In the US, the best Spanish radio stations fall into a variety of categories. Some are designed to help you learn Spanish, so you can communicate with the wide Spanish-speaking population. Other channels are intended specifically for the Spanish-speaking community.
Out of thousands of radio stations in the United States, only a handful are Spanish-language stations. Though these types of radio stations aren’t as common as Top 40 or rock radio channels, the number of options is rapidly growing, particularly with the rise of online radio.
Spanish radio channels in the US are largely directed towards the Latino group in America. Approximately 98% of Hispanic listeners over the age of 12 tune in every week, compared to around 93% of Americans overall. This group also listens to radio for longer than most Americans.
So, which are the best Spanish radio stations to explore?
The best Spanish speaking radio stations
The Spanish-speaking population in America has a strong passion for radio – perhaps more so than any other group in America. Of course, every part of America has its own groups and sub-groups, influencing listening patterns.
Spanish speaking radio stations serve a number of purposes in the US. They help to bring the Hispanic community closer together in the pursuit of music and entertainment. At the same time, these stations offer a valuable learning opportunity for the average American.
Let’s jump into some of the best Spanish radio stations on the market.
The best Spanish music radio stations
We’ll start with Spanish music radio stations – though these stations may occasionally feature talk-shows and other broadcasts, the main focus will be on sharing Spanish music. These stations are sometimes referred to as “Spanish AC” in format, or Spanish Adult Contemporary.
Available: Online or 107.5 FM (LA, California)
KLVE, otherwise known as K-Love, is a commercial station in the LA area, following the Spanish AC Format. This station is well-known for its position as one of the top market-leading Spanish language stations for decades.
The channel has maintained its lead in the industry with the Arbitron people meter ratings measurement and has around 2 million weekly listeners.
KLVE is among the most popular Spanish language stations in the US and continues to capture countless new listeners on a regular basis. The station plays a number of top hits and music programs, with shows from on-air personalities like husband-and-wife duo Angelia Atilano and Omar Velasco.
News anchor Richard Santiago is also a regular presence on the radio, along with traffic report Liz Alvarado, who covers the rush-hour traffic reports for the morning show.
Available: Online or 97.9 FM (New York City, New York)
Otherwise known as Mega 97.9 FM is a radio station licensed in the New York City region. The “tropical” music format is consisting of a multitude of different musical styles, often revolving around the Latino community.
Although this Spanish music radio channel initially had somewhat mediocre ratings, it began to generate significant attention with the upbeat tropical format which began in 1993. By 2005, the station was flourishing as one of the highest-rated radio station sin New York City.
The syndicated morning show El Vacilon de la Manana also frequently reaches number one spots for the top morning show in all of New York.
During 2013, WSKQ surpassed various other stations for the number one position among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. In 2017, the channel regained this position for the tri-state area, regardless of format or language.
Available: Online or 105.1 FM (Evanston, Illinois)
A radio station best-known for its “regional Mexican” format, WOJO is owned by the Uforia Audio Network Tichenor License Corporation. Originally, the station was launched with the “WEAW” broadcasting signal, which stood for the name of the president, Edward A Wheeler.
For a while, WOJO simply followed a standard easy listening format, with a lot of classical music, show tunes, and “lighter music”. The station also broadcast background music to various businesses and stores, with the option to remove ads.
In 1972, most of the stations broadcasting switched to Spanish, and the call sign changed to WOJO. Today, it’s one of the more popular “regional Mexican” stations in the US.
Available: Online and 97.5 FM (Riverside, California)
A commercial station following the “Spanish Adult Hits” music format, KLYY originally signed on with the call letters KDUO, and aired mostly religious programming.
Over the years, the station began to switch to an easy listening music format, but when listeners began to decline, the channel brought new disc jockeys into the mix to shake things up.
Each of the jockeys for the station would play a new music format, making it easier to explore what kind of music earned the most attention. For a while, KLYY focused on oldies and country music, before eventually taking on the Spanish hits format.
