Univision Communications has officially confirmed that it has ended its 10-year association with Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, the popular longtime host of Univision Radio's morning show, “Piolin por la Mañana."
"After a 10-year run, Sotelo and Univision have agreed to part company," Univision said in a brief statement on Thursday. The company declined to provide a reason for Sotelo's sudden departure.
Radio stations unexpectedly learned Monday that Univision was no longer distributing Sotelo's Spanish-language radio show. Instead, the company encouraged stations to play music during Sotelo's regular time period.
“It’s been a great run with Univision,” Sotelo said in a statement distributed by Univision. The message noted that the Los Angeles based DJ was recently elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Sotelo, whose nickname means Tweety Bird, is an immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, who crossed illegally into the United States from Tijuana in 1986 as a 16-year-old. He rose to become one of this country's top-rated and best-known radio personalities.
Sotelo's Horatio Alger story, as well as his advocacy of immigrant rights, resonated with his core audience of recently arrived and first-generation Mexicans and Central Americans.
Univision syndicated his show nationally on more than 50 stations. Although his ratings for his show had declined in recent years, Sotelo continue to be a potent commercial draw. In June, the most recent month for which figures are available, Sotelo tied for sixth among morning radio hosts in the Los Angeles-Orange County media market regardless of language, according to the Arbitron ratings service.
“We thank Eddie for the contributions that he has made while at Univision Radio,” said Jose Valle, president of Univision Radio Inc.
Thursday's statement was Univision's first public comment on the matter. The company did not say how it planned to replace Sotelo.