Lexington's Latino Media Grows Along With Local Population

Apr 16, 2012

The 2010 census revealed that Lexington’s Latino population has doubled in the past decade. As WUKY’s Cassidy Herrington reports, Latino media has grown accordingly to meet the needs of a now thriving community.

That high-energy voice shouting through your speakers belongs to Salvador Flores. He’s the afternoon host for “Explosiva” 940AM, Lexington’s local Spanish-language radio station.

He says that the music he plays transports listeners back to their native countries.

“Ellos sienten que estan en su pais…estan un poco mas en la musica que les gusta mas en su pais.”

Flores is from Aguas Calientes, Mexico, and he came to Lexington in 2006. Fores started DJing when the station first went on the air. 

“I’m always on the microphone saying ‘hey what’s going on, what’s up with you today? We are going to make money today!” We have to be happy always. Because I’m the DJ, I’m the radio host. I have to provide them like…Tengo que mandarles mensajes positivos, todos los dias.”

Flores said “I have to send positive messages every day.”

Adres Cruz, publisher of La Voz, says the local media are a reflection of the involvement and visibility of Latinos in the community.  

“We are not segregated, isolated, or hidden in the shadows.”

Explosiva and La Voz have goals to expand to reach more listeners and readers. With the growing Latino population in Kentucky and a growing advertising appeal, their growth will likely follow.

The Local bilingual newspaper, La Voz, is also engaging Lexington’s Spanish-speaking community. Here’s editor Adres Cruz.

“Through our Facebook page, this conversation, this forum has expanded. So now we get a lot of feedback.”

Cruz says Facebook has become an open forum for asking about a good place to eat in town. Or how to get connected to an immigration lawyer.

“Digital media has been a bridge for us to be in closer contact with our audience.”

Cruz says La Voz tries to keep a balance between advocacy and journalism. The paper covers news like local businesses, public rallies, as well as international news.

Language aside, the primary goals of Latino media outlets are the same as any other media organization. They serve to inform, entertain, engage the community….and sell advertising.

Television is another format that has benefited from the growing market niche. Insight Communications spokesperson Jason Keller says that when the company took over Lexington’s cable system in 1999, Spanish-language programming wasn’t available. Telemundo and Univision arrived on Lexington’s cable TV in 2000. Now more than 25 Spanish-language channels are on the air.

“As we continue to see Spanish-speaking audiences grow across Fayette county and Kentucky, I think we’re going to continue to see those types of program options available.”

Advertisements on Lexington’s Spanish language channels come from local businesses like grocery stores and car dealerships.

And if you turn on Spanish language radio or tv, you just might catch Mitt Romney rolling his R’s to sway Latino voters.

Adres Cruz, publisher of La Voz, says the local media are a reflection of the involvement and visibility of Latinos in the community.  

“We are not segregated, isolated, or hidden in the shadows.”

Explosiva and La Voz have goals to expand to reach more listeners and readers. With the growing Latino population in Kentucky and a growing advertising appeal, their growth will likely follow.