Radio Lobo Honored as Chamber’sMay Small Business of the Month 5/7/15 05/07/15 8:45:34 AM
Printer Friendly Version
RosAnna Salcido leads a “small but mighty” staff of 15 at Omaha’s only Spanish-speaking radio station, Radio Lobo.
– Photo courtesy of JordanGreen.com
Voice of the Latino Community
Radio Lobo Honored as Chamber’s
May Small Business of the Month
By Dan McCann
The Daily Record
It is a small business with a big reach, a lifeline for the region’s more than 120,000 Spanish-speaking Latinos to music and local news, sports and weather – all en Español.
“On a daily basis, we are invited into the lives of our audience to make a difference through a song or a message that has a profound impact. We take it seriously and know that our community counts on us as a part of their lives in many ways,” said RosAnna Salcido, general manager of Radio Lobo 97.7 FM – KBBX, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for May.
Salcido said the station is humbled and honored by the recognition: “Day in and day out, we do what we do for the love of the industry. We are so grateful and appreciative to be recognized.”
Launched in 1999, Radio Lobo – KBBX was originally on the AM dial – 1420 AM. Jim McKernan, then general manager of Journal Broadcast Group, recognized the growing Hispanic population – Nebraska’s largest minority group – as a great opportunity.
“Lori Ecklebe was the lead sales person with the drive and passion to make the station profitable, and here we are 16 years later, under new management, Flood Communications, able to continue to have the great responsibility to stay current and represent the fastest and largest growing segment of the population,” Salcido said. (According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people of Hispanic origin accounted for 9.5 percent of Nebraska’s population in 2011.)
In 2003, Radio Lobo became Nebraska’s first FM Spanish radio station and “has continued to deliver tremendous results to advertisers who desire to target the very lucrative Latino market,” she said. “Our success is due to the vision and hard work of several people who knew the power of the Latino consumer and the desire of Latino families to improve their lives here in Nebraska and eastern Iowa.”
The station dynamic is continually evolving and expanding. It recently added live, local news en Español.
“We have always provided weather, traffic and national news, but now with the addition of our news team – Sergio Devora and Yanira Garcia – we broadcast six live news segments each day,” Salcido said.
The station also produces Community Connection, a live show, hosted by Sergio Robles, that features speakers and issues important to the lives of Latinos.
“The ability to engage on a personal level is the most rewarding feeling to us and leaves an everlasting impression of making a difference,” Salcido said. “Various promotions or programs have been created from a single need of one listener. Sorpresa Mama, Navidad Wish, Día del Niño – all promotions that were developed by asking, ‘What can we do for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Day of the Child that will impact our community?’”
The station’s impact extends beyond programming and special promotions to direct support of community businesses, residents and non-profits. Each spring and fall – for the past 12 years now – Radio Lobo has hosted the only Bilingual Career Fair in Nebraska with 40-50 business seeking to hire bilingual employees. In 2014 alone, Radio Lobo donated over $400,000 worth of commercial time to support more than 50 local non-profit organizations providing services to Hispanics. Its three-day Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon has raised over $600,000 for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Its annual Fill the Truck Food Drive for Heartland HOPE Mission has provided 37,000 lbs. of food to the needy. In 2004, Radio Lobo was the first Spanish radio station in American history to win the prestigious Crystal Award from the National Broadcasters Association for Excellence in Community Service.
“We are doing our best to serve our community and clients in every way we can,” Salcido said.
The Radio Lobo team is described as a “small but mighty group” – 10 full-time and five part-time employees – with over 75 years of combined experience in Spanish radio.
“Each and every one of us is highly motivated and devoted to the success of Radio Lobo,” Salcido said. “We are a familia and care about each other. We operate as a team and not as a collection of individuals. We understand that ‘it takes a village’ to deliver results to clients and satisfaction to our listeners.”
Those listeners – the Latino community – empower the station.
“Their overwhelming responses of gratitude – online, on the air, at on-site remotes and community fundraisers and celebrations – keep us focused on providing quality programming and news in Spanish for them, and keep us focused on delivering great results for our advertisers.”
Looking ahead, Salcido said she can’t help but be emocionado about the future.
“With the new ownership of Flood Communications, our future is bright and our possibilities are endless. It is the best feeling as a GM of this group to have an owner who understands what it takes to continue to be the leader and stay ahead with technology and be innovative in our industry,” Salcido said. “Our staff understands that we have a huge responsibility to continue to work hard, be creative and be leaders in the community. Our commitment grows every year and our strong community support continues to expand and prosper.”
Visit the station’s website at http://lobo977.com/.
United Republic Bank sponsors the Chamber’s Small Business of the Month award. To nominate a small business online, visit www.omahachamber.org. Nominees must be current Chamber members with 50 employees or less.