Jackson Hole’s first Spanish-language radio station launched

Friday, July 12, 2019
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Pablo Castillo plays music on La Nueva, which is Jackson, Wyoming’s first Spanish-language radio station on June 19. Castillo’s program on Jackson Hole Radio airs from 6 to 10 weekday mornings and features a variety of Spanish music.

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Pablo Castillo tries to play a little something for everyone on his morning radio show.

The first hour, from 6 to 7 a.m., tune in for romantic ballads. Then a half hour of retro music from the ‘80s and ‘90s, followed by a half hour of salsa. Regional Mexican music runs from 8 to 9, wrapping up with an hour of cumbia, a folkloric genre from Colombia and Panama, and the newest pop hits. Castillo also throws in information about global “viral” news like the summer solstice or results of sporting events.

“I feel like my program is focused on all tastes,” Castillo said in Spanish, “on all ages.”

Mondays through Fridays, this is how Castillo kicks off programming for Jackson Hole’s first-ever all-Spanish-language radio station, La Nueva, now airing on 96.3 FM and 1340 AM.

“I believe it’s important and necessary,” Castillo said. “Through the radio you can provide more information that supports the community. For example, news about the consulate, what’s happening with events at the library.”

Scott Anderson operates Jackson Hole Radio, which he said has broadcast locally for nearly 30 years. The umbrella group owns four stations: the flagship KMTN, KZ95 for classic rock, KJAX for country, and now La Nueva, which replaces KSGT.

“We know the Hispanic community is a large part of Jackson,” Anderson said, “and we just felt like it was in the interest of the public to have a radio station that would serve that market.”

La Nueva hit the airwaves about two months ago. It is programmed all day and night with hit music and national newscasts, Anderson said, with featured local content. Castillo’s morning show runs from 6 to 10, and Teton County Library’s Latino Programs Coordinator, Pati Rocha, records a daily newscast that runs on the hour.

Starting in 1999 she worked on a radio show, “Ritmo de la Montana” (Rhythm of the Mountain), from 9 to midnight Sundays on Jackson Hole Radio. Castillo joined in 2011. The popularity of that program inspired the launch of La Nueva.

Rocha pieces together local news from a variety of sources, with a focus on what’s of interest to the local Latino community. For example, she translated news stories about Sheriff Matt Carr’s recent decision to take down the jail’s public inmate list, and the news that Yellowstone National Park would conduct safety inspections of commercial vehicles traveling in the park this summer.

“It’s pretty much local,” Rocha said. “The only national news I have comes from the Salt Lake City Mexican embassy.”

Rocha said the station boosts a feeling of connection and belonging among members of the Latino community.

“I think when you have more news, when you know what’s happening in your local community, you have more of a sense of what’s going on and that you belong in this place,” Rocha said. “If you know the roads are going to be closed for 30 minutes, going up you may think, ‘Oh, I have this information, I’m going to drive down through the canyon.’ Things that will connect them with the community.”

The station also provides a way for entities to improve outreach to the Latino community through advertisements. Public Health response coordinator Rachael Wheeler said the Teton County Health Department is purchasing ads on La Nueva for its free day of HIV testing, hoping to boost outreach to the community.

“We just feel like this radio station is a great way to try to engage our Latino residents,” Wheeler said. “We’re always looking at different ways to try to get information out to all of Teton County.

“We saw that the radio station is now available, and we were really interested to see if this encouraged other sectors of our population to come in and get tested.”