March 17, 2006

Miami station Mega TV receives star-studded launch

By Leila Cobo

MIAMI (Billboard) - The recent launch of Miami TV station
Mega TV included the presence of Latin stars Ricky Martin,
Daddy Yankee, Chayanne, Carlos Vives, Enrique Iglesias and
Alejandro Sanz.

In other words, it was the sort of lineup one would most
likely run across at an internationally televised award show
rather than the launch of a TV channel.

But such is the power wielded by station owner Spanish
Broadcasting System, the largest Hispanic-owned radio network
in the country. Stars who have been supported by SBS' outlets
(including top Los Angeles radio station KXOL) -- or who hope
to earn their support -- flocked to chairman/CEO Raul Alarcon's
private event at his home.

But Mega TV (channel 22 in Miami) aspires to be more than a
local station.

"This is part of a bigger plan and strategy," says Cynthia
Hudson Fernandez, SBS' newly named chief creative officer and
executive VP.

"It's not that we're taking over another company. We're
developing from the bottom up."

The bottom-up development involves the creation of original
programing (approximately 75 percent of Mega's shows are
self-produced) that focuses on music and entertainment.

Much of the content stems from SBS' existing talent,
including its popular on-air personalities.

"It was content that could have life in other media,"
Hudson Fernandez says.

Mega TV plans to offer its programing for syndication in
the United States as early as this summer. By fall, the hope is
to launch international syndication.


In other SBS news, Los Angeles listeners may by now have
heard an unusual voice over the KXOL airwaves on Sunday
morning. Sounds like Rick Dees? It should.

Dees has launched "The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Con Sabor
(With Flavor)," a countdown of hits played by KXOL, which spins
hip-hop, reggaeton, urban and top 40 Latin and mainstream

"Con Sabor," which airs Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., is
exclusively produced for KXOL. Although the station has reveled
in its bilingual format, this is its first all-English show,
SBS programing vice president Pio Ferro says.

Dees, formerly with KISS Los Angeles, is best known for
that other countdown show -- the nationally syndicated "Rick
Dees Weekly Top 40."

"In all the years I've been programing, I've never done
anything like this," Ferro says, referring to an English show
on a Latin station. "We think it fits."