Wednesday, April 20, 2005

La radio Española de la lengua viene a Ozarks

The Ozarks gets its first all Spanish-language radio station.

Beginning April 30th, KQMO-FM will become the first radio station in the Missouri Ozarks to provide full-time Spanish-language programming.

For the past four years, KQMO has been programming Spanish-language radio on the weekends, in conjunction with Frank Soriano of Monett, under the logo “La M Grande”. The weekend programming has been well-received, and will now be expanded to full-time programming.

“The weekend programming has been so successful”, said Dewayne Gandy, President of Falcon Broadcasting, “that we felt it was time to take the plunge.” “We’ve done a lot of research, and the growth of the Hispanic community is phenomenal. Census figures in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas indicate up to 40-percent of the population is now Hispanic in some counties.”

The state of Missouri has posted a 92% growth in Hispanic residents, and since 2002, McDonald and Barry counties have already doubled those numbers. Since 1990, Hispanics in McDonald county have increased 1577% and Barry county 1024% due to increased employment opportunites.

Soriano noted, “my advertisers in the Ozarks will now be able to reach the Hispanic marketplace all week long, instead of just weekends. We’ve built a relationship between the station the listeners, and feel it’s the natural choice to expand the programming.”

The latest census data available is from 2002, when estimates indicated as many as 38,000 Hispanics living in the Missouri Ozarks, and even more in Northwest Arkansas. KQMO will be the only station reaching this market.

The music format is called “Regional Mexican”, and the station will also develop more local interest programming, including community events, news, and features such as the successful call-in shows with INS representatives. “The weekend programming will continue from our downtown Monett studios,” according to Soriano, “and we’ll add programming from local sources, plus CNN en Espanol and other new programming.”
KQMO broadcasts at 97.7 FM from a 450-foot tower south of Jenkins, MO in Barry County. Its signal stretches from Springfield to Bentonville, Arkansas.

Para los que hablan español, consonancia a 97.7 de abril el 30.