Univision says ‘Piolin’ agreed to leave radio show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Univision Radio said on Thursday that Spanish-language talk show host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo had agreed to leave the network after a decade-long run that won him national fame.

The statement came after Sotelo’s show was abruptly removed from the air, shocking loyal listeners of the Mexican-born disc jockey known for helping propel immigrant supporters into the streets in 2006 to protest an anti-illegal immigration bill.

No reason was given for the decision to yank Sotelo’s program, which was lagging in ratings behind another Mexican regional morning drive-time program and ranked sixth in the Los Angeles-Orange County market in June, according to Arbitron.

Univision said in the statement that Sotelo had broadcast his final show on Monday. The program was syndicated nationally to more than 50 stations.

Univision declined to immediately provide ratings for Sotelo’s show in other markets.

Sotelo, who was recently elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame, said in the Univision statement that he had a great run on Univision. A message left for his manager Rudy Franco was not immediately returned.

Sotelo spoke often of his own immigrant experience — a message that resonated with listeners. He crossed the border illegally as a teenager, grew up in Santa Ana and became an American citizen in a widely publicized ceremony in 2008.

The radio personality whose nickname means “Tweety Bird” played corny jokes and pranks on the air but also hosted politicians including President Obama to discuss issues such as immigration reform.

Sotelo has also voiced roles in “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and other movies.

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