More than radio stations. Radio Campesina is a nine-station network of radio stations in four states with a loyal following of 500,000 daily listeners, the third largest Latino Spanish-format radio network in the nation. It is part of a larger movement, realizing Cesar Chavez's vision of Spanish-language radio that operates as a community center over the airwaves by entertaining, educating and actively involving its listeners in their communities. The network's mission is enhancing the social and economic well being of the Latino community through a unique mix of popular regional Mexican music, news and quality, interactive educational programming.
In the last decade, the network has grown from one small rural station in California's Central Valley to nine stations and broadcast licenses with syndicated programming reaching audiences every day in Arizona, California, Washington state, Oregon and across the border into northern Mexico. Radio Campesina ranks among the top stations in each of its markets.
By entertaining, educating and spurring its largely immigrant and first-generation listeners to actively participate in their communities, Radio Campesina is more than a series of radio stations. It is owned by Latinos and run by Latinos for the benefit of Latinos. It also serves as both a way to reach the Latino community and as a bridge between Latinos and the larger community in which they live. It presently operates on the air in the Central Valley through Bakersfield and Visalia; the Central Coast's Salinas and Pajaro valleys; the Valley of the Sun out of Phoenix, Arizona; Yuma, Arizona as well as the neighboring Imperial Valley in California and northern parts of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California; and the Tri-Cities area of Washington state and northeastern Oregon.
With massive corporate consolidation dominating the industry, decimating regional-based radio and limiting points of view and coverage of local issues, Radio Campesina provides communities with an independent voice and generates widespread local participation and community support among listeners.
Educational Radio for the 21st Century.
Radio Campesina extends the promise and mission of educational radio by bringing educational radio to the masses in underserved populations. Its programs target recent immigrants from rural Mexico and Central America between the ages of 25 and 49, an audience that traditionally eludes educational radio.
Unlike most of its allies in the world of educational radio, Radio Campesina's listener share is competitive with commercial English and Spanish language stations in each of its markets. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recognized the network for its groundbreaking approach.
The key to Radio Campesina's success is a format attracting listeners through a combination of popular regional Mexican music, lively interactive talk shows, on-air promotions and community events drawing hundreds of thousands of people each year. All shows use interactive featuring call-in and write-in formats that help build relationships with the audience.
New national focus. Recently transplanting network operations from Bakersfield to Phoenix better positions Radio Campesina to become a national Latino broadcast operation based in the heart of the nation's 5th largest municipality with a large and growing Latino population. It also boasts the nation's only woman programming director for a Spanish-language radio network. The network is now operating out of a 13,440 square foot building acquired and renovated by the Chavez foundation that houses radio network operations and other foundation staff in Arizona under one roof.