Breaking News 

Breaking News

Breaking News

If anyone had the chance to listen to 1290 WMCS radio in Milwaukee or online, you probably noticed a difference in music today. If you heard something today that sounded like Elvis Presley, then you must have had a “W.T.F.”  look this morning. When I was driving to an event today, I switched my station to 1290 as I always do,  I’m hearing some Elvis music. I’m like what the hell is this?!! On a black AM Station, really?! I beginning to think that either the station got new with some formats or a deep end effect. Keep in mind, that I am a fan of black radio. Talk and Music. And mostly, partially here in the Greater Milwaukee Area is trying to get to the point of being resourceful and real among the African-American population here  in the area.

In a statement today, the program director, TJ at 1290 WMCS issued a statement in regarding the change via Facebook:

It is with great saddness that I say that 1290 WMCS, as we have known it for over 30 years has changed. The days of “The Talk of the Town” are over. Thank you all who have supported the radio station, advertised on the radio station, and of course listened to the radio station. We, the 1290 Family have worked tirelessly over the years to entertain, inform and empower you, our people. Just like any family we’ve laughed together, argued with one another, and learned from one another. Our goal was to help make Milwaukee a better place to live, work and raise a family. Thank you once again for being there. We will all miss the treasure that we once had. Remember it is crucial that we support one another and not just verbally. Business is not personal, it’s business and we must support one another financially  Thank you once again, one chapter has ended and the next one is beginning. I’m sure you will see the 1290 Family still out in the community. We are still family. Peace & Love…

For the record, I know who TJ is. She used to be a member of my church for many years previously. She is still active with another congregation but, still active in radio. And it was because of her show “TJ Live”, was a reason I started to listen to Black Talk Radio in need of support. Personally, I need to comment this because this has been an revolving door when it comes to stuff like this. Sort of like hearing Chris Rock talk about black clubs having a grand opening and a grand closing. Technically this isn’t a funny manner more like a serious manner. For many years, black radio in Milwaukee has given guys like me to listen, enjoy and also take part in conversations about what effects the Black Community in the City. Now, you’re probably asking, do you hear about black related issues on other radio stations that are non-black in a mixed audience? Well, partially no. They might time after time, but not all the time. You partially hear per say, 620 WTMJ talk about black issues, but not all the time. Maybe when James T. Harris was there and since on the subject, dude was a character in a conservative sense. Just saying. However, when I listen to Sherwin Hughes, Earl Ingram, or TJ, or Eric Von as an example, I’m hearing the type of black talk that does not go on the stick with WTMJ. In other words, I rather hear more with one thing than the other. This is how I feel about listening to Black Radio period. IN SENSE: Milwaukee still needs to keep the ship going in regarding black radio. This news today was more like an execution style shooting than a business decision. Yes, based on the statement, it was a business decision. But in this lesson, Milwaukee’s African American Community must not only to continue to support, but also to retain the growth and longevity of African American/Black Owned Businesses! I have family members now who own Daycares, Barbers, Beauty Shops, and a organization that deals with those who have been affected with Domestic Violence, Asha Family Services. Real stuff as I like to say on Twitter.

My true reaction, was more like a kick in the crotch WWE Style. Yeah I said it. All in Black History Month. My goodness! Technically, the new 1290 radio potentially,  is now “AM 1290. All Elvis Music.” Remember when Chuck D in the Fight The Power video when he mentioned in the line: “Elvis was a hero to most/But he never meant —- to me you see/Straight up racist that sucker was/Simple and plain/Mother—- him and John Wayne”…… We know the rest.

But getting to back to the “change in the guard” according to the story, the station was losing money. What?!!! All this time that the station was losing money, where were we, Black Community? Maybe in another sense, if we knew this story should not have been said in a sense of the out of the dark experience. Recently another black business, Spectators Arena Grille was recently closed up, and I went there one time. This was for a High School Alumni Gathering. And the previous owner was a grad of my old high school from the 90’s!  After I enjoyed the scene I wanted to go back again, but recently the place was closed up. I think Spectators was not given a chance. It was up operating for one year. One year! And boom, no more revenue.

Another reason I’m hearing about the change, may have done so in a political related sense. 1290 was like our “black democratic/progressive/liberal voice”. What the other stations didn’t talk about, 1290 did. Even if it was against Scott Walker and his right wing Wisconsin ideas that don’t favor the black community! Oh so now I read via Facebook, that partially the 2012 election had an effect on it. I don’t know what the real deal is. But mostly it’s due to money. Years ago, Willie Davis sold part of the business 47% previously. (By the way, he is a hall of famer, and a  SuperBowl Champion who played for the Green Bay Packers)  Does that sound familiar? BET Founder Bob Johnson gave at least between 40-60% of BET’s stock to Viacom. And many of us in the Black Community who probably were hardcore BET viewers were upset! Some say he sold out like an Uncle Tom. Or like Uncle Ruckus from the Boondocks. Now I know the reason why some folks say “W.E.T.” than “B.E.T”. Usually it’s our fault, black community that we allow this to happen. Like when we see children or teens or some young adults run amuck, and hear some in the non-black communities are probably saying  “uh-huh, same ol stuff of them everyday.” I get it. But this is not about that. Does Black Milwaukee have multi millionaires or those who “actually care” about stuff like this? Yes and no. Why do I say “yes and no?” When was the last time you hear Milwaukee’s NAACP or the Urban League EVER gave 1290 WMCS a donation fund to help out the station? And if I may ask, where are they when they were on their last legs? Don’t just say, “oh it’s only for the fans and those who listened and they should fit the bill”. Many of the folks now just realize this, I have two words: WAKE UP! Like Laurence Fishburne said in School Daze! Or like the late Petey Greene used to say long ago: WAKE UP God**n IT!

