Local radio called key player in Miami-Dade mayor recall


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and County Commissioner Natacha Seijas are officially out of office, and the campaigns being mounted to take their places are keeping a presence on local Hispanic radio in mind – since that medium had a large role in creating the openings in the first place.

According to the Miami Herald, a combination of unpopular salary increases for county workers, combined with property tax increases for citizens of the county, led to the recall.

It was engineered by a rich automobile dealer who touched on his own immigrant roots and rags-to-riches story to enlist the critical support of Hispanic voters. And the dealer, Norman Braman, did so by making himself available to local Hispanic talk outlets.

The effort, which kicked off in September 2010 and culminated in the mid-March ouster of the two politicians, was wildly successful, according to a poll saying that 93% of Hispanic voters supported it.

According to the Herald, the duo attempted to block the recall in court. When that failed, they were already in deep trouble, and their belated efforts to mitigate the damage were unsuccessful.

The Herald mentioned three Hispanic stations in particular as playing a role in the recall. Two belong to Univision – 1140 WQBA and 710 WAQI, and the third is a New World Broadcasting station, 1020 WURN.

RBR-TVBR observation: We note that radio managers said close attention to this issue was good for business. We’d take it a step further and say it will be a key to survival. The increasing incursion of national content into local markets, particularly on digital and mobile platforms, is only going to increase radio’s need to use its strong local presence to successfully compete in the 21st Century.