Local News

Tuesday, Jul 23 2013 12:33 PM

Univision cancels longtime morning talk show

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES -- Univision Radio Network's nationally syndicated Spanish-language program "Piolin por la Manana" has been canceled, a network official said Tuesday.

Univision spokeswoman Monica Talan confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the morning talk show hosted by Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo was dropped, but she declined to provide a reason.

Sotelo -- whose nickname means "Tweety Bird" in Spanish -- used his popularity to urge his audience to turn out for immigration reform events and to push Hispanics to wield their clout in elections. He joined the station in 2004.

In 2006, Sotelo and other Spanish-language disc-jockeys used the air waves to help propel immigrant supporters into the streets of cities across the country to rally for immigrant rights and protest an anti-illegal immigration bill.

However, Sotelo's show had been eclipsed in the competitive market, the Los Angeles Times reported.

For example, Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez's program of regional Mexican music took over the No. 1 spot in the Los Angeles-Orange County market's Arbitron ratings last month, the Times reported.

Sotelo is expected to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said he was surprised Sotelo's show was suddenly taken off the air. Cabrera said many people still listened to it, though perhaps not as many as once did during the feisty debates over immigration reform in 2006.

"He took time from his morning entertainment show to become the voice of the voiceless," Cabrera said. "For that, we will always be thankful."

Sotelo immigrated to the United States from Mexico and spent his teen years in Santa Ana. He became an American citizen in 2008.

On Tuesday morning, the station played music and commercials. No updates were posted on Sotelo's Facebook page or Twitter feeds.

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