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Entravision brings classic country format back to Sacramento

(Image courtesy Entravision, Graphic by The Desk)

Less than two years after changing the format on their country music station in Sacramento, radio broadcaster Entravision is bringing a version of that format back to the airwaves in California’s capital city.

On Monday, Entravision pulled its bi-lingual pop station from KHHM (103.5 FM, “Fuego Radio”) and launched a new classic country station in its place.

The station, called “Real Country,” will air a playlist full of country music hits from the 1980s to the present, with a focus on classic country songs from Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Freddy Fender, Reba Mcentyre and George Strait.

As part of the launch, Entravision says it will offer several days of themed programming, including a salute to upcoming Country Music Hall of Fame inductees from September 10 to September 12 and a Country Music Month in October that will celebrate the works of a single country artist each day.

“Real Country 103.5 is a classic country format that will provide our advertisers with new opportunities to market to radio listeners,” Angelica Baldears, the senior vice president in charge of marketing at Entravision’s Sacramento stations, said in a statement. “We believe Real Country 103.5 FM will make a strong connection to Sacramento’s country music lovers, an audience which is digitally inclined and has strong purchasing power.”

It is the second time Entravision has tried a country music station in Sacramento: It previously operated KNTY (101.9 FM) as a country hits station called “The Wolf” before abandoning the format for Regional Mexicana in 2019.

As Real Country, KHHM will compete against Audacy’s country powerhouse KNCI (105.1 FM) and iHeart Radio’s low-power station K296GB (107.1 FM), branded as “The Bull.”

Fuego Radio can still be heard in portions of Northern California, with Entravision’s station in Modesto (KCVR, 98.9 FM) continuing to carry the format. The station can be heard as far north as Stockton.

In addition to Real Country 103.5 FM, Entravision operates three other radio stations in Sacramento, including KRCX (99.9 FM, “La Tricolor”), KNTY (101.9 FM, “Jose Radio”) and KXSE (104.3 FM, “La Suavecita”), all broadcasting in Spanish.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).