A battle that started in Philadelphia a couple of years ago is blowing up into a multiple market war between competing Spanish CHR formats and a baffling FCC filing.
Victor ‘VJ Mar’ Martinez, who took over operations of “La Ola” 1400 WEST/99.5 W258BM Easton/1600 WHOL Allentown and relaunched it as “Mega 99.5” at the end of 2016, has expanded his station to the neighboring Reading market via American FM Associates’ 92.9 W225CF Reading and Cumulus’ 100.7 WLEV-HD2 Allentown. “Mega 92.9/99.5” gives Reading its second Spanish CHR to go along with iHeartMedia’s “Rumba 1340/92.3” WRAW Reading/92.3 W222BY Laureldale.
It will soon gain a third. Quilvio Perdomo’s Radio Sharon Foundation has launched “Latina 92.1” on Beacon Broadcasting’s 92.1 W221CU and Cumulus’ 100.7 WLEV-HD3 Allentown. It will also add a Reading signal when Osiris Fernando Guzman closes on his $75,000 purchase of 107.1 W296CL Reading from Northeastern Pennsylvania Educational Television Association.
Radio Sharon Foundation has also filed an Application for Review against WHOL Radio Inc. with the FCC claiming that 99.5 W258BM Easton is operating illegally because it can be received with “an excellent audio signal” in Allentown beyond its protected contours “making it illegal competition”. Perdomo states that W258BM is either operating beyond its licensed 4w/170m facilities on the tower of iHeartMedia’s 95.1 WZZO Bethlehem on a mountain overlooking his location in the valley below or has an unlicensed tower in Allentown proper but cites no evidence for either.
Both Perdomo, who also serves as Program Director of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s “Latina 100.3” WKKB Middletown/Providence RI, and Martinez (VP/Programming for El Zol Media’s 1340 WHAT Philadelphia/97.1 W246AQ Collingswood NJ) have battled against each other in Philadelphia. Perdomo launched “Supra FM” on 97.1 W246AQ/97.5 WPEN-HD3 in April 2015. By the end of that year, WHAT took over as the originating station for the translator, and Perdomo’s Supra programming would reappear on 95.3 W237EH Pennsauken NJ in February 2016. Within a few weeks the station would disappear and Perdomo would return to Providence.