Clear Channel Communications today (Nov. 12) unveiled its new "Spanglish" radio format on Houston heritage rock station KLOL, which becomes Mega 101 FM. The format combines Spanish hip-hop, reggaeton

Clear Channel Communications today (Nov. 12) unveiled its new "Spanglish" radio format on Houston heritage rock station KLOL, which becomes Mega 101 FM. The format combines Spanish hip-hop, reggaeton and pop/dance music.

The company heralds the format as "unprecedented," saying it fills a void for U.S. Hispanic youths who prefer upbeat rhythmic music.

KLOL is the first of a number of CC stations to flip to the bilingual youth format, part of a broader multi-market Hispanic programming initiative announced by radio's largest operator on Sept. 16. Responding to the country's fast-growing Hispanic population and the limited radio choices within that market, the company said in September that it would flip 20-25 of its stations to Spanish-language programming during the next 12 to 18 months.

To spearhead the initiative, the company hired Alfredo Alonso, formerly vice chairman and president/CEO of Mega Communications, a 20-station Spanish-language radio group.

Clear Channel says the new stations will sound like American radio, presenting music in Spanish and spoken content in Spanglish -- a combination of English and Spanish. Core artists include Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Akwid, Shakira and Juanes.

The No. 2 U.S. radio company, Infinity, has also become more aggressive in the Spanish radio space, forming an alliance with Spanish Broadcasting Systems.

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