Delta Media launches JUAN radio to reach Spanish speakers in Lafayette

Delta Media Corp. has launched a Spanish-language radio station in Lafayette in an attempt to carve out a niche of listeners among the area’s growing Hispanic population, general manager Chuck Wood said Tuesday.

JUAN Radio, which features Spanish language adult hits at 1530-AM, began broadcasting two weeks ago in Lafayette, three months after Delta launched a similar station in Opelousas.

Wood, who took over as Delta Media’s general manager a year ago, said the company wanted to do something that no one else in the market was doing — serving the Spanish-speaking population.

“We looked for suppliers and decided the best way to service the market was through JUAN Radio,” Wood said.

Garry Wall, president of SparkNet Communications radio consultants, said his company has partnered with Jose Santos, who created JUAN Radio and does all the programming. Santos’ programs, which are fed to local stations like those owned by Delta Media, provide wide variety and include a play list of thousands of songs, including hits from the 1970s through the 2000s.

Wood said his research was not exhaustive; he figured local Spanish speakers to be about 5 percent of the area population. His strategy, he said, was simply to be the first Spanish-language station in the area and capture the market.

Since then, he said, he has collected about a dozen advertisers, a list that includes attorneys, night clubs, cellphone companies, employment agencies, restaurants and food markets.

“The interesting thing I am discovering is the number of people seeking Spanish-speaking employees who can serve the Spanish-speaking population,” he said.

Steve Dick, a statistician and adjunct communications instructor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said Wood’s strategy might work. He said there are about 9,000 people who identify themselves as Hispanic in Lafayette, about 17,000 if you include the outlying parishes.

“The growth is dramatic,” he said, rising from 1.7 percent of the population to about 4.4 percent from 2000 to 2011.