Tony Yapias, the Hispanic community's highest profile activist, has lost his twice-weekly program on Radio Exitos following the introduction of an all-Mexican music format.---
The last show of 'Pulso Latino', which provided Yapias with a powerful platform for his often controversial opinions, aired last Thursday. Yapias said he found out the day before the elections that his show was being taken off the air. "That was uncalled for," he says, regarding his show not being on the day of the elections. His audience and by extension the Hispanic community, he says, "feels like it got punched in the stomach," with his show's abrupt departure.
On Tuesday he says he had a meeting with 1550 AM Exitos' new vice president and general manager Ed Distel, who took over the station Sept. 1, where he learned that his show was being replaced, at least for now, as part of a shift to a new intensive regional Mexican music format. "That's his perogative, I guess," says Yapias.
"I told him we needed a couple of weeks to reevaluate, to see how the numbers are doing," Distel says. "I think his show is certainly a valuable asset." He added he had noted an apparent e-mail campaign to bring back Yapias. "Trying to influence public opinion is not something I appreciate," he says.
Yapias's program, which he co-hosted with fellow activist and attorney Mark Alvarez, had been on the air since 2006. Yapias credited his show with providing key information and momentum for the 2006 immigration rally that saw more than 40,000 Latinos marching through Salt Lake City. Never one to hide his light under a bushel, Yapias called his show "the best program ever" as far as informing the Hispanic community about key issues.
"We were the only voice in the community that gives them good information, that doesn’t hype anything. We had the governor, candidates there."
Distel, previously with Bustos Media, said he was evaluating the new format and would then see where Yapias might fit in. Both men agreed it was a business decision and now Yapias says he is considering several offers and is currently preparing his first You Tube video.