Mexican Radio

From a supermarket in St. Paul, Radio Rey brings Spanish-language broadcasts to the Northern plains

Spanish aside, the gushing advertisements, smooth DJ patter, and easy pop songs give Radio Rey a sound that seems no different from Kool 108 or KS95. Like the manager of any other popular music station, Gonzalez runs promotions, sponsors bands, and gives away CDs. While television stations regularly set up studios that overlook local landmarks as a sort of decorative device, Radio Rey's decision to set up studios in the same building as Las Americas has established a physical presence for the station in the Twin Cities Latino community. Listeners who have a beef with the Top 10 can register their displeasure while shopping for plantains. Sanchez says that some shoppers are content to watch. "Sometimes they just come to see how it works," he says.

"You will not find anything like this, a radio station in a supermarket, anywhere in America...in North America...in the world": Radio Rey owners Lupe Gonzalez and Mary Hernandez
Diana Watters
"You will not find anything like this, a radio station in a supermarket, anywhere in America...in North America...in the world": Radio Rey owners Lupe Gonzalez and Mary Hernandez

"Everybody knows everybody," says Hernandez. "You see all these different people, you talk to the community, you do lost and found." Newcomers to the Twin Cities call Radio Rey looking for an apartment, for work, or to find a lost relative, she reports. "We've had mothers call in with a lost child," adds Juanita Gonzalez. "And we'll interrupt the broadcast to announce it."

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