This stuff is really an eye opener. I think and believe it’s time for something new. The folks who commonly say, they think they “support” the stations or black related stuff partially, they at the stores buying up Air Jordans, standing outside waiting for the new Iphones, new TV’s or Cars, or those who say, “Why can’t Black History Month be everyday? Why once or twice a year?” On the Huffington Post, I saw a story about Eunique Jones Gibson who was mostly known for creating “I am Trayvon Martin” last year, did a twist with Black History Month. Remember when we hear about the preverbal:  “We need to teach our children more” in regarding the event? This sister took some kids, have them to dress up almost like Frederick Douglass or Kerry Washington, and display messages or famous quotes by well known African-Americans. Plus she took the pictures. This month, and I know it got passed around on Instagram,  if you are a member of the Divine 9, the Black Greeks, you probably saw 9 kids (5 boys and 4 girls) flashing the signs of the Greeks from the Alphas to the Iotas. Most of you thought that was cute. Really interesting. And alot of you probably cropped or altered the pic, (which is not yours), all because it’s a favorite. Personally, I’ll say this: SUPPORT HER PROJECT! Support her work. Don’t alter it. I commented on Facebook and Instagram to those who are members or probably thinking about joining up with the Black Greeks, after looking at the picture, you better start now! As in speaking if you are a member, better train up the next generation, but train them up right – IF you want the legacy of your Fraternity/Sorority to continue.

I was listening to today about the change yet again: Homer Blow was on some real stuff in regarding 1290’s story. And mostly why at times WE the African-American community hear or see businesses like this fade out. His company, is pretty much open with being non-terrestrial! As in Dialogue, Music, Commentary, etc. You wont get that on the other stations.  This is his own black business. Previously, he was employed with WNOV but was let go for a while. BUT he came back with an ideal to say what he wants to say. Henceforth, I think this was the birth of via the internet. Live 365 was the added entity. Long time ago in Milwaukee if you’re over 30 (way over 30) , Hot 102 changed it’s previous format because of the new rock stuff at the time, so the “old” material was debunked with urban music, and during my high school days. And V100 was coming up with new material of Hip Hop and R&B. I’m seeing this same stuff, yet again with this new 1290 in shades of the old Hot 102.

Also we also hear a quote:  if you can’t find a job, make a job. That should be a last resort! If possible.

Will this story be more talked about in the next couple of days and weeks? Absolutely. And will THIS be a story that will be an eyesore for the archives, of course. But in order for that, I have to comment this like with African World Festival that came back years ago. Many thought that having one day as an event wasn’t enough. And folks were complaining about the one day. Then two years later it was to two days which was last year. And hopefully, back to the three days originally as before.  If those really liked African World Festival instead of complaining, they should have shared some of their ideas, or better yet: Volunteer or Donate! You may not be like Mark Wade, but ask him or write to say, “Mr. Wade I think the Festival could use this or that. And I want to put my services to help.” Plus also one of the changes, was not enough hip hop music for the younger folks. Well I say this, make it an idea. Put that on paper for the next year or so. I’m just saying. I know it’s on paper and I saw the ending result displayed. However if we the “African-American Base” of Milwaukee or anywhere else don’t put this in motion, what’s next? Ponder that.  I know it’s cool we like things that are “national”, but can we like the “local stuff” also? Like voting in both small and big elections. Come on folks, if you want the city to thrive for the next 10 or 20 years, BETTER START NOW! And there was line I remember in High School: Results Matter. Excuses Do Not! And as for the new format: According to Eric Von via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: TJ, Erica Hayes, Phil Anderson and himself are still staying with the company, but with guys like him, Kira K, and Earl Ingram have been let go. And plus Rev. Al Sharpton’s Show “Keeping It Real” may have to be listened somewhere else.  Plus also, 860AM WNOV, and WGLB AM are still out there in reaching the ears of the African-American Community in the city locally as well as V100, and Jammin’ 98.3.

Let’s hope Black Milwaukee, that this is a teachable moment to do better and to enhance our credibility. We have to learn from this. If we don’t, then what will?

For more info of the story: Read what Eugene Kane commented on his blog via OnMilwaukee, and Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have to say in regarding the change at 1290. 

  1. Brother Elvis says:

    Thank you … thank you very much! Elvis has taken over!

  2. Mrs says:

    I knew this day was coming!!! Myself and ALOT of people I know stopped listening to 1290 years…………………….ago! Why???? because we we’re so disappointed that ERIC VON came back with such a EGO! He was hard to take and frankly that was a horrible move. Just horrible!! I saw Mr Davis right as he was making that change and pleading with him not to bring ERIC VON back but…..he did and I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. But…….oh how i will miss Phil Anderson’s blues…………He was GREAT for the station. The lesson that should be learned from this is, if its not broke DON’T fix it !!!!

  3. smcclintonjr says:

    If this does not teach us, then what will? Many here are still stumped.

  4. smcclintonjr says:

    Here is another link about 1290’s change through a bulletin posting:

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