For the first time in recent memory, a Spanish-language station is No. 1 for Los Angeles’ coveted morning drive. Regional Mexican station KLAX (97.9 FM, La Raza), jumped from No. 4 in May to No. 1 in Arbitron’s June PPM ratings. The station garnered a 5.2 share, the slightest of margins over No. 2 KFI-AM’s 5.1. KROQ-FM and KISS-FM came in at No. 3 and No. 4 with a 4.9 and 4.6 share respectively while another regional Mexican station—KSCA-FM—came in at No. 6.
La Raza, owned by Spanish Broadcasting Systems (SBS), plays new regional Mexican music and its morning drive boost comes from Ricardo Sánchez, known as El Mandril, who hosts raucous morning show El Vacilón del Mandril (El Mandril’s Party). The burly, genial Sánchez has hosted the show on this time slot for the past two years. In the May ratings, KLAX came in at No. 4 with a 4.5 share. KROQ and KFI-AM topped the morning drive ratings for that month with a 5.2 share, with KISS-FM at No. 3 with 4.7.
Sánchez has literally made his way in radio from the ground up; he began as a janitor before getting his turn at the microphone.
“Hispanics are very passionate and listen more to radio,” Sánchez told the Los Angeles Times. According to Arbitron numbers, listeners of La Raza spent more time on the station than listeners of its closest competitors.