Talk radio with a liberal focus had waned during the last years of the Obama administration.
With the headline-filled start of the Trump administration, could liberal talk radio be poised for a comeback?
All eyes will be poised on Milwaukee to see if a daytime-only AM will serve as a catalyst for a new resurgence on a national level.
In a deal that has yet to be filed with the FCC, Mike Crute — a Madison, Wisc., native who co-hosts the syndicated liberal talk program The Devil’s Advocate — has agreed to purchase WRRD-AM 1510 in Milwaukee from Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting for an as-yet-undisclosed price.
WRRD is a Class D daytimer with 23kw, using three towers to deliver a directional signal to greater Milwaukee and much of Racine and Kenosha.
According to The Capital Times of Madison, WRRD will switch to liberal talk programming on Wednesday (Feb. 1). This ends the station’s current affiliation with Spanish-language sports talk network ESPN Deportes Radio.
As an “Advocate,” Crute co-hosts a weekly talk program with Dominic Salvia heard in 15 markets across the U.S. The Devil’s Advocates launched on what is now WXXM-FM 92.1 in Madison in February 2012, prior to a format change in fall 2016. On WRRD, the show will return for a 2 p.m.-5 p.m. weekday shift. The newspaper reports that an hour of Wisconsin politics will be discussed at 2 p.m., national politics will take the 3-5 p.m., and a replay of Wisconsin politics will air at 5 p.m.
“This is not simply a business deal, my mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue. Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations, more speaking truth to power, more inclusive voices, and less partisan rhetoric,” Crute said in a statement. “Wisconsin needs a dynamic, commercial alternative to the right and far-right voices that peddle propaganda and alternative facts.”
Syndicated liberal talk hosts including Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, and Thom Hartmann will also be added WRRD. Additionally, local talk host Earl Ingram will host a weekly show airing Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.