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Milwaukee’s Black Community To Be Served By 101.7 The Truth

“The exact launch date has not yet been revealed, but Good Karma expects to introduce the station in 2020.”

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Good Karma Brands is taking action to provide a voice for Milwaukee’s Black community. The company has announced plans for the launch of “101.7 The Truth”, a brand which will focus on providing local shows, news, information and discussion by and for members of the Black community.

“At Good Karma Brands we believe every voice matters, but as the events of this past year unfolded, we realized there were underrepresented voices that had so much to say and needed to be heard,” CEO and founder Craig Karmazin said in a company issued press release. “We believe there is a unique opportunity for us in Milwaukee to launch a station that can make a real impact across the city, and within our company.”

Good Karma did not reveal an exact launch date but says they expect to introduce the station in 2020. A majority of the content will emphasize empowerment, faith and community.

VP/Market Manager Steve Wexler added, “With the launch of 101.7 The Truth, we are making good on our promise to serve our community in a deeper and more meaningful way, and to specifically serve our Black neighbors and friends who make up nearly 40% of Milwaukee’s population. I’m thrilled to launch this station with our talented hometown team.”

To make the new format a reality, Good Karma will buy back the signals to WRRD and the 101.7 translator signal. They had been utilized by Michael Crute who was broadcasting a liberal talk format known as “Talk 101.7.” The company is hoping to finalize the purchase in the first quarter of 2021.

The responsibility of bringing the brand to life will belong to General Manager Cherie Harris and Operations Manager Kyle Wallace. Harris is a Milwaukee media veteran having worked in radio and television for iHeartMedia and WITI-TV. Wallace has been with Good Karma since 2016 and has served as an admissions counselor at Marquette University.

“We are going to put together a meeting place,” Harris remarked. “A place for honest and real debate, as well as welcoming conversation, and a place for celebration and connection within the Black community.”

“We have already started the search for the voices that will make 101.7 The Truth a destination for the stories and experiences that are relevant to the Black community,” Wallace said. “We have the resources to make sure that our new station really is a local marketplace for ideas and commerce. This isn’t a nationally-syndicated project, it’s home-grown.”

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Former WAMU Reporters Take to Social Media After Layoffs Hit

Many of those affected by the layoffs took to social media to share they were included in the cuts, while others shared their displeasure with leadership and station management over the move.

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A photo of the WAMU logo

WAMU made a round of layoffs Friday morning that eliminated the positions of 15 employees on staff at the Washington D.C. NPR affiliate.

The outlet claimed it was ending its local news digital outlet — DCist — in an effort to refocus its strategy on audio offerings. When users attempt to go to the DCist website, a message appears reading “Thank you for visiting and supporting DCist. Since 2018, it has been a part of WAMU 88.5, the Washington region’s public media and NPR member station. As of February 23, the site will no longer publish new content. Please visit WAMU.org for local news and programming. You will be automatically redirected to WAMU.org in 15 seconds.”

Many of those affected by the layoffs took to social media to share they were included in the cuts, while others shared their displeasure with leadership and station management over the move.

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Nick Kayal: Widespread Phone Outages Shows Need for AM Radio

“It’s something that we need to continue to highlight and re-emphasize not just for this audience, but I think it’s also important to reach people beyond the little box that we live in, in talk radio.”

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(Photo: Nick Kayal)

Millions of AT&T and Verizon customers were left without use of their mobile devices due to widespread outages Thursday morning. 1210 WPHT morning host Nick Kayal believes it highlights the need for AM Radio.

While discussing the outages on Kayal & Company Friday morning, Nick Kayal argued that both the lack of cell phone coverage and the convergence of members from both sides of the political aisle coming to AM Radio’s defense shows the need for the medium to continue.

“Yes, we look at it selfishly. First and foremost, I think from a career standpoint, because of free speech and stations like Talk Radio 1210, that might never be on FM. Yes, you can get us on the Audacy app. Yes, you could watch us on YouTube. But we might always just be on AM, specifically, when we talk about am and FM.

“Now imagine it’s 2042. You’re driving a Tesla. And we have one of these communication failures where the grid goes down, so to speak, and you can’t use your phone. And you also compounded the issue with not having an AM radio. We speculated earlier this morning, if in fact this was a hack job. And you know, China does something like this or Russia…Now imagine throwing into the equation not having AM radio from a safety standpoint, you’d want to tune into 1210 in the in the event of a disaster or an emergency, or our sister station, KYW 1060.”

Kayal continued by noting that the message needs to continue to be shared not simply with those inside the industry, but to the general public.

“I really think, as we continue to pay attention to this story, it’s something that we need to continue to highlight and re-emphasize not just for this audience, but I think it’s also important to reach people beyond the little box that we live in, in talk radio,” he concluded.

Nick Kayal also gave kudos to The Atlantic, which had shared a story with the headline “Your Phone Has Nothing on AM Radio,” noting that it’s no longer just right-wing publications sounding the alarm on the issue at hand.

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WAMU Institutes Round of Layoffs, 15 Employees Let Go

WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

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WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington D.C., has instituted a round of layoffs that will see the jobs of 15 employees cut, with a shifting focus to audio upcoming.

The outlet is ending its DCist local news site amid the focus change, with the company saying the move allows it to prioritize its audio offerings.

“We’re making the choice to invest in what we’re better at than anyone else in this town, and that’s audio,” General Manager Erika Pulley-Hayes told Axios.

The report from Axios also claims WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings, WAMU is the highest-rated station in the Washington D.C. market, finishing atop the rankings with a 12.7 share in the January ratings period in persons 6+.

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