Spanish Broadcasting System
Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS) is one of the largest owners and operators of radio stations in the United States. SBS is also invested in television and internet properties, deriving the majority of its income from advertising through its media products.
|Traded as||NASDAQ: SBSA|
|Industry||radio/television and Internet|
|Founded||Newark, New Jersey, USA (1983)|
|Raúl Alarcón Jr., Chairman President and CEO|
|Revenue||US $177 million (2006)|
|US $84 million (2006)|
|US $40 million (2006)|
Spanish Broadcasting System was founded by Pablo Raúl Alarcón Sr., who started in Spanish-language radio broadcasting in the early 1950s when he started his first radio station in Camagüey, Cuba, and his son, Raúl Alarcón Jr. Alarcón Sr. had acquired 14 radio stations by the time he fled Cuba with his family to the United States in 1960. In the U.S. he continued his career as an on-air personality at a New York radio station after arriving in the United States before being promoted to programming director. He subsequently owned a recording studio and advertising agency before borrowing $3.5 million USD to purchase the first SBS radio station, WSKQ-AM (La Super 1380) in 1983 with his son, Raúl Alarcón Jr. Alarcón Sr. would serve as SBS Chairman of the board of directors, while his son would serve as an account executive in the sales department.
SBS generated sales of about $20 million in its first year, confirming the influence of the growing Spanish-speaking audience. Raúl Alarcón Jr. became President of SBS and a director in October 1985. In 1988 SBS purchased its first FM station, regional Mexican KLAX 97.9 FM in Los Angeles. The company went public in the fall of 1991, raising $435.8 million by selling 21.8 million shares at $20 per share. SBS bought its third station, New York's WSKQ-FM, in 1989 and reformatted it as Mega 97.9, La Mega, surpassing the market's longtime leader, the light rock station WLTW-FM, by 1998. A major turning point for Spanish radio occurred that year when media researchers at Arbitron rated La Mega's morning show number one over that of the radio personality Howard Stern.
In 2002 the company created SBS Entertainment, a concert production arm. It also diversified by purchasing 80 percent of JuJu Media, the operator of the Spanish-English Web site LaMusica.com, which offered Latin music, entertainment, news, and culture. Later that year, at the insistence of Alarcón Jr., SBS launched KZAB-FM (La Sabrosa 93.5), targeting the Central American population in Los Angeles. In 2003, WSKQ was the most listened-to Spanish-language radio station in the United States. That year Alarcón Jr. told Billboard magazine, "My opinion is that radio programming continues to be an art. It is not a science. I will not argue with the fact that research gives you a good indication, a good road map."
Raúl Alarcón Jr. is the current Chief Executive Officer of SBS, a position he has held since June 1994. He also succeeded his father as Chairman of the board of directors on November 2, 1999. Alarcón Sr. would continue to serve as Chairman Emeritus. Alarcón Jr. is responsible for the company's long-range strategic planning and operational matters, and according to SBS's website, is instrumental in the acquisition and related financing of each SBS station.
In 2009, Raúl Alarcón Sr. was posthumously inducted into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame. On June 3, 2011, the heavily Cuban-American community of Union City, New Jersey honored Alarcon Sr. with a star on the Walk of Fame at Celia Cruz Plaza. Alacron Jr. was present to accept the honors for his father.
SBS radio stations use one of six programming formats:
- Spanish tropical: salsa music, merengue, bachata, reggaetón dance music
- Regional Mexican: ranchera, norteña, banda, cumbia music typically originating from regions of Mexico
- Spanish adult contemporary: soft romantic ballads, Spanish pop music
- Spanish oldies: Latin/English music classics from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s
- American top 40: current pop music hits
- Hurban: (Hispanic Urban) reggaetón dance music
- KLAX-FM 97.9 La Raza HD1 (regional Mexican)/Raza Clásicos 97.9 HD2 (regional Mexican oldies)
- KXOL-FM Mega 96.3 HD1 (pop)/Mega 96.3 HD2 (Spanish Tropical)
- WSKQ-FM Mega 97.9 HD1 (Spanish Tropical)
- WPAT-FM 93.1 Amor HD1 (Spanish Tropical)/93.1 Amor HD2 (Spanish AC music)
- WMEG La Mega 106.9 (CHR - Latin/American top 40)
- WEGM La Mega 95.1 (CHR - Latin/American top 40)
- WRXD Play 96.5 (CHR - Latin/American top 40)
- WZNT Zeta 93.7 (Spanish tropical)
- WZMT Zeta 93.3 (Spanish tropical)
- WIOB Zeta 97.5 (Spanish tropical)
- WODA La Nueva 94.7 (urban)
- WNOD La Nueva 94.1 (urban)
- WLEY-FM La Ley 107.9 (regional Mexican)
- WXDJ El Zol 106.7 (Spanish tropical)
- WCMQ-FM Zeta 92.3 (Romantic Salsa & Spanish Love AC songs)
- WRMA Ritmo 95.7 (Cubatón)
- WRAZ El Zol 106.3 (Spanish tropical)
- KRZZ 93.3 La Raza (Regional Mexican)
SBS launched AIRE Radio Networks in 2014.
MEGA TV was launched on March 1, 2006 and operates as a Spanish-language entertainment station in South Florida, Puerto Rico and Las Vegas. The station's programming targets a young, U.S. Hispanic audience through televised radio-branded shows and general entertainment programs (music, celebrity, debate, interviews, personality based shows). Seventy percent of MEGA TV's programming is in-house created. MEGA TV is also available nationwide on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse.
Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Key West/Miami, Florida||WSBS-TV||22||3||2006|
|San Juan, Puerto Rico||WTCV||18||21||2014|
|Ponce, Puerto Rico||WVOZ-TV||36|
|Aguadilla/Mayaguez, Puerto Rico||WVEO||17|
Arbitron sued SBS in order to force it to reinstall encoders used for the Portable People Meter system of audience measurement. SBS and other members of the PPM Coalition contended that the PPM system has had a major negative impact on their ratings and therefore revenue, and asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in investigate. Arbitron sued SBS for breach of a 2007 contract, including $2.5 million in payments owed since 2009. In February 2010, a court ordered SBS to reinstate, at least temporarily, the coding of its radio broadcasts for measurement by Arbitron.
- "Pablo Raúl Alarcón Sr." Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine, Spanish Broadcasting System, accessed June 4, 2011.
- Raúl Alarcón Jr.1956– , Reference for Business, 2nd ed., accessed June 4, 2011.
- "Raúl Alarcón Jr.", Spanish Broadcasting System, accessed June 4, 2011.
- "Santana, Daddy Yankee To Be Honored At Billboard Latin Music Awards". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. March 12, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- Sanabria, Santo. "Latinos honored in Union City", The Union City Reporter, June 12, 2011, pages 1 and 12
- Miami February 2014 Florida Trend page 25
- Eggerton, John. "Court Orders Spanish Broadcasting System to Restore Arbitron Encoding", Broadcasting & Cable, February 15, 2010
- Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. 2006 Annual Report
New York radio station websites
Miami radio station websites
Los Angeles radio station websites
San Francisco radio station website
Chicago radio station website
Puerto Rico radio station websites