The ‘El Mandril’ Mystery Raises Questions for SBS

“El Vacilón del Mandril” featuring Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez out of KLAX-FM 97.9 “La Raza” in Los Angeles was supposed to be a staple of Spanish Broadcasting Systems (SBS) new Aire Radio Networks, launched to create and distribute Spanish-language radio programming nationwide. What is not known is why ‘El Mandril’ has been off the air at KLAX for about a month. Is it because of contract negotiations or allegations of ratings tampering? According to the Los Angeles Times, Sanchez’s manager, Fernando Schiantarelli, said Monday that Sanchez was pulled from the air during negotiations over his employment contract, which ends next month. Schiantarelli also confirmed that Sanchez’s show has been the subject of an investigation by Nielsen Audio into allegations of ratings tampering.

So which one is it? “Mandril is not out because he has been suspended,” Schiantarelli said. “He is out because SBS considered this the best way to pressure him into negotiating their conditions for a new contract.”

In an interview, Sanchez said he was told by SBS’ chief operating officer, Albert Rodriguez, that he was being taken off the air but wasn’t given a specific reason why. He said he was asked about traveling to Miami this week to negotiate his contract. “But the contract they sent me is not convenient for me or my team,” Sanchez said.

The Times article also says that although he is off the air in SBS’ major markets in L.A., Chicago and San Francisco, Sanchez said he continues to record in another studio for syndicated programs that air in more than three dozen other markets.

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