Published by The Charlotte Observer November 7, 2009:
Charlotte’s classical-music station, Davidson College’s WDAV-FM (89.9), is looking at adding a Spanish channel.
Called “Concierto,” it would be broadcast on one of WDAV’s HD radio channels and streamed on the Web. HD radio is a digital broadcasting service that requires a special tuner to pick up and enables radio stations to offer extra specialty channels.
“Concierto’s” programming would focus on Spanish composers and performers. Ben Roe, WDAV’s general manager, says that none of the three dozen classical stations in the nation offers such a service.
WDAV already has three staffers fluent in Spanish: announcers Myelita Melton, Lauren Rico and program director Frank Dominguez.
“We have some tremendous assets in-house that other stations would have a hard time duplicating,” says Roe, who joined the station in 2008 after a 20-year career at National Public Radio, where he was director of music and music initiatives.
Roe says he doesn’t know how big the Charlotte market would be for such a channel, but is eager to see how it would do.
“In all the years I’ve worked at NPR and in national arenas, everyone has always talked about launching a service to reach the Latin audience but nobody has done much about it … There’s a huge upside and the risk is relatively minimal.”
Part of the upside is the possibility of national syndication of the channel, particularly to public radio stations in cities with a high Hispanic population such as Miami, San Antonio or Los Angeles.
South Carolina was No. 1 in the growth of Hispanic population from 2007 to 2008, and North Carolina was No. 2. Hispanic population is estimated at about 7 percent in each state. Nationally, Hispanics comprise about 15 percent of the population.
Launching the channel would be dependent on raising money – likely from foundations or grants – for the project. Roe is working toward an April start.
- Read the entire article from The Charlotte Observer