The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on February 23, 1987 · 51
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 51

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, February 23, 1987
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±wm His life in radio leads to network dreams By PATRICIA DUARTE Herald Staff Writer FROM now on Miami had better behave — or be embarrassed coast to-coast — warns New York trans plant Raul Alarc6n Sr who's planning the first Hispanic radio network in the United States “We’re going to have news about the Grand Prix and other good things about this place" says AlarcOn new owner of WCMQ in Miami “But if there is negative news we’ll expose them too” His three stations in Miami New York and Los Angeles already function as a network by exchanging news programming But Alarcdn is negotiating with the Satellite Radio Network System to link the stations so he can broadcast live one-hour music segments consecutively from each city He says the project will start as soon negotiations are complete and he can install a satellite dish atop his station’s Coral Way building Meanwhile Alarcdn and his son Raul Jr have brought sweeping changes and a new style to WCMQ AM-FM which their Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) bought in September for $15 million “We’re going to be more aggressive in music and news” says Alarc6n Sr who is in charge of all SBS programming “We’U have the hits and the news before the other Spanish stations” The new team won’t tinker with the mellow music format at FM-92 already rated among the top 10 stations in Dade and Broward It’s the station’s AM frequency that must improve dramatically against No 2 WQBA-AM (The last Arbitron survey rated WCMQ-AM as No 22 in the market) “I don’t think they’ll create an impact big enough to hurt us” says Julio Mendez WQBA operations manager “Our AM station is all news theirs is mostly music But they’re so new and they’ve made so many radical changes that we still can't predict anything” Alarcdn says he has invested $500000 to buy and improve equipment and created a news staff with six hires He has added four hours of morning news and replaced much of the homespun Caribbean-style music WCMQ had been playing with a more “sophisticated” ballad sound The AM station’s name has been changed from Radioalegre (“Happy Radio") to WCMQ Radio Centro the National Network A new set of snappy jingles now trumpets slogans such as Mas musica en tu vida (“More music in your life”) Raul Alarcdn Sr and his son Raul Jr RICK McCAWLEY Miami Herald Staff at one of their three radio stations WCMQ in Miami And though most of the old outfit’s deejays have stayed on Alarcdn is retraining them into using a more modern rapid-fire patter on the air “We’re teaching these kids where to cut in on a record” he says “In Spanish radio people are used to having deejays talk to them Anglo deejays don’t talk too much” A former deejay himself Alarcdn drives around listening to the radio He’ll stop just about anywhere and call his announcers to point out mistakes “People here are surprised to see an owner who’s not sipping martinis with other businessmen but working at the station like one more employee” says Elio Oliva the station’s news director Alarcdn who writes and narrates a daily financial news segment prides himself on being a sort of radio Renaissance man “I do everything around here — from a music show to news" he says “I learned about radio putting up a tower in Cuba I know how to install the wires on the ground I did it for my first radio station in Cuba" He speaks slowly and enunciates carefully like the old-style Spanish radio announcers his broadcaster voice devoid of any regional accents “Just listen to this” he urges turning up the volume on a sound component set behind his desk “We like to play salsa after the news — it gets things moving" The throbbing beat fills the room and Alarcdn's face breaks into a wide grin of satisfaction “He’s been in radio all his life so he’s a radio fanatic” says Oliva In 1956 Alarcdn founded the first radio network in Camaguey Province Cuba He started out teaching school in the daytime and working as a deejay at night until By the late 1950s he owned three stations and co-owned six others in Camaguey and Oriente provinces Faced by increasing media censorship from the Castro government Alarcdn and Please turn to SPOTLIGHT 10 February 23 1987 am The MIAMI HERALD

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