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'Piolin' Spanish-language radio show on SiriusXM is canceled

Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo and SiriusXM satellite radio mutually agree to end the show after less than a year
Piolin, once the most popular voice in Spanish-language radio, looks to make another comeback

Spanish-language radio personality Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo's morning show on SiriusXM has been canceled.

Sotelo, who once was the brightest star in Spanish-language radio, and the satellite radio giant said they mutually agreed this week to end their business partnership after less than a year.

The morning show, which ran weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., was part of a campaign by SiriusXM to attract more Latinos to the subscription service. The company also offers sports in Spanish and music channels that feature Latin superstars, including Bruno Mars and Juanes.

The hope was that Sotelo's blend of humor and Mexican regional music would prompt more Spanish-speaking fans to pay for satellite radio.

The program, which was broadcast from SiriusXM's Wilshire Boulevard studios in Los Angeles, launched last October amid much fanfare.

It was a high-profile attempt at a comeback.

"El Show de Piolin" took to the satellite airwaves just three months after Sotelo left his longtime home, Univision Radio, following revelations that a male co-worker had complained that Sotelo had sexually harassed him.

Sotelo, 43, has long denied the harassment charges.

However, Spanish-speaking fans who adored "Piolin por la Manana" when he was a top-rated FM radio talk show host in Los Angeles, and warmed to his rags-to-riches story, apparently did not follow him to satellite radio.

"The parting was amicable on both sides," SiriusXM said in a brief statement. The company declined to elaborate.

Sotelo has been beset by legal problems for more than a year as he attempted to salvage his tarnished reputation. The Mexican immigrant, who galvanized huge crowds during immigration rallies in 2006 and 2007, was seen as an influential voice in the immigrant community.

Sotelo interviewed President Obama shortly after he became president.

But more recently, Sotelo was forced to defend himself against allegations that he was verbally abusive to former staff members of his long-running Univision show.

In a pre-emptive strike last summer, Sotelo filed a lawsuit against six former staff members. His suit claimed that he was the victim of an extortion plot by the former workers and their lawyers who banded together to demand $4.9 million from him or else they would go public with more details of boorish behavior.

But Sotelo's lawsuit backfired when a Los Angeles County judge earlier this year determined that Sotelo had failed to prove that he would prevail in a trial. Sotelo this summer was ordered to pay $100,000 in legal fees for the six former workers whom he sued.

In the statement, Sotelo -- who became a U.S. citizen six years ago -- said he was grateful for his stint at SiriusXM.

"It was a great experience," Sotelo said.

He said he would search for another way to make a comeback.

"I will continue my work as an advocate for immigration reform and my community involvement as I consider how to best use the variety of available new technologies to connect with my listeners," Sotelo said.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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