He is a former VP of Content at Univision, and held roles at both the former CBS Radio and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS). Most recently, he served as an outside consultant for Univision, working on Uforia-branded podcasts and the former KLVE-FM/Los Angeles-based Omar y Argelia, now at SBS.
As of today, Fernando Arath Pérez is now directing the programming of iHeartMedia‘s Spanish-language FM serving the Delaware Valley — the company’s second attempt to monetize and attract a sizable Hispanic listening audience to a big-signal FM in Philadelphia.
Pérez has been picked to serve as PD for WUMR-FM “Rumba 106.1,” offering a Rhythmic Spanish Contemporary format focused on reggaetón, Latin Pop and classic salsa — sounds popular today in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. With a blend that stretches from “Ven, Devorame Otra Vez” by Charlie Cruz to Bad Bunny, “Rumba” seeks a wide-ranging audience of Latinos. And, given its signal (formerly home to such brands as “Eagle 106” and a Smooth Jazz format), WUMR is already ahead of the game against one key competitor.
As reported by Radio + Television Business Report, the owner of crosstown “Mega 105.7” is reviewing its assets and its profit generation, in the face of new competition from iHeartMedia. It’s not good: a bankruptcy filing was submitted to a federal district court in Fort Myers, Fla., in early 2022. In June, the licensee has officially shifted to debtor-in-possession status.
At “Rumba,” Pérez reports to Derrick Corbett, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia in Philadelphia. “It’s a privilege for us to be able to add a programmer with Fernando’s expertise to our team here in Philly,” Corbett said. “His incredible level of knowledge is exactly what we need to not only help grow Rumba, but to also utilize as a resource within our cluster.”
PJ Gonzalez, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartLatino, added, “Fernando is a programming scientist, a formidable talent coach and carries extensive expertise in very competitive markets. He is someone who welcomes challenges and will definitely go down as one of the best in the business in Philadelphia radio market history.”
Pérez added, “I’m thrilled to have the exciting opportunity to join the newly launched Rumba 106.1 and participate in this opportunity from iHeartMedia to serve one of the fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the country. I’m honored and grateful to be part of the talented team at iHeartMedia Philadelphia and iHeartLatino.”
The appointment of Pérez follows the March 11 return to the nation’s ninth-largest radio market of “Rumba,” which originally aired in the market from August 13, 2006 through May 16, 2007 as WUBA-FM “Rumba 104.5.” Today, the station airs an Alternative Rock format.
In the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings for Philadelphia, WUMR had a 1.7 share of the total listening audience, ahead of “Mega” and its 1.0 share.