The KLYY station is now better known as Jose 97.5 to many Regional Mexican listeners. There’s even an official website and series of social media sites for listener engagement.
Available: Online and 106.7 FM (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Serving the Miami area, the WXDJ radio station is sometimes known as El Nuevo Zol 106.7. This Spanish music radio station follows the Spanish tropical radio broadcasting format, often offering a wide range of music options for Spanish listeners.
Over the years, WXDJ has explored a number of musical formats, from Hot AC, through to the Spanish-Language programming switch in 1994.
After moving more completely into the Spanish language environment, WXDJ began playing mostly bilingual dance and rhythm music for some time, before eventually switching to the “tropical” broadcasting option in 2013.
Today, the station represents a popular form of entertainment and an excellent resource for Spanish music in the US.
Available: Online or 104.5 FM (San Antonio, Texas)
Located in Texas, KZEP is a Latino hits radio station, broadcasting in both English and Spanish, for excellent reach. Owned by iHeartMedia, the station started with a “Beautiful Music” format in 1966 and evolved over the years to focus on rock music for most of its history.
In 2014, KZEP’s classic rock format switched to the Rhythmic CHR format, before eventually switching to the Spanish CHR theme. The new theming came with a new branding title for the station: “104.5 Latino hits”.
The station also holds onto two HD broadcasts which continue to air the classic rock format, both through the 93.3 FM channel, and online.
Available: Online or 94.9 FM (Miami, Florida)
A popular radio station owned by iHeartMedia, WZTU plays a Spanish top 40 format, with various English top 40 songs mixed in. The station started life in 19478, initially playing a number of Spanish language romance songs.
Over the years, the channel explored a number of formats, including progressive rock, and alternative rock.
In 2005, WZTU took on the “Mega 94.9”! branding, and followed an urban format with its music, focusing heavily on Hispanic music and various forms of Spanish dance and pop songs. It wasn’t until 2016 when the station rebranded again with the new “Tu 94.9” branding.
Currently, WZTU has an avid following among both Spanish locals, and lovers of Latino and Spanish music alike.
Available: Online and 106.5 FM (Sarasota, Florida)
Broadcasting within the Florida region, in the United States, WRUB serves the Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and Bradenton areas. Currently owned by iHeartMedia, the channel is a popular source of Spanish top hits, so it’s ideal if you want to hear which songs are currently trending on the Spanish charts.
The station has a history in broadcasting the country music format for some time during the year of 2016, however later in the same year, the channel changed to Spanish hits instead.
The new direction for the music brought with it some new branding, and WRUB became better known as “Rumba 106.5” for locals.
WRUB has a HD subchannel, called “Hit Nation”, which also broadcasts top hits.
Available: Online or 100.3 FM (Orlando, Florida)
There are a number of Spanish speaking radio stations located in the Florida region of the US. WRUM is among the most popular. This station, known as Rumba 100.3 airs Spanish music, Latin pop, and tropical music. The channel is owned by iHeartMedia.
The station signed on in 1950, originally using the call signal of WKIS-FM, and simulcasting the alternative WKIS station. The decision to switch to a new Spanish language tropical music format only happened in 2005.
Although initially, the station only focused on tropic music, it gradually added Latin and Reggaeton music to the list too.
WRUM now has a secondary HD2 channel, which is broadcast in a bilingual format.
Available: Online or 94.3 FM (West Palm Beach, California)
One of the many radio stations throughout the US owned by iHeartMedia, Mia 94.3, or WRLX is a Spanish speaking radio station following the adult contemporary format. This station first began broadcasting in 1971, using the WGMW call sign, and an easy listening format.
Over the years, the call sign changed several times, with various new genres of music to explore too, such as beautiful music, and adult standards. In 1998, the station shifted to a smooth jazz format, before transitioning to “hot talk” with the “Real Radio” branding.
The station finally moved into the Spanish language radio format in 2020, using the WRLX call signal. There’s also a HD sub-channel for this station broadcasting alternative rock.
