Puerto Rico Programming Question
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  1. #1

    Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Are there any English speaking stations in PR are they hiring? How does one get a gig in PR? ???

  2. #2
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    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Quote Originally Posted by rockradio1017
    Are there any English speaking stations in PR are they hiring? How does one get a gig in PR? ???
    Other than a mixed format religious operation, the only English language station is WOSO in San Juan. This is a station that has not showed up in the ratings for a year or two. It bills less than $50 k a month, so don't look for big salaries.

    You could email the owner, Sherman Wildman, at sherman@woso.com

    Keep in mind that this is a talk station, and it would be necessary to know local terms and pronunciations as the station targets bilingual Puerto Ricans, not Continentals.
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  3. #3

    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Just as a matter of interest, is Puerto Rican TV also overwhelmingly in Spanish?

  4. #4

    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Quote Originally Posted by BMR
    Just as a matter of interest, is Puerto Rican TV also overwhelmingly in Spanish?
    Very much so. There's a PBS affiliate (WMTJ) that programs largely in English, as well as two low-power stations carrying ABC and Fox, but the rest of the TV broadcast landscape in Puerto Rico is in Spanish.
    All kinds of good stuff over at http://www.fybush.com

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    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Fybush
    Quote Originally Posted by BMR
    Just as a matter of interest, is Puerto Rican TV also overwhelmingly in Spanish?
    Very much so. There's a PBS affiliate (WMTJ) that programs largely in English, as well as two low-power stations carrying ABC and Fox, but the rest of the TV broadcast landscape in Puerto Rico is in Spanish.
    And, of course, the LPTV's are intended to facilitate getting cable coverage because of the way TV operates in PR.

    Since TV began on the Island, there has been essentially no programming originating outside of San Juan (not counting the tiny amount of license-required nobody-watches-it stuff). Puerto Rico is a single market, and San Juan TV stations have "networked" stations to cover the south and west; no single TV comes close to covering the whole Island due to terrain.

    Cable has a huge penetration in middle and upper income neighborhoods. These are the same areas where people who went to private bilingual schools live, and where English language programming will be of interest. The lower income areas, perhaps accounting for half or more of the population, often don't even have cable passes, since there is much less of interest on cable to those who know little or no English. Less than a third of the population of PR is even close to bilingual.

    It's been over 40 years since English was a required subject in public schools, so the use of English is declining as the older generations disappear.
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  6. #6

    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo


    It's been over 40 years since English was a required subject in public schools, so the use of English is declining as the older generations disappear.
    Really. That is interesting to know. So if anything PR is getting less, rather than more, 'American'?

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    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    Quote Originally Posted by BMR
    Really. That is interesting to know. So if anything PR is getting less, rather than more, 'American'?
    From my point of view, the answer is "yes."

    I lived in Puerto Rico for over 20 years in station management, and worked with stations continuously another 20 years, so have a good familiarity with the Island.

    When I first got to PR from South America, there were as many as 100,000 "continentals" (mainlanders) there, mostly in management positions with US "Operation Bootstrap" companies and related occupations. That created a need for a population that understood English. But as trained Puerto Ricans took over most of those positions, the need for English outside of tourism and higher level professions declined. Add in the closing of military bases and the inclinations of one of the major political parties, and English instruction and exposure was even further lessened.

    Add in the fact that Puerto Rico is an island, and isolated from the mainland, and the incentives to learning English and the opportunity to practice it are really reduced.
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  8. #8

    Re: Puerto Rico Programming Question

    All TV operations with locally produced news and programming are in Spanish. There are local low-power TV stations that serve as the ABC and Fox affiliates but they have no local shows or news. CBS comes from a station in the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, but again, there's no local news or programming. There's also a local PBS station that runs both English and Spanish programs but no local productions. And cable carries WNBC-TV, including its New York news and commercials, since there's no local NBC affiliate.

    Puerto Rico is a big media market, but only if you're fluent in Spanish. There's plenty of local news and programming produced by five big TV stations but it's all in Spanish. There are three local daily newspapers, but all in Spanish.

    As David points out, Puerto Rico's Anglo population is probably smaller today than 10 or 20 years ago. Where business people from the mainland used to get assigned to run local offices for U.S. and international companies, there are enough educated bilingual local people to do that now. When I stayed in a condo complex on the beach just outside San Juan, nearly all the local residents were educated, bilingual Puerto Rican professionals. I rented the apartment from a NYC couple, one of them Puerto Rican, one white. They used it as their vacation home and rented it out when they weren't there.

    While News-Talk 1030 WOSO is the only 24/7 English-language radio station on Puerto Rico, you might try applying for jobs in the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, which have a number of radio stations broadcasting in English, including FM Top 40, Urban and Classic Rock outlets. You can pick some of them up in Puerto Rico but their signals aren't great in San Juan.

    I imagine the Virgin Islands stations wouldn't likely hire a mainland person flying down for an interview. My guess is, like most small stations, they hire local people, first parttime, then fulltime, as needs arise. If you really want to live and work there, you save your money so you can move there, take on some parttime odd jobs to support yourself, and introduce yourself to the local radio people so you're on their radar if an opening occurs.

    But it would be harder to do in Puerto Rico because your options are so limited unless you could learn to speak Spanish pretty well. I do know an American woman, not of Latin background, who grew up in the NY area and learned Spanish in school. She moved to Mexico City, improved her Spanish, and got a production job with Televisa, the big Mexican TV company. But by then, her Spanish was good enough that should could work in a totally Spanish-speaking environment. So it can be done.

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