Stories About Racial Issues and Equality

iHeartMedia Milwaukee Launches ’Brilliantly Black’

Date Posted: 8/3/2020

A group of iHeartMedia’s radio stations in Milwaukee are launching an initiative to support Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and nonprofits.

The Brilliantly Black initiative is being led by radio stations V100.7 (WKKV-FM), FM106.1 (WMIL-FM), 95.7 BIG FM (WRIT-FM), 97.3 The Game (WRNW-FM), and The BIG 920 (WOKY-AM). The initiative is modeled after a similar program at iHeartMedia Chicago in which each radio station encourages listeners to visit its website and enter keyword “brilliant” to get more information about Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and community resources. The available information includes health and wellness businesses, fashion and beauty, community and faith organizations, local businesses, and restaurants.

“I want to congratulate our team on this grassroots opportunity to support Black-owned businesses,” said Colleen Valkoun, President of iHeartMedia Milwaukee. “Please join us in supporting the Black business community. I am thrilled we can use our stations to impact and inform the public about this much-needed community resource.”

Local Black-owned businesses, restaurants and organizations are also encouraged to submit their information for inclusion on each station’s Brilliantly Black community resource website:

Fox Philadelphia Airs ’Our Race Reality’

Date Posted: 8/3/2020

Fox-owned WTXF Philadelphia’s initiative “Our Race Reality” is a continuation of the important conversations happening every day in the community. Fox29 is tackling issues such as health care, economic and educational injustices, and criminal justice reform.

The most-recent installment, “Our Race Reality: Policing the Problem,” takes a look at issues surrounding policing and the different sets of issues Black officers face themselves.

"We know we have a responsibility as a broadcaster in our community to do our part, to use our powerful platform to have these difficult conversations, and to educate," said Managing Editor Megan Duncan.

WIBW-AM Hosts Day Long Discussion

Date Posted: 8/1/2020

Recently, Alpha Media hosted a day-long discussion on race. Talk show host Danielle Norwoo on WIBW-AM 580 and FM News 104.9 supplied local content relevant to the Topeka community. This video features a discussion with Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran, and two local ministers, Pastor Grant English from Western Hills Church and Pastor T.D. Hicks from Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.

TEGNA Addresses Racial Inequality in Newsrooms

Date Posted: 7/31/2020

TEGNA’s VPA of News Ellen Crooke talked to TVNewsCheck about how the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted greater “intentionality” in the group’s efforts for diversity and inclusion in its newsrooms and corporate leadership. TEGNA has also amplfied it’s Verify fact-checking project and data visualization efforts during the pandemic.

WKMG Hosts "Real Talk" Town Hall

Date Posted: 7/30/2020

Graham Media Group’s WKMG Orlando, Fla., began a "Real Talk" initiative to discuss important issues of race and justice in society. One talk, held on Juneteenth, brought together local stakeholders on topics including law, education, health and societal concerns. The second installment tackled the topic of inequity in the justice system. A panel of experts discussed sentencing disparities, wrongful convictions, mass incarceration and other issues surrounding our criminal justice system.

WCNC Highlights Racial Inequality

Date Posted: 7/21/2020

TEGNA’s WCNC Charlotte is highlighting racial inequality in Charlotte and beyond with a new series “Inequality in America.” The station is examining how systemic racism is ingrained in policies and practices at companies, government agencies, law enforcement and more. WCNC has interviewed health officials about racial disparities and how they are disproportionately affecting Black Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The station has also put the spotlight on the only Fortune 500 company with a Black CEO and looked at the way the company is tackling racial injustice head on at its Charlotte branch. Finally, WCNC has put the spotlight on a Black woman looking to educate other women about white privilege and what it means to be anti-racist through a series of conversations she’s hosting. WCNC is committed to using its platform to educate and inform as the country experiences transformational change in the wake of the death of George Floyd. These are regular segments in WCNC newscasts.

KHQ Airs Community Conversations About Race

Date Posted: 7/18/2020

Cowles Company’s KHQ Spokane In the first example (in three parts), we partnered with the City of Spokane to create a three part virtual town hall discussion on race and policing. The panel involved civil rights activists, minority youth, the Police Chief and Mayor (among others). The station took viewer questions by phone, Skype, and social media during the two-hour event that aired on the primary and secondary stations and streamed on the website.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

KHQ also hosted a community conversation hosted by one of their anchors. People with diverse backgrounds to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and diversity as it specifically relates to the Spokane region.

Vegas PBS Airs ’Diversity in Local Journalism’

Date Posted: 7/17/2020

Vegas PBS aired a special edition of Nevada Weekly, "Diversity in Local Journalism." Local newsrooms are built to bring their community’s stories to light. Yet, some newsrooms don’t reflect their cities when it comes to diversity in hiring. In this discussion with local journalists and community activists, Vegas PBS explores the importance of having newsrooms reflect the places they serves and what Southern Nevadan newsrooms can do to improve hiring practices.

WZDX Hosts Town Hall on Race Relations

Date Posted: 7/16/2020

TEGNA’s WXDX-TV Huntsville hosted a virtual town hall on race relations on June 24. The event featured local leaders, activists, and police officers. WZDX encouraged viewers to submit questions.

Lehigh Valley Public Media Hosts Conversations on Race

Date Posted: 7/15/2020

Lehigh Valley Public Media’s PBS39 and WLVR Bethlehem, Pa., steered programming toward racial issues this summer in an effort to use their platform to elevate marginalized voices.

