I am writing in response to your article about Viva and SuperEstrella (Latino Listener's Loss; SuperEstrella's Gain by Jorge Leal at http://latinola.com/story.php?story=704) I think the loss of Viva 107.1 is missed by some of your readers. I am a bit disturbed about the viewpoint in which you choose to explain some of your observations.
The biggest enemy rock en espa?ol has had is the fans themselves. When Red
Zone was on, the amount of support they received declined every week. People
would complain as to why they would not play certain records and why they would only play old music. They tried to break new bands but no one knew of them.
I'll give you the perfect example: With the exception of a few clubs (e.g. JC Fandango or rock nights at some clubs) "Oye mi amor" by Man? and "Ojo de venado" by Caifanes make the crowd go nuts. Play Inspector, Pante?n Rococ?, Jumbo, and watch half the floor move. When you make comments about
artists like Lupillo Rivera and how he takes old songs and gives them a twist, remember this: Lupillo Rivera sold platinum. Not even La Ley, Man?, or Jaguares sells that many units.
A company does whatever it takes to win. If the market truly were that big for rock en espa?ol, companies would follow in a heart beat. Why do you think hip hop is so succesful? It sells. Regional is the #1 Spanish selling format. Not even salsa and merengue come close.
You said "where is it customary for radio stations to play 'world premieres,' Latino stations are stuck playing the same old songs." Please, since when did an English station play the world premier of some great underground act? Very rarely if ever. When I hear premieres, they are usually a very known act, like Snoop Dog, Missy Elliot, POD, korn, or some established band. Also lets take a look at the number of singles the English side puts out compared to latins.
Viva never did better in ratings than Superstrella, even with a stronger signal. Superestrella consistently plays what people ask for, and while it doesn't make everyone happy, it serves the majority. To use KCRW as an example is unfair. They are a public radio station that is supported mostly by listeners and does not rely on advertisers to pay its bills. If the next big thing was roc en espanol and companies could cash in on it, I guarantee you even K-LOVE would consider a change or show. The reality is that the industry and the fans need to support it self more effectively, whether it is through building artists or taking it underground the way NWA did with Hip hop. When companies noticed how many units they were selling, they were signed.
"On the other hand, it is the young Latino listeners in Los Angeles who will be the ultimate casualty" ...."they will be without a radio station that truly seeks to address their musical wants and needs" WHAT?! They were a station that was trying to grab a niche market and beat a competitor and failed. The audience was not there. By the end of their life they sounded more like SuperRstrella than ever.
I am a fan of different genres of music, from rock, rare groove, hip hop, dance and even some regional. However, one must be honest with the fact that the genre does not support itself enough. Without Jaguares there is no Jumbo. Without Mana there is no XXXXX without sales labels will not risk themselves to the genre.....
PS: Chatting with a friend he brought up a good point. The majority of
the young Latinos under 21 speak predominately English, watch English television,
listen to English radio or cd's, probably even make love in English.....Not
all but that is a problem when a station is trying to talk to an english market by speaking in spanish.......tu articulo esta en ingles. Will you be writing the Spanish version?