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Marc Vila

Marc was born in Cuba. With revolutionary changes approaching the island nation, the future there was becoming uncertain so, in 1954, he and his family moved to the United States and settled in the Ybor City section of Tampa.

After four years in the Air Force and getting a degree in communications from Fordham University, he worked with the city of New York and later founded the Hispanic Market News, a publication that focused on Latino retail food trends there and in New Jersey. Since he had a love for music and was a skilled drummer, he also formed a band in the 1970’s, The Rockin’ Jesters, which performed on the New York City music scene. The band broke up when its members chose family over the life of rock stars.

While visiting family in Tampa in 1994, Marc learned of an opening for the position of Director of Marketing and Advertising with WQBN, went in and applied for it, and got it. At the time he joined the station, it was limited to local advertisers. However, under his guidance, he eventually was able to show national companies the benefit of reaching out to Tampa’s Spanish-speaking audience. AT&T and Western Union were among the first corporate giants to jump on the bandwagon.

His desire to help build a radio station with 24/7 Spanish programming and bring Spanish music back to Tampa for the Spanish community eventually lead to his promotion to vice president and general manager of the station. All the while, he continued to run his now bilingual and nationally distributed food retail publication, Supermercados USA.

At the age of 69, Marc passed away September 23, 2013 from a disease that had damaged his lungs. A pillar of Tampa’s Latin community, philanthropic with his time, and proud of his heritage, he is perhaps best known for his work to bring the around-the-clock Latin music he cherished from his youth in Cuba to the airwaves in Tampa.

Station History

1994 - 1999 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Sales)
1999 - 2013 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)

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