Clear Channel To Convert To Hispanic Radio

NewsMax.com, Sept. 17

SAN ANTONIO—Clear Channel Communications Inc., the country’s largest owner of radio stations, Thursday said it will convert 20 to 25 stations to “Hispanic formats” over the next 12 to 18 months.

Clear Channel already has 18 stations carrying Spanish-language programming. The company said news and talk station WWVA-FM/WVWA-FM in Atlanta will be the first station converted. It will focus on Spanish contemporary music.

Some of the converted stations will concentrate on regional Mexican, tropical or contemporary music, while others will play a range of genres.

The San Antonio-based media company named radio veteran Alfredo Alonso as senior vice president of Hispanic radio.

Alonso served most recently as president and chief executive of 20-station Hispanic radio network Mega Communications. Alonso also founded the Radio Y Musica weekly trade publication.

“Alfredo helped create Spanish-language radio more than 15 years ago and his expertise will ensure we deliver the highest-quality programming for this audience,” said Chief Executive John Hogan.

Clear Channel had revenue of $8.93 billion last year.

New York Stock Exchange-listed shares in Clear Channel closed Thursday at $33.27, up 29 cents, or 0.9 percent.

Univision Communications Inc. is the country’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster, with 68 radio stations as of Aug. 4. The Los Angeles-based company acquired rival Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. in 2003.

Univision shares ended at $32.39, up 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, on the NYSE.

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