KTNQ 1955
  • In 1995, I was asked by friend and programmer Bill Tanner to join
    Heftel Broadcasting in LA to program KTNQ and assist with KLVE.

    KTNQ and KLVE were located in the old Broadway department store building at the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

    KTNQ was one of the heritage Spanish language AM stations in the USA. It had been switched from English to Spanish in 1978,
     immediately becoming the leading Hispanic station in the market.

    At 50,000 watt KTNQ (Transmitter picture above), I inherited legendary morning personality Humberto Luna and a station that had just over a 1 share of audience.

    We attempted to do a highly researched music format, based on "grupera" music of Mexico. The success could be measured in a teaspoon: the share decreased to below a 1. The legendary morning show was more legend than reality, also declining to near "no show" levels.
    By the end of 1995, the only successful shows on KTNQ were a sports block followed a mix of romantic music and "relationship" phone calls.
    With nothing to lose, I decided to make the morning show all talk, and to similarly do phone talk on the morning show. The approach was very aggressive and the topics were local and relevant

    Just 6 months later, KTNQ was a top 10 station in LA, with a 2.8 share. In 25-54, it tied legendary KFI and had established a new form of Spanish talk radio talk radio that was entirely local and focused on Los Angeles, not Mexico and Latin America.

    Here is an example of the aggressive in-your-face programming and promotion of KTNQ... as illustrated by the billboard campaign that helped produce the major ratings KTNQ had beginning in 1996.

    ¿Que Paso, Gloria?

    By L A Weekly news staff
    Wednesday, June 3, 1998 - 12:00 am
    In a world inured to shock-jocks and Jerry Springer, it's hard to imagine something new stirring outrage. But that is more or less what KTNQ 1020 AM, a local Spanish-language radio station, managed to do with its new billboard campaign. Promoting the station's talk-radio format, the ads feature such images as a gang member pointing a gun at his head (and one where the gun is on a Taco Bell-style Chihuahua), young Latino men climbing over a wall marked "Welcome to the United States," and a corpse on the ground, all next to the phrase "¿Que Paso?" (i.e., "What's happening?").

    The ads sparked the ire of none other than the Honorable Supervisor Gloria Molina. A nasty telephone conversation ensued, wherein Molina delivered her demands. "She said we should have put a fucking white man in the billboard," says David Gleason, KTNQ's program director. Then the National Hispanic Media Coalition got into the fray, with Alex Nogales, director of the coalition, saying that the ads appeared to promote "a very negative stereotype." Once the station's owners were contacted, they immediately agreed to pull the 24 billboards.

    The billboards will be replaced by others, including one that says, in Spanish, "Some don't want to talk about the violence. We do."

    This article was published in Radio & Records... August, 1997.


  • As KTNQ grew, the basic formulas of local involvement and community awareness that "10-20 AM" had pioneered for the 25-54 Hispanic audience were applied progressively to the larger of the Heftel Broadcasting AM stations in New York, Miami, Chicago and Dallas. Again, national attention was attracted to the ambitious project of building full service radio stations virtually from scratch in most of these markets. This interview in "Talkers Magazine" in December of 1997 details the philosophy of the programming applied to the HBC stations.






  • Text




  • KLVE rides silky Spanish sounds to a No. 1 ranking - Los Angeles, CA's No. 1 Spanish radio station,

     Heftel Broadcasting Corp.-owned KLVE-FM 107.5
    Los Angeles Business Journal, Oct 13, 1997 by Hildy Medina

    KLVE-FM 107.5 has an on-air promotion that says it all: In smooth Spanish tones, a chorus sings "Number one in Arbitron and number one in your

    KLVE isn't shy about touting its No. 1 status in the ratings, perhaps because it is virtually unknown among L.A.'s English-speaking population -
    the group that controls most of Southern California's advertising dollars.

    KLVE's studios can be found on the second floor of an Art Deco building at Hollywood and Vine - the same building that houses parent Heftel
    Broadcasting Corp.

    Three Heftel radio stations broadcast from the building and a quick tour makes the company's ambitions clear: two additional on-air studios sit
    empty in Heftel's 20,000-square-foot suite.

    "I don't want to discuss that right now," replies Richard Heftel, president and general manager of Heftel Broadcasting's L.A. stations, when asked
    whether the company plans to acquire additional stations to fill the two studios.

    OK, but if the company does add local stations, will they broadcast in Spanish?

    "Of course," Heftel replies.

    Heftel Broadcasting, which purchased KLVE in 1986, currently owns 39 stations nationwide, all of which broadcast in Spanish.

    Locally, it also owns KTNQ-AM 1020, L.A.'s first Spanish news and talk station, and it has an agreement to purchase KSCA-FM 101.9, which
    broadcasts from Heftel's Hollywood suite.

    KLVE's ascent to the top of L.A.'s market began in 1994, when founder Cecil Hertel, Richard's father, took the Dallas-based company public. After
    that, Clear Channel Communications bought Cecil Heftel's majority stake. Richard Heftel remained with the company and was transferred to L.A. to
    run its two stations.

    At the time, KLVE was barely pulling a 3 percent share of the L.A. market.

    David Gleason, Heftel Broadcasting's AM programming specialist, did some research after Richard Heftel's arrival and concluded that the station's
    format - a broad mix of international Spanish hits was off base.

    What listeners wanted was romance.

    The station tightened its focus to concentrate more on soft Spanish love ballads. Artists like Julio and Enrique Iglesias and Luis Miguel,
    well-known balladeers, became the focus of the station. KLVE also began a marketing push complete with billboards and concert sponsorships.

    As a result of the change, KLVE jumped from No. 11 on the Arbitron chart in 1994 to No. 1 in spring 1995. It's been there ever since.

    George Nadel Rivin, a partner at North Hollywood accounting firm Miller, Kaplan Arase & Co., points to a number of other reasons why KLVE is
    leading the radio market.

    "They provide programming that is on par with its general market competitors," said Rivin. "The only thing different is, it's in Spanish. Second,
    you have 6 million Hispanics in L.A. How many other stations that offer incredible sound and soft adult contemporary do they have to compete

    KLVE's biggest Spanish competitor is KLAX-FM 97.9, which plays a mixture of Mexican music, including Mariachi and Banda.

    Although KLVE is the new darling of Spanish radio listeners, the station has been around for nearly 40 years.

    Originally established in 1959 by the now-defunct PSA Airlines, it was purchased in 1975 by the Liberman brothers, who made KLVE one of the first
    Spanish radio stations to broadcast in stereo.

    According to Gleason, it was the first all-Spanish FM station in the country to cover such a vast region, stretching as far north as Santa Barbara
    and as far south as San Diego.

    "Bottom line, the programming works," said Gleason, when asked if any future changes are in the works. "The proof is in the Arbitron ratings."


  • Text





  • Text







  • Text