‘El Patrón’ Returns To Atlanta Airwaves


When it comes to serving Spanish-speaking audiences in Atlanta, iHeartMedia has worked hard to attract them against such local competitors as Davis Broadcasting Inc. Over the years, this has seen signal swaps, and format changes — including the May 2020 decision to simulcast Latin Pop WBZY-FM 105.7 “Z105.7,” following that station’s April 2020 move from 105.3 MHz.

Now, iHeart is re-entering a direct format battle with Davis by taking WBZY’s simulcast partner and returning to regional Mexican after a little more than three years.

As of Saturday (1/1/2022), WRDG-FM 96.7 in Union City, Ga., is now “El Patrón 96.7.”

The format? Banda, Norteño and Rancheras, putting its mix of music from such artists as Grupo Firme, La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas, Calibre 50, Los Dos Carnales, Banda MS and Christian Nodal against DBI’s genre-leading WLKQ-FM “La Raza.”

Serving as Program Director for El Patrón is Z105.7 PD Orlando Rosa. He says, “With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve all of our Hispanic listeners, advertisers and the community.”

The lineup features Adrian Martinez in overnights, Rico Hernandez from 6am-Noon, Gina Ulmos from Noon-6pm and Luis Treviño from 6pm to midnight.

For iHeart, memories of the original “El Patrón” could benefit the company in luring listeners to the reincarnated offering. On Nov. 26, 2006, WBZY-FM 105.3 took on the branding and regional Mexican format. Twelve years later, iHeart scrapped “El Patrón,” bringing the “Z” brand to the market.

With the shift of “Z” to a different frequency and continued shifts in the market dynamics, regional Mexican listeners now a new choice — one iHeart hopes opens up more marketing and advertising opportunities in 2022.


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