Wednesday, December 18, 2019

San Antonio Radio: KONO-FM's Dave Rios Signs-Off Friday

Waking up in San Antonio will never be the same after legendary radio personality Dave Rios retires Friday, reports

Dave Rios
For 26 years, Rios’ morning radio show on Cox Media's KONO 101.1 helped listeners begin their day. You knew you were listening to KONO in the morning if you heard, “It’s 5:30 levantate ajuua!” The catch-phrase is voiced by famed local accordionist Flaco Jimenez.

“When you hear Flaco at 5:30 in the morning, you knew what time it is,” Rios said.

It was just one of the many endearing elements of Rios' morning show on the classic hits station.

Before his run on KONO, Rios was already a well-known San Antonio-area radio personality. In 1983, he worked as a news director for then-classic rock station KXZL, which is now K-ZEP 104.5. His radio name then was his given name David Arias, which he said people had trouble spelling.

He recalls asking Elizabeth Ruiz, a former co-worker at KTSA in the '80s, for recommendations on a radio name that would be easy for San Antonians.

"She thought of the San Antonio River and asked, 'How about Dave Rios?' So, my radio nickname has been Dave Rios for about 34 years,” he said.

By the time he changed his radio name, Rios was one of the area's top radio morning radio hosts. After his stint at KXZL, he moved over to KTFM and teamed with Sonny Melendrez for what would be the No. 1  morning show in the Alamo City. He then made the jump to KTSA and joined Logan Stewart for its morning programming.

In 1993, Rios began his long tenure at KONO, where he would change the "norm" of San Antonio radio.

Outside of the radio station, Rios has also left his mark, working with several local non-profit organizations like the San Antonio Children’s Shelter, Fisher House Foundation, The Woodlawn Theatre, Alzheimer’s Foundation of San Antonio, Pause for Paws Animal Rescue and Pay It Forward Clean & Sober Living at Haven for Hope.

Rios also created the KONO 101.1 Feature Teacher Literacy Program, spending countless hours after his shift reading to local elementary school students and honoring their teachers.

When Rios signs off for the last time on Friday, he will likely include his daily quote: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”

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