SBS’ Albert Rodriguez Talks Radio, Cubatón and Why Niche Is Nice: ‘Latin Hitmaker’ Podcast

This past June, Albert Rodríguez was named president of SBS Entertainment, the Latin-owned media company whose assets include the SBS radio network (which in turn includes New York’s La Mega, the most-listened to Spanish-language station in the country), the La Mega TV network, SBS Entertainment and the Lamusica streaming service.

That, in an of itself, is noteworthy. But Rodriguez’s achievement is even more remarkable considering he has become the first non-family member to head the company founded by Cuban immigrant Raúl Alarcón and long run by his son Raúl Alarcón, Jr. (who remains chairman/CEO).

Rodríguez is this week’s guest on “Latin Hitmaker,” the Billboard podcast that tells the stories of the executives behind the hits. Previous guests on the weekly podcast, streaming every Wednesday, have included Walter Kolm, Rebecca León, Jimmy Humilde, Juan Diego Medina, Bruno del Granado (CAA) and Rodrigo Galvis-Nieto of City National Bank.

Rodríguez’s interview can be heard in full right here:

Here are five takeaways from our chat:

  1. Spanish is essential to SBS: “We will continue to focus on Spanish. It’s our culture. Our essence.”
  2. Local pays: Honing in on local content spurs sales and listenership on radio. “We empower our local teams to make the right decisions.”
  3. Megasecret sauce is its variety: “Each day you’ll be listening to salsa, you’ll be listening to urban, you might listen to some pop and to Camillo, who does very well in our research.”
  4. There’s growth in podcasts: The mix of podcasts and morning shows have become boon for SBS.
  5. Playing with niche audiences can be good for business: Case in point? SBS’s La Nueva “Cubatón” station in Miami, which focuses on urban Cuban music. Within six months of launching, it doubled its audience share.

‘Latin Hitmaker’ can be enjoyed via your favorite podcast app, including Spotify.

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