About Us


Recognizing the increasing diversity of public radio’s audience as well as ever-growing interest in Latin music from a non-Latino audience, WEXT 97.7 (Albany, NY) launched “The Latin Alternative” weekly radio program in 2009; the show is the first program in the genre available for national syndication, and currently also airs in such major markets as Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Rochester.

Josh Norek


Ernesto Lechner

‘The Latin Alternative’ is co-hosted by two of the genre’s leading experts, Josh Norek (co-founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and frontman of Latino-Jewish rap group Hip Hop Hoodíos) and Ernesto Lechner (contributing writer for Rolling Stone, LA Times, & Chicago Tribune and author of the book ‘Rock en Español: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion’).

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The program focuses on crossover-friendly Latin rock, electronic, funk and hip-hop artists, as well as as interviews with such key acts as Ozomatli, Jaguares, Ana Tijoux and Diego Garcia. “WEXT 97.7 prides itself on playing a wide range of music. As a Triple A station, we’ve embraced artists like Manu Chao, Juana Molina, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs from the start,” says Chris Wienk, WEXT’s program director. “We recognize that Latinos are becoming an important part of the public radio audience, and we also know that non-Latin audiences love the Latin alternative genre. When we launched the station in 2007, we were surprised to discover that there were no syndicated Latin alternative public radio shows we could pick up to air. So we thought ‘why not create one ourselves?”

“There is something amazing about a radio station in Albany launching the nation’s first syndicated Latin-alternative radio show. In my childhood growing up in a small town outside of Albany, I couldn’t wait to leave the area and move to a bigger city that had a Latin alternative music scene,” says show co-host Josh Norek. “Ironically, now I live in California and it’s an adventurous radio station in upstate New York that has taken the lead and launched the first syndicated show for the genre.”

‘The Latin Alternative’ airs in the Capital District weekly on WEXT each Saturday night at 8PM Eastern Time, as well as 9pm Thursday nights on KCSN 88.5 in Los Angeles; the program also airs on an additional 15 stations across the country. Highlights of the program include a weekly ‘Spotlight Artist’ and a ‘Homegrown’ segment focusing on U.S.-based Latin alternative acts. Among the Spotlight Artists have been Grammy-winning acts Manu Chao, Café Tacuba, Aterciopelados and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs as well as buzz-heavy newcomers like Diego Garcia, Ana Tijoux and The Pinker Tones.

For more information:

LISTEN LIVE (Saturdays at 8PM Eastern) at: http://www.exit977.org/ – on the radio in the Capital District at 97.7.

Not a fan of iTunes, use this link – CLICK HERE.

For syndication inquiries, please contact Josh Norek by email, or by phone at 323.496.9662.

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