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Kyle Wallace and 101.7 The Truth Are Breaking Glass Ceilings

Tony Cartagena




Timing is everything.

In December of 2020, Good Karma Brands publicly announced their plans to launch 101.7 The Truth, a talk radio station focused on embracing and telling the stories of Milwaukee’s black community.

Months of interviews, planning and hiring’s led to the first full day of broadcasts, Jan. 4, 2021.

After completing graduate school at Central Michigan, Kyle Wallace worked in the Milwaukee area as a high school football coach. He then followed that with a stint as a college recruiter for Marquette University.

On the side, Wallace was a part-time teammate at ESPN Milwaukee, working live radio remotes, producing shows and attending games for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, collecting sound during post-game availability.

During a conversation with Barrett News Media, Wallace explained how he was overly happy with his position at Marquette. He took great pride in the reality that he was able to make a difference in the lives of prospective students.

However, he still had this itch. He wanted to be involved in sports media, and needed to create a lane for himself to thrive as an on-air contributor. So he continued working whenever he could at 540 ESPN Milwaukee, another station owned and operated by Good Karma Brands.

“In June of 2020, (Good Karma Brands Founder and CEO) Craig Karmazin reached out to me and asked what I thought about a black station. Really, where do African Americans go for news about the community?” Wallace recalled. “There’s not a station that people go to and can run to when they want to hear black voices, that’s something that’s absent from the Milwaukee media market.

“When he said that he had interest in potentially trying to start something I told him, ‘I am more than happy to help in any way that I can because I think it is very important that we provide a platform for African Americans to really voice their thoughts and opinions.'”

Throughout his time with ESPN Milwaukee, Wallace learned the ins and out of the media landscape in his city. He grew comfortable asking questions at press conferences, and networking with fellow media members. His experience allowed him to teach incoming intern classes, and other teammates, everything from running the board to cutting audio and using a recorder.

“I told (Karmazin), I am willing to do anything and everything I can to help you guys get this off the ground,” he said. “I know I’m just a part-time teammate, but I’m a teammate at the end of the day, and I want to make sure this is a success,”

“Whatever I have to do I am more than happy to do it.”

Little did Kyle Wallace know he would soon be named the Director of Content for 101.7 The Truth.

Wallace told BNM that before being offered the position he actually helped game-plan potential teammates to bring in, powerful black Milwaukee voices. He also gave input on who he thought would be a good fit as program director.

“It was a leap of faith,” he said after a tough decision to leave his role with Marquette. “Making that jump to a brand new radio station. The goal is to be around forever, but at the end of the day you have to make sure you are producing, not only on-air but also making money as well.

“I was a little bit nervous but I was excited as well because I knew it was a new challenge that could be very very special for Milwaukee’s community. Not just for the black community, but for everybody that is interested in great talk radio, and to hear a different perspective than they may be used to.”

The Truth is working tirelessly to break glass ceilings in media. The station is providing representation and opportunities for people of color who want to pursue and grow careers in the field, and fans who want exposure and coverage of their community.

“Covering the Brewers, I don’t think I ever saw another black reporter,” Wallace said. “(Covering the Bucks) there was maybe one or two, sometimes.”

On July 22, 2021, 101.7 The Truth was broadcasting live from downtown Milwaukee, during the parade for the NBA Champion Bucks.

During the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration, The Truth provided a live broadcast experience.

“An audio platform that embraces Milwaukee’s black community,” reads the mission statement on the station’s website. “This is our marketplace where authentic conversations can challenge and inspire everyone. You won’t hear just one perspective. It’ll be raw, honest, and true to what’s really going on in our communities.”

Wallace discussed with BNM the impact his former career had on his ability to direct content at The Truth. He knows how to teach an aspiring producer how to produce a live show, because he did it himself.

As a recruiter, he had no idea the impact it had on students to see a black male care about their educational future, until they told him, ‘we wouldn’t be (in college) without you.’

At Whitefish Bay High School, Wallace doesn’t remember ever having an African American teacher during his four years there. An unfortunate common theme in education.

“It meant more to the kids, because it was more than just a recruiter,” he said.

