Estrella Media, SBS Share Top Honors In San Antonio


SAN ANTONIO — The top-rated Spanish-language radio station serving the Houston-Galveston market, with a signal primarily serving Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex., to the east, has been honored at “Station of the Year” at the 2024 Medallas de Cortez awards.

This year the top honor went to Estrella Media-owned regional Mexican KQQK-FM “El Norte,” a Class C blowtorch that covers a wide swath of the nation’s sixth-largest market. El Norte competes for Spanish-language radio listeners against TelevisaUnivision properties and an Audacy Inc. property.

The Medallas de Cortez were presented at a Wednesday ceremony during the 2024 Hispanic Radio Conference.

Estrella Media also earned the Personality of the Year award for its star talent Don Cheto, who hosts Don Cheto al Aire and is also a familiar figure to those who watch the company’s EstrellaTV network.

Speaking of Audacy, the company’s KMVK “La Grande 107.5” in Dallas-Fort Worth earned Marketer of the Year honors, with the Medallas de Cortez award going to Jimmy Gonzalez.

Then there is Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), which has seen significant audience growth in Orlando and in Tampa-St. Petersburg since President/CEO and Chairman Raúl Alarcón Jr. assumed full control of the company’s stations following the resignation of Albert Rodriguez. These gains cemented the Medallas de Cortez award for “Market or General Manager of Year” given to Fernando Bauermeister, who leads the two Central Florida properties branded as “El Nuevo Zol” for SBS.

SBS’s Elizabeth Paulino took the “DOS/Sales Manager of the Year” honor for her duties at WPAT-FM “93.1 Amor” and WSKQ “Mega 97.9” in New York. 

Lastly, Cox Media Group‘s WOEX “Exitos 96.5” was singled out for the Marketer of the Year award, given to Heather Torres-Thomas, while the Program Director of the Year award went to Julie Garza, of Curtis Media Group. The company’s WYMY “La Ley” has been an exceptional regional Mexican station serving both Greenboro and Raleigh-Durham since March 2003, originally at 96.9 MHz.

The Medallas de Cortez, sponsored by vCreative, recognize excellence in Hispanic radio programming, sales, and management, and honor the late Raoul Cortez, who founded the first Spanish-language radio station in the United States, KCOR-AM in San Antonio, in 1946.

In addition to those awardees, New Mexico Broadcasters Association President/CEO Paula Maes was honored with a special Medalla for Distinguished Leadership in Hispanic Media.

Lastly, veteran air talent Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo was given a surprise honor during a live broadcast of El Show De Piolín from the Hispanic Radio Conference, as he was awarded the Medallas de Cortez Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry — and his role in inspiring Streamline PublishingChairman Eric Rhoads to create the Hispanic Radio Conference.

— Reporting by Cameron Coats and Lainie Peterson. Additional reporting by Adam R Jacobson in Boca Raton, Fla.


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