Hurban, short for Hispanic urban, is the latest hot format of the Hispanic radio world. This new format encompasses rap and hip-hop in Spanish, as well as various derivations of hip-hop mixed with traditional Caribbean music like Reggaeton, a combination of rhythms of Reggae, Salsa, Bachata and Merengue.

This format is the latest attempt to tap into the Latino youth market. These unique music stations are aggressively competing to capture Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 34 with jocks tossing both English and Spanish music into the mix. This listening group is predominately male, although that varies from market to market, and is usually second generation Hispanic, more than likely bilingual, but prefers English. The audience that tends to follow this kind of music tends not to be the same as those that listen to “Regional Mexican” programming.

Multiple Spanish-language stations are adopting this format. Radio stations like WCAA-FM in New York, from the communication power house Univision, has adopted this format under the brand of “La Kalle.” Others like Clear Channel have their brand of this format named “Mega-Latino & Proud” in markets like Houston under the call letters KLOL-FM. Various networks and stations in other markets like Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas and Chicago have taken an interest to the hurban format as well.

Pitching to these and any kind of Spanish-language stations requires knowledge of the nuances that go with the format. As a public relations professional, it is crucial to understand the cultural composition of the audience tuning in to these stations to make an effective pitch. The success of this format varies from market to market, even though this genre of music is dominating the airwaves, topping the charts and breaking record sales today. Even with the music being widely accepted, it remains to be seen if this radio format is here to stay. But, meanwhile, if PR professionals are looking to reach the Latino, mostly male, youth market, the hurban format is the place to pitch stories today.


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