Spanish-language radio station's signal extension means more community outreach to local areas

Posted at 5:24 AM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 10:51:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The airwaves from La Selecta, a Spanish-language radio station, will spread further to spread bachata, merengue and salsa, but also something else that’s been its focus – community outreach.

“When I first got here, I think we were about 5,000 Latinos in Hampton Roads,” Luis Cortes, the station’s owner, said.

That number has grown to over 131,000, according to GHR Connects.

“We tailor to the Latin community,” Cortes explained, “but we want to focus on uniting all the communities: Filipinos, African American, American."

Cortes took over the station in January and started an effort to do just that. One way he did was by helping to set up community giveaways.

The station has held giveaways with the help of local organizations, giving away clothes, food and essential items, among other things, throughout the pandemic.

"At the end of the day, it's all about people,” Cortes said. "When they heard our station, they liked the beat and they may not be of Latin descent, but they appreciated what we were doing."

Now, they are focused on the station’s reach because, as Cortes said, “that is what's going to us to the next level."

With the expansion comes a brand-new studio in a room adjacent to its current studio. The new studio will broadcast La Selecta while the previous studio will broadcast a new Spanish-language sister station, La Raza.

"We're trying to come out and give an excellent product for our listeners and give them what they want,” Cortes said.

With a greater reach, Cortes said that also means new communities to help out.

Related: Breaking the language barrier, local woman's firm helps Latino community with critical services

"When you help a community during tough times they won't abandon during the good times,” he said.

La Selecta broadcasts on 103.0 FM, 1050 AM, and on its website.