In my continuing coverage of 1290’s changing in the formats in Milwaukee, I’m going in yet at again. Time to think for a moment. What made me got interested in Black Radio? I want to comment on this because I feel as a blogger, and a citizen to share interest as usual. So for those who want to know, I’ll go for it. And if those haven’t done already, continue to read the previous coverage of the station’s change in which it was like a bomb going off. I would suggest the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in which columnist James Causey gave his insight, and also feel free to view OnMilwaukee.com in which Eugene Kane comments as well.
I was listening to 860AM WNOV, which still has Sherwin Hughes on the dial, featuring former Wisconsin State Representative Jason Fields as a guest, and several callers came on to comment, and one brought up about Milwaukee being a miserable city. If those read on the Forbes website, in which it had pictures of the 14 cities that were “miserable”, Milwaukee, the Beer City that gave birth to Harley-Davidson in all, is ranked #14 on the list.
Previously for Milwaukee: High Unemployment (mostly among African-Americans), Taxes, Teen Pregnancy, HIV/AIDS high rating, etc.
The #1 city on the “miserable” list: Detroit. Shout out to the citizens of Detroit. I’m shouting out in a way to recognize the thought of understanding the ratings/concerns, and hoping that it can rise up from the depths in which it currently stands. Plus, I have family members in Detroit that are still around. Mad respect to the Motor City.
Continuing the story, Sherwin hit the year of 2008. That was the same year as of course that Barack Obama was elected President as the official first President of Color or the first black president, per say. But before that: Milwaukee had a “night and day” for support. For the night part: the Black Holocaust Museum near 4th and North Avenue in the Bronzeville District was closed up due to lack of funding. This was the same museum in which the late James Cameron founded to give US, the black community a glimpse of understanding what our race went through from slavery to the civil rights era as an example to tell stories. As well as any other Black American Museum. However when that happened, something else did happen: A statue of the “Bronze Fonz”. Check this: The former cast of Happy Days was in town at the time, with the dedication of the statue, had a ticker tape parade, threw out the first pitch at Miller Park, led by Henry Winkler, and more folks came out for that, than supporting a struggling Black Museum. Now I’m not against the cast of Happy Days, nor a statue of a fictional character. I know that other cities have statues of Fictional characters. I get it. But the argument in Milwaukee was the Fonzie Statue was far interested, than the Black Holocaust Museum! Plus also, African World Festival was on hiatus for that summer and the next summer because of the funds. Plus it was hit hard with debts. But the one good news, African World Festival came back as a one day festival, to come up with something new and improved. Most complained about the one day idea. I asked this in a past blog, where were those who “supported” the festival when it was dying? Where were they? Why didn’t they came out and said “Hey I want to support African World Festival! How can I be involved in volunteering or serve on the board?” I used to volunteer with the festival many years ago in 1997. Way before the “hiatus” happened.
Many are asking and still asking, the deal with 1290. Most thought that Willie Davis sold out. The station was half-sold to this organization, Times Shamrock in which most are saying that company, never really cared about black radio. Yes I did mentioned yesterday on my previous blog that the station was losing money. However when the deal was done, the rest is history. And the funeral procession has begun.
Now I didn’t mention this yesterday, but I’ll say it here in a twist. I did say that I am fan black radio and so on. However, I got interested in listening to black talk radio through one of my former church members, TJ whom I know personally. I tuned into her segments “TJ Live” around this time 10:00am Monday through Friday to hear about the topics of relationships, jobs, the city of Milwaukee, health, politics, and many other issues that are a need to hear for the African-American Community here in Milwaukee. I supported the interest and liked the segments. Also, even though I like hearing Sherwin Hughes’ thoughts on WNOV, I did however listened to Earl Ingram. Now, I don’t want to get a balance of favoritism, but Earl Ingram did put up very interesting thoughts going against Charlie Sykes and also Mark Belling – reference the Derek Williams case. And also his topics of jobs, the working poor, economic status, and many other important issues that he touched on, including education. By far, even though I think Sherwin had the upper hand in the educational part, but Earl had the experience factor. This is just my opinion. But as always, “the balance” made the series. Now since the WMCS segments have “went Elvis”, WNOV was the main station this morning I listened too. I didn’t switch over to the new 1290 because I wasn’t interested. Now I know what the term “stunting” is. Almost like an experiment. Well apparently the experiment I think didn’t sit well with hardcore Black Talk Radio fans in Milwaukee. Now the same folks are now heading to WNOV to continue the dialogue and conservation in a “African-American sense” to keep the shop open yet again. It’s like moving from Sherman and Capitol, to 20th and Capitol in Milwaukee.
But still, again the workers like TJ, Phil Anderson, Erica Hayes, and Terry Love will continue to stay, and others like Earl Ingram, Eric Von, and KiraK are no longer with the company. And plus they never got a send off properly. They probably did on Facebook, but not in a non-virtual sense. After the smoke clears in the “funeral procession of the Old 1290 WMCS”, (can’t believe I’m saying that) I think Black Milwaukee needs to press on in terms of our shop of conversations, our issues, our needs, our concerns, our interests, our music and events,, our talents, our gifts, our political mindsets, and many other African-American related issues we need to tackle. Most or some have started Online Radio Stations or joined Online Radio that you don’t regularly hear on regular radio. Blog Talk Radio is popping up. Anyone here reading this blog are Wrestling Fans? We have a show in Milwaukee called the “Pro Wrestling Report.” It’s been around since 1998 at the height of the Monday Night Wresting Wars between the old WWF and WCW (or the WWE vs WCW). Dameon Nelson and company led the show on Public Access Television, which It’s known as MATA here. That’s right: It started out on Public Access Television on Time Warner Cable. And now, 15+ years later, it’s on Regular TV on Saturday Nights, Channel 24 here in the city. Plus they also are featured on 540 ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, as well as Blog Talk Radio, and YouTube. By the way, Dameon Nelson is a black dude that has that knack for Wrestling, and when the Wrestling events come to Milwaukee, they are by far the first group to support. And its local. Himself, Linda Kay, David Herro, the man they called Meathead (an oldschool WCW Fan), Frank Cossentino, and Matthew Thomas all bring their viewpoints of Wrestling to the masses, or the fans in their unique way. By the way, shout out to the Pro Wrestling Report that bring the pain every week. Even after Monday Night Raw. Check them out.
So I think Online Radio, Blog Talk Radio, or an upstart Radio Station might be a start to continue the dialogue. Now I know that there might be those who say, “I don’t know what Blog Talk Radio is”, or how to access the Computer to get Blowradio.com and others. I get it. Now, when technology is a cusp, you have to be on the ball every single time. The same with funding, support, retaining the company and also generating the fire to keep the shop open! In other words, if the business wants to survive, it can’t do it on it’s own. If those like what they hear, see, think, or have a conversation, then by all means, support. But also, retain and maintain the shop from closing up in 6 months! Also as usual, this will be on the button for many months and weeks to come. Speaking of expansion of the base: Friday will be a new start for WNOV, with the Rickey Smiley Show from 5am to 9am. Plus “The Forum” will be switched to the 9am – 11am hour. And as usual, Blowradio.com is still on during the afternoon hours at 1pm.
- WMCS gave voice to community (jsonline.com)
- Radio station AM 1290 WMCS announces it is changing its format (fox6now.com)