The licensee behind “Newsradio 620” WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee and the market’s ESPN Radio affiliates is taking a further step into the spoken word arena by committing to the launch by year’s end of a locally programmed Talk station serving the African American community.
Good Karma Brands, led by Craig Karmazin, is preparing for the launch of “101.7 The Truth,” which will use W269DL in Milwaukee and originating signal WRRD-AM 1510 in Waukesha, Wisc., to reach listeners across the region.
Unlike iHeartMedia’s recently launched Black Information Network (BIN), “The Truth” will take a local approach. Cherie Harris has been appointed General Manager, while Kyle Wallace will serve as Operations Manager.
Harris was previously an Account Manager for WKKV-FM “V100.7 Jams,” an iHeartRadio Urban station in Milwaukee. She’s also worked in sales at WITI-6, the FOX affiliate in Milwaukee. Wallace has been a part-timer for WKTI-FM “ESPN 94.5” since 2016 and is an admissions counselor at Marquette University.
Karmazin, who serves as CEO of Good Karma Brands, said, “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. 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. I’m excited to see how the station grows and evolves and look forward to meeting the strong demand for compelling and targeted content for Milwaukee’s Black community.”
Good Karma/Milwaukee VP/Market Manager Steve Wexler added, “As a locally owned media company, we are proud to serve our local communities – to inform and entertain our listeners, support our advertising partners, and employ teammates. 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.”
Harris noted that “The Truth” will serve as “a meeting place – a place for honest and real debate, as well as welcoming conversation, and a place for celebration and connection within the Black community.”
And, Wallace took a swipe of sorts at BIN.
“We have the resources to make sure that our new station really is a local marketplace for ideas and commerce,” he said. “This isn’t a nationally-syndicated project, it’s home-grown.”
BIN is not presently available on a broadcast signal in Milwaukee. The iHeartMedia stations there include News/Talk WISN-AM, Sports Talker “The Big 920” WOKY-AM, Sports sibling WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game,” Country WMIL-FM and Classic Hits WRIT-FM.
Good Karma is recruiting now for several positions, including talk hosts, producers, news reporters, as well as sales and marketing coordinators.