Radio Station Switches to Spanish-Language Format

Marijke Rowland, Modesto Bee, Dec. 28, 2005

Rock ‘n’ roll may never die, but Modesto’s active rock station has bitten the dust.

New Rock 96.7 FM, a Clear Channel station, switched to the Spanish-language format “La Preciosa” early Tuesday.

It now broadcasts a Spanish variety format, playing hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

Gary Granger, Clear Channel-Modesto general manager, said the change made good business sense.

“One of the responsibilities of those entrusted with running a business is to seek out and seize opportunities,” he said via e-mail Tuesday. “La Preciosa is the right format in the right market on the right FM frequency at this time.”

The station broadcasts the same programming as the La Preciosa channels in the Bay Area, Fresno, Bakersfield and other cities.

La Preciosa is Spanish for “the precious one.”

New Rock 96.7 FM had been broadcasting a mix of active and alternative rock. It played bands from Nirvana to My Chemical Romance and Beck.

Rock 96.7 began broadcasting in January 2001. It modified its format to the alt and active rock hybrid this March in response to recent dips in its Arbitron ratings. Its format previously included a large chunk of classic rock.

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He said La Preciosa’s announcers all come from Mexico, and he hopes that will help connect listeners to their homeland and the station.

Granger said the station plans to reach out to the Latino community in a number of ways, including being active in community events and in the Spanish-language media. He said the station has been asked to broadcast Sunday morning church services in Spanish.

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