Best Spanish talk radio stations
Spanish music radio stations are just one of the many options available for Spanish listeners today. For the rapidly growing community of Latino listeners in the US, there’s also a wide range of entertaining talk radio options to explore.
Here are just a few:
Available: Online or 670 AM (Miami, Florida)
Otherwise known as La Poderosa, WWFE is a commercial station on the AM radio waves, available to access both online, and in the Miami area. The Spanish language talk radio format focuses mainly on discussions about music, as well as Cuban news.
WWFE originally signed onto the air in 1989, making it one of the longer-lasting Spanish talk radio stations in the region today. Owned by Fenix Broadcasting, WFFE hasn’t changed much about its formatting over the years, focusing heavily on the consistent talk radio format.
This could be a great channel to listen to if you’re trying to submerge yourself in the Spanish language for learning purposes.
Though aired entirely online, Spain’s national public service radio is one of the most popular Spanish talk radio stations on the market today. This station has a selection of six channels available to listen to on the web, including one focused specifically on the Catalan language.
Because the station is funded publicly, there are advertisements to be aware of, but you can also access a wide range of fantastic shows through this station, including La Sala, and the “A Hombros de Gigantes” show, designed to speak to those with a love of science and technology.
If you have a solid internet connection and you don’t mind tuning into a station a little distance from your home in the US, this could be the perfect location to pick up some Spanish language insights and develop your skills.
Available: Online and 1250 AM (Tampa, Florida)
Located in Tampa, Florida, the WHNZ radio station is owned by a subsidiary of iHeartMedia and broadcasts the Spanish news and talk format. This is just one of eight stations in the radio market for Tampa Bay owned by iHeartMedia.
The WHNZ station was the flagship channel for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team for a short time, between 2005 and 2008, before the team switched to WDAE. In 2018, the WHNZ station officially became the channel for the Tampa Bay Rowdies instead.
It wasn’t until 2021 when WHNZ officially took on the new focus of being entirely focused on Spanish news and talk. There’s a webcast available for listeners online.
Available: Online and 750 AM (El Paso, Texas)
Another example of a Spanish news radio station with talk radio segments, the KAMA radio station covers a range of different formats at once. This channel was originally launched as KEPB in 1985, but it promptly took on the KAMA call letters in the same year.
The station took over the intellectual property of the previous KAMA channel, and that old station switched to a new station, KFNA. For a time, KAMA was the El Paso outlet for the Univision talk network in America, but this format moved to a sister station instead.
In 2016, Univision exited El Paso completely, by selling its stations to affiliates of the Grupo Radio Central. Today, KAMA still stands as a popular Spanish talk and news radio station for residents of the Texas region.
Available: Online and 1010 AM (San Francisco, California)
KIQI is a commercial station on the AM frequency for San Francisco California. Currently owned by the Multicultural Broadcasting Company, this channel focuses on Spanish language talk show and news content. Most of the shows included on the station are paid brokerage programming.
The KIQI station and the KATD station at 990AM are home to the Oakland Athletics baseball games coverage in Spanish. The station hasn’t changed much in the several years it’s been on the air (since 1958), although it has experimented with a few different call signs.
KIQI also simulcasts with AM 990 KATD in Pittsburgh California, which was also acquired by Multicultural Broadcasting at the same time as KIQI in 2003.
The best Spanish radio stations in the US
Finding the best Spanish radio stations in the US isn’t quite as simple as tracking down a great hip hop station or finding some classic rock. However, there are a wide number of channel options to listen to, if you know where to start looking.
Many of the most popular Spanish radio stations are dedicated to music, but there are a handful of talk and news stations available too.
If you’re using Spanish radio stations as an opportunity to build your multilingual skills, you might want to start by experimenting with some of the stations using a combination of English language and Spanish broadcasting.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for Spanish speaking radio stations because it’s your chosen tongue, you’ll be able to explore all the options above with no issue. Make sure you check out some local stations too, for insights into what’s going on in your region.
Plus, check out our other radio stations lists for more ideas on what to listen to.
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.