A new radio station with a contemporary Spanish music format will be launched in Charlotte on Aug. 1, replacing the region’s only FM sports-talk channel.
Ke Buena 98.7 FM will be leased by iHeartMedia to Martz Media Inc. under a multi-year deal announced Thursday by Dave Carwile, president of the Carolina Region for iHeart, which operates five other stations in Charlotte, including WKKT-FM (“Kat” 96.9).
Local and national on-air voices will include Roger “El Comandante” Martinez, a popular Latin American personality.
Ke Buena will replace the Fox Sports lineup that iHeart had broadcast on the frequency since August 2014 with daytime hosts Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen and Jay Mohr. It was Charlotte’s only all-sports FM station, but never developed any significant local programming against competitors WFNZ-AM (“Fan” 610) or WZGV-AM (ESPN 730).
Though the station broadcasts on a low-power transmitter, the signal reaches most of Mecklenburg County and is audible as far south as Rock Hill, giving it reach in the most populous region of the metro area.
Ke Buena will operate a studio in Charlotte with local programming in addition to syndicated material, said Haskil “Kel” Martinez, spokesman for Martz Media. “We’re trying to bring something special,” he said.
Martz Media operates Poder 102.9 FM in Greenville, S.C., another contemporary Spanish format.
In a statement, Matz president Roger Martinez said the growth of the Hispanic market in the Charlotte area was a draw for the company.