WLW Pledges Cooperation With Hispanic Groups
WLW-AM's promise to work with local Hispanic groups after removing "The Big Juan" billboards with the stereotypical Mexian has generated a prompt response from one local Latino leader.
Alfonso Cornejo, the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA board president, has asked that WLW-AM, the city's No. 1 talk station, tone down its talk about immigrants and immigration to ease the city's race tension.
Cornejo received a letter Thursday from Churck Frederick, local Clear Channel market manager and WLW-AM general manager, expressing his regrets for the billboard campaign and his interest in being "part of the solution moving forward." Frederick didn't use the word "apology," but Cornejo accepted it as one.
So on Friday Cornejo personally handed a letter to Frederick suggesting how WLW-AM could be part of the solution: "We ask you to pledge that your station's airwaves will not permit divisive rhetoric, especially in the form on-air comments, concerning immigration or the ethnic makeup of our community.
Next week Frederick will meet with Jason Riveiro, president of the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to talk about sensitivity sessions or a multi-cultural advisory board for WLW. Bill Cunningham at a sensitivy session? I don't know that would ever happen, but Latino and other groups realize the impact that WLW-AM's conservative talk hosts -- and callers -- have as the city's No. 1 station. Yet they're seeking limitations on free speech....
So "The Big Juan" billboards are gone, but their impact could be felt for a while. We'll see how this plays out.