Latino Civil Rights Groups, Media Coalition Take Aim at SiriusXM Shifting Eight Latin Music Stations
A coalition of Latino civil rights groups is taking aim at SiriusXM for removing a majority of Latin music stations from its lineup.
SiriusXM Failing With Latinos?
During the last several months, eight Latino channels were axed from SiriusXM's satellite service, and a number of civil rights groups, record labels and artist advocacy organization -- representing Latino artists and listeners -- are demanding the company to offer more Latino voices and relevant programming.
"SiriusXM's decision to drastically reduce the availability of satellite channels serving Latino audiences harms Latino listeners, artists and anyone hoping to hear diverse content on its platform," said National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) President and CEO Alex Nogales in a statement released on June 1. "Given the increasing number of businesses embracing the significant market power of Latinos and public outcry for greater diversity in all forms of media, this move represents a puzzling failure to offer culturally relevant content to consumers who demand more -- not fewer -- options on every medium."
The axed music stations, ranging from Latin Rock, Salsa, Latin Jazz, Latina Pop and Reggaeton, have been moved to SiriusXM's online service, and no longer available in cars.
According to Nogales, SiriusXM had told the Federal Communications Commission that its satellite radio platform would not harm diversity. He added, "SiriusXM has failed Latinos with its severe programming changes and we urge it to take immediate action to offer channels that reflect the rich cultural heritage of our communities."
Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, a civic media organization engaging Latino youths, said SiriusXM's decision shows the company is not embracing the second-largest and youngest group of Americans and silencing Latino voices on its satellite radio stations.
"SiriusXM's decision to eliminate the satellite broadcast of 80 percent of their Latin music channels comes at a time when diversity in media is wanting. We know that music is a powerful means to shape our culture and give voice to those marginalized. At a time when Latinos are most misunderstood and fighting constant attacks, SiriusXM is turning their backs on us," said Kumar in a statement.
Voto Latino and NHMC are among other organizations including the National Organizing Director at the Future of Music Coalition, Del Records and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network to voice opposition to SiriusXM's decision.
No Complaints & More Content Soon
According to the Wall Street Journal, SiriusXM said it hasn't received any complaints from subscribers about the eight Latin channels' removal. SiriusXM added that it does plan to add more Spanish-language content later this year.
But public demand might be key for a music station's return. Last September, the company brought back the Escape station, which provided easy-listening tunes, following demand from subscribers.