Storm Lake's growing Hispanic community will get its own voice later this month. "La Gran D" begins broadcasting in Spanish, 24 hours a day, on AM 990, the KAYL AM frequency in Storm Lake.
"We see this as a way for Latinos in Storm Lake to become more connected with the community," station manager Buzz Paterson said. According to Census figures, Hispanics make up about 20 percent of Buena Vista County's population, up from 12 percent in 2000. Paterson notes over half of the students in the Storm Lake schools are Latino. "We believe the Latino population will continue to increase."
The station will feature music that is popular among people of Mexican origin in the United States, supplied by Bustos Media, based in Sacramento, California. The satellite-delivered programming format is run on about 50 radio stations across the U.S.
Paterson says there will also be local content inserted into the format. "Jose Duran, who's hosted a weekly Spanish program on KAYL for several years, has joined the station full-time. Duran will be adding weather information, community news, school information, and other announcements."
Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce managing director Marilyn Monson said "Storm Lake has a proven track record when it comes to addressing the needs of its diverse population. Communication continues to be a challenge to all its residents. Let me be one of the first to congratulate KAYL/KKIA in addressing this need by providing a media for communicating daily news and special events to everyone."
She said the new broadcast program should solve "an unmet need of the Storm Lake community."
"La Gran D" is operated by NRG Media, which has owned KAYL and KKIA sister stations in Storm Lake since 2005. NRG also operates a Latino brodcast based in Omaha.
KAYL AM has operated its familiar programming on AM 990 since first signing on the air Nov. 14, 1948.