Best Spanish Radio Station (2005)

Mega 101, KLOL/101.1 FM

There was a general wailing, flailing and gnashing of teeth when Clear Channel radio pulled the plug on local rock institution KLOL. Here was the general complaint: How dare they pull the plug on my Walton and Johnson, AC/DC-Audioslave-Stevie Ray playlists and Mandatory Metallica and replace it with all that Tejano racket! We're gonna get up a petition and get Clear Channel to put it back! We'll show 'em Houston's still a rock and roll town! How wrong we were. Mega's mix of reggaeton, Latin hip-hop and dance music, rock en espanol and Hispanicized remixes of rap hits has proved a ratings winner, while KLOL's rock successor KIOL (103.7 FM) has barely made a dent in the Arbitron books. And while most Anglos may not dig Mega, it's a rare example of a radio behemoth actually catering to its listeners -- Latin youth -- by giving them music that had been popular in the underground, rather than just whatever "tested well" in their intensely flawed research and whatever the major labels wanted to ram down our throats.