An Amsterdam native is hoping live streaming on the Internet will build a broader audience for a weekly radio program directed at the region’s growing Latino community.
Julio Perez, who revived the Latin Explosion radio program two weeks ago, said the effort is one way for Capital Region merchants to tap into the growing mass of local consumers who speak Spanish.
Perez, owner of TLE Entertainment, is reaching out to companies throughout the Capital Region hoping to draw advertising revenue to keep the Latin Explosion show going on the Johnstown-based radio station WIZR, Z 96.5 and AM 930.
Airing from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays, the show includes programming in both English and Spanish and a slate of Latin reggae tunes Perez said should draw a larger audience with the advent of Internet streaming.
The program will also give attention to topics important to Latinos, such as the sudden death of popular Mexican-American artist Jenni Rivera in a plane crash Dec. 9.
Perez said he doesn’t delve into politics and the program is mostly music and entertainment. But he said some content focuses on current events and “issues that happen within the Hispanic communities, within the cities and towns that will have an impact on the community as a whole.”
Perez hosted the Latin Explosion program on another local radio station from 2000 to 2004 and AM radio wasn’t a big source of music then, he said.
The ability to listen to radio over the Internet gives the program a better chance of drawing more listeners over a vastly greater area, he said.
He said the local Latino market remains largely untapped, with few merchants directly advertising to those with Spanish-speaking roots.
More than a quarter of the city of Amsterdam’s population — an estimated 4,873 residents — is Latino.
There are more than 8,300 Latinos in Albany, nearly 7,000 in Schenectady and about 4,000 in Troy.
“It’s growing,” Perez said of the Latino population.
Though there’s no apparent broad organization of the Latino population, Perez said this segment of the community “needs to be embraced.”
“At this point, it’s time to embrace the culture as a consumer,” he said.
The radio station and “listen live” feature can be found at http://www.930wizr.com/home/. More information about TLE Entertainment can be found online at www.tleny.com.