audience. At any given time they have only six or seven commercial Spanish-language radio stations to choose from, significantly fewer than English speakers or Latinos in cities like Los Angeles and Miami. Large numbers of them also come from different countries, or were raised bilingually in the United States, and are pining for different music styles that are not always compatible. And as the most recent protest against La Mega indicates, they are not shy about showing their displeasure. In pickets and news conferences over the last several weeks, a group of Dominican community leaders, concert producers and musicians have accused the radio station of neglecting merengue, the native rhythm of the Dominican Republic. Officials at La Mega, which is owned by the Miami-based radio chain Spanish Broadcasting System, will concede this much as they begin to talk to the protesters: it is a juggling act to satisfy listeners with tastes that include not only merengue and salsa but rancheras and reggaeton, a relatively new concoction from Puerto Rico that mixes Spanish rap and reggae and that appeals to the growing bilingual youth market. Davis said.
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