LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — On a busy small town road in the heart of Lenoir City sits a humble building many may not notice. Inside sits a small radio station that links East Tennessee’s Latino and Hispanic communities to a taste of home.
“We reach eight counties and surrounding areas. Plus, we are tune in radio. We have no borders. We are everywhere,” Mercedes Cuevas said.
WKZX-FM La Lider 93.5 FM’s Mercedes Cuevas takes pride in the station being a link between two worlds for Spanish speakers living in East Tennessee. The station is based in Lenoir City but covers eight counties: Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Roane, Blount, Monroe, Campbell and Anderson.
“It is so nice to talk to people when the telephone rings because I know for a fact that the radio station is a way for them to feel back home,” Cuevas said.
She says the power of music is unlike anything else.
“The country, like real Tennessee country music. This is the Mexican country (music) but since we are the only Spanish radio station in East Tennessee, we also play Latino, Tropical – for Central and South America because we want to bring the happiness and we want to connect with everybody in East Tennessee,” said Cuevas.
But Mercedes says La Lider knows its impact, using its reach to keep Spanish-speaking communities informed. When COVID-19 hit the area, they hit the airwaves.
“I was here, working, connecting the Health Department, live every single week with the public announcements. Live interviews with the doctors,” said Cuevas.
La Lider making sure their listeners stayed informed and entertained.
“…No idea, no explanation. It’s just magical and it’s the reason people follow us and we are surviving this wonderful, 15 years on the air.”
Fifteen years of being a taste of home.