When it comes to serving the Spanish speaking public in Atlanta, iHeartMedia has worked hard to lure them against local competitors such as Davis Broadcasting Inc. Over the years this has seen signal swaps and format changes – including the May 2020 decision to simultaneously broadcast Latin Pop WBZY-FM 105.7 “Z105.7”, following this the April 2020 station goes from 105.3 MHz.
Now, iHeart is getting into a direct format battle with Davis taking on simulcast partner WBZY and returning to regional Mexico after just over three years.
From Saturday (1/1/2022), WRDG-FM 96.7 at Union City, Georgia, is now “El Patrón 96.7”.
The format? Banda, Norteño and Rancheras, putting their mix of music from artists such as Grupo Firme, La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas, Caliber 50, Los Dos Carnales, Banda MS and Christian Nodal against WLKQ-FM “La Raza.”
Z105.7 PD is the program director of El Patrón. Orlando Rosa. He says, “With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging music tastes, this decision puts us in a position to super-serve all of our Hispanic listeners, advertisers and the community. “
The lineup includes Adrian Martinez in the night, Rico Hernandez from 6 a.m. to noon, Gina Ulmos from noon to 6 p.m. and Luis Treviño from 6 p.m. to midnight.
For iHeart, memories of the original “El Patrón” could benefit the company by drawing listeners to the reincarnated offering. On November 26, 2006, WBZY-FM 105.3 adopted the Mexican brand and regional format. Twelve years later, iHeart discontinued “El Patrón”, bringing the “Z” brand to the market.
With “Z” shifting to a different frequency and continuing changes in market dynamics, regional Mexican listeners are now a new choice – an iHeart hopes to open up more marketing and advertising opportunities in 2022.