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New Spanish-language station in Valley this summer

Lynn Burton

Anglo radio listeners sometimes consider radio commercials an intrusion – but that’s not so, generally speaking, when Latinos hear Spanish language commercial messages.

“They view it as an invitation and valuable information,” said Entravision Communications executive Rob Quinn.

“Commercials tell them which restaurants they can go to and feel comfortable … where they can go to negotiate for a car,” Quinn said.

His comments come after the California-based Entravision announced plans that it will broadcast Spanish language programming in the Roaring Fork Valley at 107.1 FM starting June 1.

The Basalt station, KPVW-FM, joins four other Spanish-language radio stations that Entravision owns in Denver.

Quinn described the upcoming KPVW programming as “Mexican country,” the type of music often heard in Chihuahua and Northern Mexico.

“It’s a very successful format,” Quinn said from his Denver office. “It’s led the market in Denver the past six years.”

Programming will originate in San Jose, Calif., and a satellite feed will send it to the Basalt station. There’ll be very little news or talk, and Quinn said the DJ style is “fast.”

The broadcast area covers Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Edwards, and Rifle.

“The Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield County area has about 25,000 Hispanics,” Quinn. “That’s more than Grand Junction. That surprised me.”

Quinn said through market research, Entravision has seen similarities and differences between Latino and Anglo listening and buying habits. For one thing, the weekly time spent listening to radio for Anglos is seven hours. For Latinos, it’s 18 to 20 hours.

“That’s phenomenal,” Quinn said.

Latinos often listen to radio on construction sites and in other occupational settings. The more hours they listen, the more often they hear advertisers’ messages.

Like many Anglos in the Glenwood Springs area, Latinos often go to Grand Junction or Denver for major purchases.

Quinn said Latino households average about $34,000 a year in disposable income with which to make those purchases

“That’s only a little less than the Anglo average, and it’s growing all the time,” he said.

Radio relies on commercials to make money. Quinn said Entravision’s marketing plan contains several components, based on appealing to local, state and national clients.

One marketing approach is to offer companies that advertise on Entravision’s Denver stations a reduced rate on the Basalt station.

“The response has been great,” Quinn said. “When we sign on, we’ll have a lot of advertisers.”

Quinn said Entravision is deeply involved in Denver’s Latino community. “We’re producing a Cinco de Mayo event that will attract 200,000 people,” he said.

Entravision also produces everything from music concerts to rodeos and professional wrestling matches.

Entravision plans to also get involved in the Glenwood Springs area Latino community as well. Part of that will involve bringing out-of-state bands and entertainers to local towns, as they come and go from shows in Denver.

“By the first of July, we hope to have a good local event under our belt,” Quinn said.

Entravision owns or operates 53 Spanish language radio stations in Latino markets across the United States, plus 22 television stations, and the nation’s oldest Spanish language newspaper, El Diario/La Prensa in New York City.

The Basalt station will be staffed with a general manager and promotional people.

KPVW will be in competition with the locally owned KGLN-AM, which switched to a 24-hour Spanish-language format last October.

Guillermo Trejo, program director at the Glenwood based KGLN, said there isn’t much he can say about KPVW coming to town, other than he doesn’t like the idea of competing with a “bigger, more powerful station.”

“But they have a right to be here,” Trejo said. “We’ll see how people respond.”

Entravision’s entrance into the Roaring Fork Valley will also affect Aspen’s public radio station, KAJX-FM.

Entravision allowed KAJX to use its 107.1 signal for the past two years, but that arrangement will come to a halt when KPVW goes on the air June 1.

Glenwood Springs residents will still be able to pick up KAJX at 88.9 FM.


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