WEXT-FM – the official radio station of Nippertown – is about to celebrate its second anniversary of broadcasting next week. But before then, the listener-supported, non-commercial Triple A radio station – that’s adult album alternative, for those of you who don’t know radio-speak – is branching out into something completely different.
Starting on Saturday, July 4, the station will launch a new weekly radio program, “The Latin Alternative,” which will air every Saturday night at 8pm. Focus on crossover-friendly Latin rock, electronica, funk and hip-hop artists, the show will be the first program of its kind in available for national syndication.
“We’ve embraced artists like Manu Chao, Juana Molina, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs from the start,” says Chris Wienk, WEXT’s program director. “We recognize that Latinos are an important part of the public radio audience, and we also know that non-Latin audiences love the Latin alternative genre.
“When we launched the station in 2007, we were surprised to discover that there were no syndicated Latin alternative public radio shows we could pick up to air. So we thought, ‘Why not create one ourselves?’”
“The Latin Alternative” is co-hosted by two of the genre’s leading experts, Josh Norek (co-founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and frontman for Latino-Jewish rap group Hip Hop Hoodíos) and Ernesto Lechner (contributing writer for Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the author of the book “Rock en Español: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion”).
The show is broadcast on WEXT (97.7 FM) and streamed on www.exit977.org.
Check back with Nippertown tomorrow for an indepth interview with Josh Norek, Capital Region native and co-host of “The Latin Alternative.”