The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on February 23, 1987 · 52
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 52

Publication:
Location:
Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, February 23, 1987
Page:
52
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Hons In the Spotlight The MIAMI HERALD Monday February 23 1987 SPOTLIGHT from 9 his family left the country in December J960 “It was our way of telling people we disagreed with all that” he said Settling in New York he worked as a radio deejay and programming director until the early 1970s when he formed his own Spanish advertising company and recording studio "We had the studio in the basement of our home in Queens” says Los Angeles-based Alarc6n Jr president of SBS who casually refers to his silver-haired deep-voiced father as El Viejo (“The Old Man”) “El Viejo would come and ask me: ‘Son help me record this jingle’ ” he says “I was going to be a doctor but I became involved in my father’s business Before I knew it I was vice president for sales” The recording studio eventually expanded and moved to Manhattan where it began to service not only commercial accounts but also Latin singers and musicians “It turned out to be a better deal than the advertising agency” says Alarcdn Sr who still owns a recording studio in New York But returning to radio was his dream and in 1978 he attempted to buy an FM station that was being shut down by the Federal Communications Commission After four years in litigation Alarcdn bowed out of the sale "We lost a lot of money but we learned about the laws that regulate broadcasting in this country" he said As a result of that sobering and expensive lesson his next move was much better Radio fan building a Hispanic network planned Five years later he bought WSKQ without trouble and proceeded to change the sound of Latin New York radio from ethnic ' salsa and merengue to the slicker ballad-style music interpreted by singers such as Julio Iglesias or Josd Luis Rodriguez He was starting in the Latin market from scratch since his station had previously offered nothing but big band music “Three months later we were No 1" he says “To the point where other Latin stations started copying us and now they don’t play any salsa” Barely six months after purchasing WSKQ Alarcdn Jr went to a broadcasters’ convention in Las Vegas took a side trip to Los Angeles and came back with a second station KSKQ At $5 million it was a whopping example of impulse buying “We didn’t have the financing or the track record” says the younger Alarcdn “But when I saw the facilities I became enthused” That was the beginning of SBS which the Alarcdns run with two other Latin businessmen from the Northeast Alarcdn Jr 30 controls sales from his San Fernando Valley base while his father chairs the board and oversees programming Over a year ago the Alarcdns began to eye the Miami market and last fall they bought WCMQ after a full year of negotiations with owner Herbert S Dolgoff Alarcdn Sr then moved to Allison Island and bought a 50-foot yacht which he named for his wife Alma On weekends he takes groups of friends fishing on the Princess Alma where he and the boat’s captain prepare meals for them “I make a mean snapper and potatoes but my specialty is steak" he says “Don’t laugh — one has to know how to buy it and make it” He appears elated with the move “Radio is the most influential medium in this city" he says “It’s a smaller town than New York or LA It has more Spanish radio stations Here eight stations control the market” He believes that the impact of Spanish radio is amplified locally by the phenomenon known as Radio Bemba (“Radio Lip”) or the Latin grapevine whereby news heard on the radio is repeated in Little Havana back naul Alarcon JOB: Chairman of Spanish Broadcasting System PERSONAL: Age 59 Married for 35 years to Alma Aleman one son RaOl Jr 30 A native of Camaguey Cuba who moved to the United States in 1960 now lives on Allison Island Miami Beach LAST BOOK READ: “Haven't read one for a while” BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: “Seeing what Castro did with the Cuban revolution which we believed was nationalist Christian and democratic and which turned out out to be just the opposite" PROUDEST MOMENT: “The other evening at Regine’s when we officially presented our radio network to the Miami community” yards restaurants and street corners “Miami is a lot more competitive than LA and New York — it needs more attention” says Alarcdn Sr explaining why he relocated to this city “Besides all the Hispanic record companies and the great Latin recording artists are relocating here” i Lively Arts highlights local entertainment for you Theater movies art and music are reviewed weekly

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