There’s a new sound on the air in the Hudson Valley — Spanish-language FM radio.
Last month, Townsquare Media launched its Spanish-language format on two radio stations broadcasting on 95.7 FM from translators in Middletown and Poughkeepsie. The station broadcasts a mix of mainstream Latino music designed to appeal to a variety of nationalities and musical tastes. The stations broadcast in a roughly 25-mile radius around their respective cities, including Kingston and New Paltz.
Jason Finkelberg, market president for Townsquare Media’s Hudson Valley holdings, which include rock stations WPDH and WRRV, said the company had been seeking a Spanish-language outlet for some time. When the opportunity arose to acquire the two translators, Finkelberg said, Townsquare saw an opportunity to tap into a large — and largely underserved — market. Finkelberg said Latinos comprise about 20 percent of the Hudson Valley’s population and, until now, had no dedicated local Spanish-language FM station to tune into.
“There’s really nowhere else where you have a segment of the population that’s this large that doesn’t have a media outlet,” said Finkelberg. “It’s a pretty glaring hole.”
Finkelberg said a new station had a “soft launch” last month and plans a larger rollout and marketing effort on Jan. 1. But the new format is already attracting sponsors, who say they’ve been waiting for a means to tap into the local Latino market. Kingston-based law firm Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor signed on as a “launch sponsor” for the new station. The firm’s marketing coordinator, Ashley Ruzzo, said Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor plans to continue advertising heavily on the station as part of a broader effort to reach out to Latino clients.
“We really do cater to the Hispanic community,” said Ruzzo. “It’s one of the areas where we’re trying to broaden our outreach.”