See also: The Piolin Factor.
Univision dropped wildly popular Spanish-language radio DJ Eddie “El Piolín” Sotelo yesterday, leading us to wonder what the hell he might have done wrong.
As one of the most famous jocks in the second-largest media market in America, Sotelo had the power, for example, to inspire tens of thousands to hit the streets during 2006's immigration march along Wilshire Boulevard:
Not only is his show, “El Piolín por la Mañana” (El Piolín in the morning, on KSCA 101.9 FM locally) going dark locally, but it's finished across the land: It was syndicated in more than 20 cities in the United States.
Why would Univision drop the goose that laid the golden huevo? The broadcaster is not saying why the show was axed.
The Los Angeles Times suggests that …
… his program, broadcast in Los Angeles on KSCA-FM (101.9), had begun to be eclipsed in the increasingly competitive world of Spanish-language morning radio. For example, Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez's program of regional Mexican music on radio station KLAX-FM (97.9) last month leap-frogged into the No. 1 spot in the L.A.-Orange County market, according to Arbitron, attracting 5.3% of the available audience weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, Gustavo Arellano, editor of our sister publication, OC Weekly, has the definitive take on Sotelo's impact on Southern California's vast Latino immigrant community:
While Piolín was more than happy to delve into the double entendres, childish voices, and general wackiness that defines Spanish-language radio hosts, he also showed that audiences could embrace something more substantial, more thoughtful. For chrissakes, El Piolíon, more than any one person, is responsible for the nationwide immigrant marches of 2006, the largest protests in American history; it was he who first proposed the idea among radio personalities, and it was he who brokered an unheard-of on-air meeting of rivals before the marches, a show of solidarity that translated into the masses taking to the streets. That secures his place in American history, as does his story: a teen who entered this country illegally, ended up in SanTana, and went on to change the course of history.
[Added at 2:30 p.m.]: This afternoon a Univision spokeswoman told the Weekly this:
I can confirm that the show has been canceled. We are not commenting beyond confirming.
[Update at 2:44 p.m. on Thursday]: Univision sent us a new statement that includes a quote from Sotelo:
On Monday, July 22, 2013, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, longtime host of Univision's morning drive show, “Piolin por la Mañana,” broadcast his final show on Univision Radio. After a ten-year run, Sotelo and Univision have agreed to part company.
“It's been a great run with Univision,” said Sotelo, who was recently elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame and whose show was syndicated nationally on over 50 stations.
“We thank Eddie for the contributions that he has made while at Univision Radio,” said Jose Valle, President of Univision Radio, Inc.