How KUVO Founder Florence Hernandez-Ramos Found Latino And White Audiences

Listen Now
Photo: KUVO founding women Florence Hernandez-Ramos
The founding staff of KUVO, clockwise from top left: Flo Hernández-Ramos, General Manager; Veronica Gallegos, Operations; Dolores Atencio, Development Director; and Mercedes Hernández, Program Director. Not pictured: Nan Rubin, Engineering; and Adrienne Benavidez, Chair, Board of Directors.

When Florence Hernandez-Ramos and her friends started organizing a new radio station in Denver back in the early 1980s, they did it from her living room. She then settled in as the station's general manager and stayed in the post for 23 years.

Photo: KUVO founder Florence Hernandez Ramos headshot
KUVO's Florence Hernandez-Ramos

Now, the Latino Leadership Institute will induct her into the Colorado Latino Hall of Fame.

Hernandez-Ramos tells Colorado Matters that she and her friends imagined KUVO would be a bilingual service by and for Hispanics in Colorado. On the station's inaugural broadcast in 1985, she said it would carry, "the most innovative, culturally unique programming that the Denver metro area will probably ever see."

You can listen to that broadcast here:

Photo: KUVO founder Florence Hernandez Ramos in a 1980s radio studio CROPPED

Hernandez-Ramos is also known for hosting the station's signature show featuring Latin artists, called Cancion Mexicana. The station took time to learn its audience. She says they originally thought the majority of programming would be in Spanish, but they discovered that 85 percent of Hispanics in Denver at the time spoke English as their primary language.

"People that weren’t Latino started calling and telling us they liked our mix," she remembers. "At first we thought, why are they listening to OUR station? But music is universal. So we became more multicultural in our outreach."