Monday, December 10, 2012

L.A.'s Fascinating New Top 40 Radio Station


One of the more interesting radio experiments in Los Angeles is currently taking place on KXOS-FM "Exitos 93.9." The station is Spanish-language, but the music is all English-language top 40 hits. It reminds me of traveling abroad and listening to the radio overseas (hey, I'm a geek) and hearing familiar U.S. top 40 songs coupled with announcers in other languages. If anything, the top 40 music mix on Exitos 93.9 appears to be a bit more adventurous than KIIS-FM of KAMP-FM (Amp Radio 97.1). Ross on Radio's Sean Ross writes about how unique this new station is:

Launched in 2009 as a broad-based Latin pop station, Exitos flipped last month to English-language hits with a Spanish-language presentation, the first major mainland U.S. attempt at the format for 25 years. For much of the day, it's mostly rhythmic-leaning pop that you'd hear on rivals KIIS (102.7) or KAMP (Amp 97.1), although the differences are telling. Once or twice per hour, there are international hits that most U.S. listeners don't know-"Saturday Night" by Whigfield or "New York City Boy" by the Pet Shop Boys.

And when Exitos carries Alfa morning man Tono Esquinca until 11 a.m, that same music is punctuated by stretches of alternative rock that never crossed over to top 40 in the United States. So P!nk, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson are followed by Keane's "Is It Any Wonder?," U2's "Vertigo" and the Black Keys' "Gold on the Ceiling." At one point last Thursday morning (Nov. 22), "Love of the Common People" by Paul Young showed up.

The Mexican radio formula for English-language top 40 has always been more open than its U.S. counterpart to heritage artists, deeper library, more dance music (unaffected by its boom/bust cycles to the north) and more alternative crossover-even better if an artist combines dance and alternative.

Here's a sample playlist:


It's a novelty right now to hear English songs after a Spanish voice, but for the two Blogger Kids, both of whom are in Spanish immersion classrooms, it's a way to expose them to the language while listening to familiar music.

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