Mega 98.3 Buenos Aires
Argentina 1999

In 1999, Rick Cummings, VP-Programming of Emmis Communications asked me to consult a new station acquisition in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

For the next five years, I spent three weeks a year in Argentina working with the Emmis stations, as well a s doing airchecks and conferences via phone and the internet.

The stations acquired by Emmis, in association with the previous owner, were an AM and FM combo in Buenos Aires, a metropolitan area of over 17 million population.

I had been in Buenos Aires many times before, going back to frequent trips int he 60's to find new music for my station in Ecuador.

Here is a 1981 picture from a visit to record shop for Música en Flor.

The FM, called FM News because it was the only FM with newscasts, had a format of English-language adult contemporary music and no ratings. Perhaps this was because they had over 2,800 songs in rotation!

As is usual with bad stations, they go away. Before that, all the normal perceptual and format search research was conducted. The result was a new format based on Spanish-language rock and playing only songs by Argentine artists.

Andy Bloom, in-house consultant and me at the Mega launch at 1 PM on April 24, 2000. 

Mega had a simple position: Pure
 Argentine Rock. Surprisingly, this format had never been done before despite the genre being the leading one in music sales.
Mega was the first 100% "Rock en Español" station in the world,
and featured only songs by Argentina's many rock artists,
covering three decades of Rock Nacional.

To see Mega 98.3 event
promotions click on the bus!

Mega TV Commercials
Click on the picture of the set!
Hear a Mega contest promo.
Click on the radio

Click on the studio photo
to the left to see the
studios and some of the
offices of Mega as they
were in 2000.

In June, 2000, IBOPE Argentina, S. A.  released the ratings for the month of May in Buenos Aires (population:15,000,000) and the #1 station in persons 20-54 is Mega 98.3 with a 15.03 share. In April, the station had less than a 2 share. Mega made its debut on April 24, 2000 at 1 PM, only 6 and a half days before the May IBOPE survey began!

Here is a Mega sales sheet
showing the ranking of the
first 5 FMs in Buenos Aires.
Mega debuted at #1 just
40 days after going on the
air in April, 2000.
Mega continued
my involvement  to
maintain its #1 position
over all competitors.

Click on the page to the right
for a PDF file of the entire 2000
sales kit for Mega 98.3

In the three-month averages for May-July, Mega had a 17 share, #1 by a wide margin in this huge market with over 30 licensed radio stations and as many as 50 quasi-official "local stations" and outright pirate operations. (The #2 station managed a low 11 share)

Click here for a PDF
of the Emmis ratings Press Release.

Displacing all other stations, Mega made the strongest and fastest debut in the history of Argentine radio. After two years, it remains firmly #1

Press Comments

Mega went on the air in
late April of 2000.
It was an instant success.
Here are some interesting
comments form the local press,
including what leading daily Clarín
said about Mega on July 28, 2000.

"An American company discovered that Argentines
like national rock!"

Click on the Clairn Front Page
to the left to read a translation.

Mega shares this building in the Palermo section of Buenos Aires with Radio 10, the city's #1 AM station. Here we can see the Radio 10 AM studio which faces the street so listeners can drive by and watch the popular announcers do their talk shows.

Radio 10 is Argentina's most powerful AM commercial station, with 100,000 watts on 710 AM. In about 2 years on the air, when Emmis made the purchase it had achieved total dominance among a field of over 10 AM talk stations in no small part due  to the guidance of founder and morning host Daniel Hadad. Mr. Hadad repurchased the stations in 2005 when the local economy obligated Emmis to divest the stations.

The Radio 10 studio looks through bullet-proof glass out at the corner of Uriarte and Nicaragua in the Palermo section of Buenos Aires. As can be seen from the number of microphones, some of the shows might have as many as 6 to 8 participants.
Radio 10 News Director
José Luis Pagano in his office.

This was a formidable job; just the morning news and commentary show had over 20 staffers, including a news writing staff and reporters.

Click on the Power Output
Meter (showing 100 kw)
to see the Radi0 10
transmitter site.