El Rey, King of Portland

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Portland, Oregon, has crowned a new king and that king is Hispanic. Latin rhythms are becoming more and more prevalent on the airwaves as the Hispanic demographic continues to grow and attain recognition in our country, and in Portland this has led to a record breaker.

Check out the news, fresh from OregonLive early Monday morning:

KRYP-FM, known as “El Rey,” has become the king of Portland radio.

Only 17 months old, the station is drawing 6.4 percent of the Portland audience listening to radio at any one time. No other privately owned station — country, rock, news/talk — got more than a 5 percent share.

It’s the first time a Spanish-language station has ever posted the highest ratings in Oregon’s largest market.

Diane Ferrer, program manager for KRYP-FM was quoted as saying to The Orgeonian that the placement is due to the quality of music played at the station. Music much of his audience grew up with. Brief interviews with Hispanic fans that reside in the area reveal hopes that this will cause an overall expansion of Latin programming on other stations as well. Not at all out of line considering the history-making numbers just posted.

Recently released U.S. census figures show that Hispanics, a self-identified category that can include non-Latinos, are Oregon’s fastest-growing population. In the Portland area, their numbers are growing at 6 to 7 percent a year, which is five to six times faster than the non-Latino white population.

I would be willing to wager that we are seeing the beginning of a trend here, particularly on the West Coast. While the media regularly trumpets stories about illegal immigration, Presidential candidates courting Hispanic voters, and other issues that swirl around this demographic, the vice of this community is now becoming a force on the airwaves.

Set me up a margarita and let’s salsa!

Photo courtesy of mary_gaston22, used under its Creative Commons license

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