Univision Radio Network's sudden cancellation of Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo's wildly popular morning radio talk show "Piolín por la Manana" has fans aghast, wondering why the show is going off the air.
"He was popular," said Juan Carlos Palma, 30, a barber in El Monte who was a listener to the show. "We listened to him in the mornings. He wanted to make you laugh. I couldn't guess why they got rid of his show."
Piolín, whose nickname means "Tweety Bird," is one of the best-known Spanish-language personalities in the country, and his program made its reputation with a madhouse blend of satirical sketches, irreverent commentary, double-entendre wordplay and interjections by wacky characters.
Lately, his program, broadcast in Los Angeles on KSCA-FM (101.9), had begun to be eclipsed in the increasingly competitive world of Spanish-language morning radio. Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez's program on KLAX-FM (97.9) last month snagged the No. 1 spot in the Los Angeles County-Orange County market, according to Arbitron.
A Univision representative Monday night confirmed the network has dropped the show. As of late Tuesday morning, no reason has been given for the decision, and the host's Twitter account has been quiet for days.
In a post on OC Weekly, Gustavo Arellano, who pens the weekly "Ask a Mexican" column, wrote that the news "stings particularly bad."
Arellano wrote that Piolin's show "served as the Mexican Pacifica Radio," where he would interview politicians, doctors, entertainment personalities and also serve as an inspiration for working class immigrant workers.
Piolín had recently begun branching out into other entertainment platforms, such as doing voice acting for Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" films.
Staff writers Reed Johnson and Hector Becerra contributed to this report.