Those recruiting skills came full circle after The Truth hired Zech Simmons as a producer. Wallace recruited him as a high school student to college, and they kept in contact over the years. Simmons was one of the first calls Wallace made when The Truth started drafting their roster.

“We are confident we chose outstanding leaders who have already made an impact on the city through their service, advocacy, and fight for justice and equality,” he said in the station’s initial press release.

The Truth isn’t even a year old yet, however, they are dreaming big. Wallace’s personal goals for the station are to continue creating an impactful on-air product. He hopes that momentum will carry over into the community, making the brand a destination for the black community to come together as one. That’s especially important as local and state elections take place in 2022. He aspires for The Truth to become an outlet where the black community can learn about prospective elected officials and each of their causes.

Of course, influenced by that background in education, Wallace said he eventually wants to create a college scholarship funded by the station, awarded to a local student.

Listen to 101.7 The Truth here.

News Radio

Howard Stern Reveals MSNBC Go-To Source for News

Stern told “Morning Joe” in an extensive interview that MSNBC is the network for him regarding cable news consumption.

Eduardo Razo




SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern told “Morning Joe’s” Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist in an extensive interview that MSNBC is the network for him regarding cable news consumption. 

Stern stated that he’s a major fan of “Morning Joe” and went the extra mile to say that he and co-host Joe Scarborough share the same political idealogy.

“I watch you guys every morning,” Stern said (h/t Mediaite). “I really enjoy the show. Oddly, I agree politically with almost everything Joe says. I don’t think there’s much difference there.”

The radio host thanked MSNBC for providing him with what he loves: 24/7 news. Additionally, Stern offered a shoutout to network host Symone Sanders and stated he’s no fan of Dateline repeats.

“By the way, I want to give a shoutout to MSNBC,” Stern added. “Thank God you don’t play the old Datelines anymore on the weekends. I like news. I watch this channel exclusively for news. I tune out on the weekend. 

“It’s like all news stuff. I’m watching old Datelines. I like when you guys are onI like news 24/7, and now I find I’m getting it. I get Symone on the weekend. Big fan of hers. Symone coming on strong. What can I tell you? I know the whole lineup.”

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News Radio

Trespassing Charges Against John DePetro Dismissed

DePetro have been dismissed as he faced a trespassing charge related to an incident over the summer during a Monday court hearing.

Eduardo Razo




Charges against John DePetro have been dismissed as the radio host faced a trespassing charge related to an incident over the summer during a Monday court hearing.

DePetro was arrested in mid-August outside a home on Staples Avenue in Warwick.

Police searched the house several months earlier as part of an investigation into the disappearance of Charlotte Lester, who has been missing for six months.

“I respect our justice system and respect law enforcement, specifically the Warwick PD,” DePetro said on Twitter. “The search for Charlotte Lester continues as I resume efforts searching for answers into her disappearance and holding Mark Perkins accountable for his actions against myself and Ladybug.”

The man who lives there, Mark Perkins, was also arrested the following day after he allegedly charged at DePetro with a lawnmower while DePetro was live-streaming. 

Unlike DePetro, who had his charges dismissed, Perkins still faces an assault charge, according to court records.

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News Radio

Oklahoma’s The Eagle 96.9 Rebrands as Freedom 96.9

KZLS started simulcasting on KQOB at the beginning of this year after the 96.9 signal was leased to Citadel and Cumulus Media for nineteen years. 

Eduardo Razo




Champlin Broadcasting Conservative Talk The Eagle 96.9 KQOB Enid/Oklahoma City and 1640 KZLS Enid will look a little different for its listeners as the station has rebranded.

Rather than calling itself The Eagle 96.9, the radio station will now be known as Freedom 96.9 (h/t Radio Insight). KZLS started simulcasting on KQOB at the beginning of this year after the 96.9 signal was leased to Citadel and Cumulus Media for nineteen years. 

The station features a syndicated lineup, including Hugh Hewitt, Brian Kilmeade, Dan Bongino, Mike Gallagher, Joe Pags, and Bill O’Reilly. Furthermore, with the rebrand possibly comes a new addition.

Freedom 96.9 is teasing the addition of Dana Loesch to the lineup as well to enhance the rebrand further as the station begins a new chapter as it provides news/talk to the residents. 

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