On Wednesday (7/17), Meruelo Media formally closed on its acquisitions of KLOS-FM 95.5 in Los Angeles from Cumulus Media and KXOS-FM 93.9 from a U.S.-based subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Radio Centro.
Twenty-four hours later, a big change came to KXOS. It will definitely be of interest to Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS).
At precisely 9:39am Pacific on Thursday, KXOS-FM said goodbye to its mix of Regional Mexican-focused programming by flipping to Latin Urban, focusing on the reggaetón style of popular Spanish-language pop music.
New call letters KLLI-FM are on the way, as the station is now rebranded as “Cali 93.9 — Reggaetón y Más.” Emmanuel “DJ E-Man” Coquia will assume interim music and programming duties for the station.
This puts the newly acquired FM in direct competition with KXOL-FM “Mega 96.3,” the SBS-owned Latin Urban station that recently shot to No. 1 among all Hispanic stations in L.A. In the May 2019 Nielsen Audio ratings for L.A., Mega outranked all other Spanish-language stations. In June 2019, it was No. 3 Hispanic, behind co-owned KLAX-FM “La Raza” and Univision Radio’s heritage Spanish Adult Contemporary KLVE-FM.
Serving as KLLI GM is Irma Barrios, who will retain her duties as GM of Meruelo’s unaffiliated KWHY-22 in L.A. Tomás Trujillo will oversee the day-to-day operations of the stations.
Meruelo VP/Marketing Dianna Jason will add marketing responsibilities for “Cali 93.9.”
Overseeing the changes at the soon-to-be former KXOS is Otto Padron, President of Meruelo Media. He will serve as interim Market Manager of the radio group Meruelo operates in L.A., and believes KLLI will be the most caliente station in California … “not just because the music transcends language as it has exploded into mainstream popularity, but because we will place this format on one of the most powerful radio signals in Los Angeles.”
KLOS and KXOS become the sixth and seventh broadcast stations in Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles cluster, which includes Rhythmic Top 40 KPWR “Power 106,” Classic Hip-Hop KDAY-FM 93.5 and KDEY-FM 93.5, and television stations KWHY-22 and KBEH-63.
For KLOS, Meruelo Media plans to relocate the Classic Rocker’s operations from Culver City to Meruelo Media’s Burbank facility. This will occur later this year. KLOS PD Keith Cunningham retains his role.
KXOS already operates out of Meruelo Media’s Burbank facility.
While initial rumors about changes at KLOS had surfaced at the time of Meruelo’s purchase of the longtime Rocker, those have been soundly silenced by Padron and the Meruelo team.
“We are absolutely committed to the amazing heritage Rock brand of KLOS,” he said. “We are electrified to officially close on our purchase of the station and begin a new chapter of this legendary brand together with its amazing cadre of talented employees and iconic personalities. It will give Meruelo Media great scale and access to a highly desirable market sector in addition to giving our clients and partners a newly energized local option. In turn, we will commit to KLOS our deep hyper-local operational and content resources that will drive significant audience growth for a larger share of advertising dollars.”