Last Saturday, McHenry Taylor Tichenor, Sr., one of the great pioneers of Hispanic radio, passed away in Round Rock, Texas, at the age of 76. Reports state that he died of natural causes.
His family owned Tichenor Media Systems, which merged in 1997 with Heftel Broadcasting to create what was then the nation’s largest Hispanic radio group with 38 stations spanning every major Hispanic market in the U.S. HBC merged with Univision Communications in 2004.
Tichenor worked in sales at TMS and later managed the company’s Spanish radio and CBS television station, both with the KGBT call letters. He became president of the company in 1967 and led company expansion. The company also once owned the Valley Morning Star.
Hispanic radio is a big topic right now, as a bit of Googling will show, but Tichenor’s involvement long predates the current growth by some time. Twelve years ago, his formation of a 38-station radio group laid the foundation for the future we are now living.
Latin music and Hispanic language content are now everywhere. The demographic is predicted to be the largest in the US within a few short years. Mr. Tichenor’s visionary work took the first major steps for a format that is now skyrocketing towards the number one spot.
The esteemed Mr. Tichenor is survived by his long-time companion Priscilla Flores, as well as five children and a number of grandchildren. Our hearts go out to them in this time of loss.