Arizona’s Spanish-news radio has a new proprietor, a Mexican immigrant

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“The odds of you buying the radio are almost impossible,” a small business adviser mentioned to Laura A. Madrid when she expressed curiosity in shopping for La Onda 1190 AM / 107.5 FM, the Spanish-language information radio station in Phoenix the place she had been working for greater than 15 years.

Financial advisers at banks instructed her that the danger of buying the station was too excessive and denied her the mortgage. They steered that she change route — buy one thing else, like a meals truck, for instance.

But these strategies didn’t dissuade her. Using her personal resources, the help of her household and sheer will, she achieved a dream of hers by the tip of November: closing the deal that made her the primary Latina immigrant to personal a radio station in Arizona.

“I am very happy, proud to have made this great step,” mentioned Madrid in an interview with La Voz Arizona. “We will continue to serve our audience stronger than ever as we have in the last 16 years.”

Madrid is initially from San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. She has greater than 20 years of expertise working in Spanish media, each in gross sales and as a supervisor.

“When I started working for a radio station, more than 20 years ago at Radio Única, I didn’t know anything about radio. I didn’t know that it was something I was going to mold into my career,” Madrid recalled.

It was the spoken format, the information format of radio, with which Madrid most recognized. She believes that the media ought to fulfill a social dedication — that of informing and educating the group. When Radio Única left the market, she mentioned a void was left for the Spanish-speaking residents of Arizona.

“I felt that Arizona had a gap, that it needed more news in Spanish — something informative because we have many regional Mexican music stations, but not community and informative stations, like what Radio Única was,” she mentioned.

From gross sales to station supervisor at La Onda

In 2005, she was introduced on to Arizona La Onda 1190 AM (previously La Buena Onda 1190 AM), a Spanish-language information radio station with a stable and long-term project. Madrid was invited to work with them and he or she readily accepted.

“When I left the music station and told them that I was going to go to news talk radio in Spanish, they told me that I was crazy, that the station was going to last a year,” she mentioned.

It was a choice that modified her life. After a few months working on the station, she went from gross sales govt to station supervisor at a time when Arizona made nationwide headlines because of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his anti-immigrant ways.

“The owner of the station died and many left. I was left as manager and I accepted the responsibility,” she mentioned.

Since then, Madrid’s affect was represented within the content material of the programming, hiring journalists and implementing new methods, just like the morning information program “Enlace 1190” as its customary speak present, which has consolidated itself as essentially the most listened to radio information program in Spanish within the Valley.

“They have asked me, how do you feel about being the owner? But the truth is that since they gave me the reins of the station, I have treated it as if it were mine,” Madrid mentioned.

New stage, new initiatives

As president and govt director of La Promize Company, which owns La Onda, Madrid plans to make some modifications, implement new initiatives, whereas staying true to profitable programming in the neighborhood.

“The responsibility now is greater, to have a means of communication that you can use however you want, without being accountable to anyone. For me, it is an immense responsibility. My commitment has always been and will continue to be to the Hispanic community,” she mentioned.

She careworn that the modifications within the radio station have already been going down. In October, a night information program was launched and is hosted by famend journalist Daniel Aguirre, who has labored for Telemundo. The newscast “Enlace 1190,” which is a well-established program in the neighborhood, will probably be maintained and bolstered, in addition to different packages equivalent to “Mujeres Únicas,” “Contacto Total” and “Deportes 1190.”

“We are a local station. Our talent and information are here,” she mentioned.

Although the station is a conventional one, she believes there’s nonetheless a lot of room to develop. Proper use of technology and offering helpful journalism are key, she mentioned.

Reach La Voz Editor Javier Arce at javier.arce@lavozarizona.com. Follow him on Twitter @javierarce33.

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