Lotus Communications President Jim Kalmenson is widely known across the West Coast of the U.S. as the leader of a family-run business with a diverse portfolio of radio stations that includes Classic Rock and Active Rock FMs in Tucson, a Classic Rocker in Las Vegas, and a Farsi-language format targeting Persians across Southern California.
But, it is Lotus’ Spanish-language stations and their performance that has led Kalmenson to receive the 2018 Medallas de Cortez Award as Broadcaster of the Year.
The honor was presented to Kalmenson on Tuesday evening at the 2018 Hispanic Radio Conference, which concludes Wednesday in Doral, Fla. Lotus’ stations across the West are comprised of several Spanish-language radio stations, including key ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate KWKW-AM 1330 in Los Angeles.
In accepting the award, Kalmenson was gracious while also repeating fiery statements on radio audience measurement of Hispanics. “We are grossly underrepresented,” he said of Hispanic radio consumers.
Kalmenson continued, “The first thing I learned when I entered Latino marketing was the basic idea that Latinos are fearful and averse to participating in research. However today that has changed. Today, Latinos are no longer fearful, now they are petrified! As a result, the Hispanic dominant audience, who is the heaviest user of Spanish radio, is severely under-represented in audience research samples. Our research suggests that Spanish radio ratings underestimate true listening levels by 25%-35%.”
Lotus’ stations include regional Mexicans KLBN-FM in Fresno and KCMT-FM in Tucson, and Spanish Adult Hits KWID-FM in Las Vegas.
The 2018 winners of the Medallas de Cortez were presented by RBR+TVBR Publisher Deborah Parenti and Jinny Laderer, CEO of Medallas sponsor vCreative.
The award winners represent an array of industry-leading broadcasters, including Spanish Broadcasting System, Univision, Entravision, and iHeartMedia. The Medallas de Cortez are the only awards dedicated to honoring excellence in Hispanic radio, and the awards ceremony is an annual highlight of the conference.
2018 Medallas de Cortez Winners
Marketer of the Year
Vladimir Gomez, Spanish Broadcasting System
Local Personality of the Year
Ruben Sanchez, WKAQ-AM/Puerto Rico
Syndicated or National Personality of the Year
Oswaldo Diaz, Erazno Y La Chokolata, Entravision
Program Director of the Year
Jammin Johnny Caride, WXDJ-FM/Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sales Manager of the Year
Ericka Aguilar, KCMT-FM/Tucson, AZ
General Manager of the Year
Hector Marcano, WRUM-FM/Orlando-Jacksonville-Tampa, FL
Station of the Year
KLNO-FM/Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX