We selected the call letters KTAL, because they sound like the Spanish phrase "que tal." If you are unfamiliar with that phrase, or your Spanish is a little rusty, it’s a colloquial expression that means “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?” It’s an informal way of saying “hello” and “how are you doing?” Here at KTAL Radio 101.5 FM, Las Cruces’ newest community radio station, we thought the call letters K-T-A-L would be an appropriate shorthand to suggest that Spanish greeting. It also highlights a core mission we hope to accomplish each and every day: Asking our listeners, individually and collectively, How are things going? How are you? How are we?
“Que tal?” – and KTAL – asks: How are we doing together on this collective journey? Can we do things differently? What do you and what do we need as a community to thrive?
We’re not saying that the radio station can solve every one’s problems or overcome every challenge. But we are suggesting that we’re all in this together - we’re a community, and we think that a community radio station can play an important role in promoting dialogue and critical thought about local residents’ concerns in order to promote progress. We also hope to entertain with great music, storytelling and other memorable programming.
The phrase “que tal?” is a recognition that we broadcast in a community that is more than 56% Hispanic or Latino, and Las Cruces is one of only a few dozen cities nationwide with populations larger than 100,000 and Hispanic majorities. That is part of the uniqueness of the place all of us, whether a relatively recent arrival or someone whose family roots run generations deep, call home. We want to honor that. Choosing KTAL for our call letters seemed appropriate.
More broadly, we hope KTAL reflects a respect for diversity in all its forms, whether based in gender, religious affiliation, political persuasion, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, or something else. We won’t be all things to all people, and we aren’t all the same. But we’re committed to fostering respect for our differences.
We also hope to challenge our listeners at times. Lots of locals will be familiar with the phrase “que tal?” and may immediately get the reference to the Spanish greeting embedded in the station call letters KTAL. But many, including some self-identified Latinos, will not. “Que tal?” is a phrase that grows out of the local culture, but it may seem exotic to some of us. We think that’s okay. We are, essentially, inviting listeners to stretch a little – to ponder ideas and viewpoints and tastes that might seem foreign at first, to reach across any small divides and honor our differences. We are reminding ourselves that to be a community requires a little effort.
In that sense, “que tal?” is not just a throwaway phrase. Like all the best lines, the greeting is deceptively simple but operates on many levels.
We hope our programming is more than disposable - we hope you get hooked by captivating talk and storytelling and by music that moves you, makes you smile or want to dance. KTAL will invite your participation and input, your responses and reflections, your best ideas and, above all, your dialogue on the issues that are important to you. What can we do to make our experience here better?