On August 13, 2006, iHeartMedia made a bold move by placing a Tropical format on the 104.5 MHz frequency serving Philadelphia. Census figures and socioeconomic data suggested such a move would prove successful for the company as it sought to build its Hispanic radio properties in underserved markets.
That didn’t pan out, and on May 16, 2007, “Rumba 104.5” and WUBA were replaced with Alternative music, as WRFF, which remains on the air today.
At Noon on March 11, 2022, iHeartMedia and its iHeartLatino division led by Miami veteran air personality Enrique Santos, decided to give it another try in the City of Brotherly Love.
Rumba is back in Philly, only this time it is on a home once home to an Eagle, to Smooth Jazz and, most recently, “The Breeze.”
Introducing “Rumba 106.1,” which replaces an Adult Contemporary format on WISX-FM. It is a signal that was once Smooth Jazz, as WJJZ, and before that Top 40 — as “Eagle 106,” “Electric 106,” and “Z106.” In recent years, it has also been “Mix 106.1” and Hip-Hop focused “Real 106.1.”
Now, local management hopes the second incarnation of “Rumba” is the winning recipe for the 106.1 MHz signal, which covers Wilmington, Del., Trenton, N.J., and much of the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Reggaetón, Urban Pop, Bachata, Salsa and music of interest to young Hispanics of Caribbean heritage is the music focus.
“Our decision to create Rumba 106.1 is a recognition of the importance and vitality of the Greater Philadelphia region’s Latino population, which has grown to just over 15 percent over the past five years,” said Derrick Corbett, Senior VP of Programming for iHeartMedia in Philadelphia. “The latest Census Bureau statistics show that the Philadelphia region contains the third-highest Latino population in the Northeast.”
Jeff Moore, Market President for iHeartMedia Philadelphia, added, “The Delaware Valley has a wealth of organizations and individuals who are committed to serving the Latino community and we are excited that we have a radio station that will strongly support their efforts.”
P.J. Gonzalez, Senior VP of Programming for iHeartLatino, noted that “history is unfolding in the city of brotherly love with the very first full-power FM signal dedicated to the Latino community, which has been longing for many years to have its voice represented in Philadelphia.” Gonzalez evidently forgot about WUBA-FM’s short-lived life in Philadelphia.