Programs include:

Community Conversation: Systemic Racism: More Than Skin Deep: PBS39 explored the impact of racism on American institutions.

Community Conversation: Policing the Police: This one-hour program explored how the police can maintain the public trust.

Courageous Conversations: Lehigh Valley Public Media presents Courageous Conversations. Hosted by Monica Evans, the series covers topics that delve deeper into the issues effecting African Americans right now.

WKMG Investigates Police Brutality and Policing

Date Posted: 7/15/2020

Graham Media Group’s WKMG Orlando, Fla., investigated stories of police brutality following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests. Coverage spotlighted community activists determined to make a difference, and elevated the role conversation plays in demanding change for the community. WKMG created a dedicated station webpage to host resources and stories.

The station also pivoted pivoted the focus of their franchise, “Getting Crime Results” to examine the relationship between law enforcement and communities. Investigations put a spotlight on how agencies are altering training and improving community policing.

KTIV Provides Community Support

Date Posted: 7/14/2020

KTIV Provides Community Support Quincy Media’s KTIV Sioux City, IA, provided important news coverage and community support in recent months. They provided extensive coverage of racial protests and aired messages of unity. As COVID-19 swept the globe, the station broadcast important safety messages. Read more here.

Scripps Journalists’ Firsthand Account Covering Protests

Date Posted: 7/7/2020

As broadcasters continue their public service journalism through coverage of protests across the country, two of Scripps’ reporters and anchors, Dia Wall and Kevin Holmes, recently talked to TVNewsCheck about their experiences covering the protests in Kansas City, Missouri, for KSHB-TV. Read their observations about what makes these protests different from others they’ve covered.

WXOW-WQOW Launches ‘Hometown Conversations’

Date Posted: 7/3/2020

Quincy’s WXOW and WQOW La Crosse, Wis., recently started a series titled “Hometown Conversations.” It’s an effort to host meaningful conversations in the community and work toward positive progress. The stations air versions on broadcast and post the full interviews online. Segments can be viewed here and here.

Sos Radio Hosts Discussions on Police and Racial Equality

Date Posted: 7/1/2020

Scott Herrold from Sos Radio talked to police chaplain Patrick Detken from the Henderson Police Department about seeking to understand before seeking to be understood. Patrick is a Latino police chaplain from Nevada. This audio came from a morning show discussion on Sos Radio - KSOS/Las Vegas.

Scott Herrold from Sos Radio talked with author Carlos Whittaker about racism, bias and how it affects the identity of children growing up in a mixed race home. Carlos is half Mexican and half Panamanian. This audio came from a discussion on the Sos Radio morning show.

WREX Supports Community

Date Posted: 7/1/2020

Quincy’s NBC affiliate WREX Rockford, Ill., supported the community in many ways in recent months. WREX provided critical updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, aired poignant conversations on the protests surrounding racial equality, and hosted a Community Listening session. Read details here.

KTMY-FM Raises $148,000 for Neighborhood Rebuilding Fund

Date Posted: 7/1/2020

In partnership with the Neighborhood Development Center, KTMY-FM myTalk 107.1 along with its listeners and advertising partners helped to bring awareness and support to businesses owned by people of color that were destroyed during the recent riots along the Lake Street corridor in Minneapolis, and Midway and Frogtown areas of St. Paul. To date, $148,393 has been raised.

WBNS Airs ’Shining the Light: Real Talk on Racism’

Date Posted: 6/25/2020

WBNS aired “Shining the Light: Real Talk on Racism” on June 25. It isn’t always the overt reactions that people think about. There are little things that happen every single day where you react based simply on the color of another person’s skin and you probably don’t even realize it. During this special, they looked at the history of the black community in Columbus, "the talk" that all black parents have to have with their children, economic access for people of color, and cultural education.

Westwood One Airs ‘Black Lives Matter: From Protests to Police Reform’

Date Posted: 6/24/2020

Cumulus’ Westwood One News presented the special “Black Lives Matter: From Protests to Police Reform” on July 4 - 5. Correspondent Elliott Francis explored how the killing of George Floyd by a police officer sparked a national conversation on racial and social injustice in the United States. Francis also looked at the impact the movement has across all aspects of society.

WCVB Airs ’Project CommUNITY Race Matters in Massachusetts’

Date Posted: 6/23/2020

WCVB recently aired a special during primetime -- "Project CommUNITY Race Matters in Massachusetts" on June 23 from 7:30 9:00 p.m. The special explored the history of racism in Massachusetts and examined what needs to be done so that everyone can move forward together. Topics included policing and reform, bias and disparities in health care and wealth. Anchors Maria Stephanos and Karen Holmes Ward led the program, convening a panel of experts to discuss and analyze this current moment in our country.

Radio One Hosts Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Date Posted: 6/18/2020

Radio One’s Washington, D.C., cluster aired a virtual town hall meeting on June 17 titled “The Beat Don’t Stop: Don’t Mute My City” to discuss the importance and history of Go-Go music in the region. The town hall was hosted by syndicated Radio One personality DJ Quicksilva and featured guests, including D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, CNN Political Analyst and White House Correspondent April Ryan, local activist Ron Moten and Howard University professor and author Dr. Natalie Hopkins, among others. The panel discussed the music’s impact on Black culture and how it can be used to address issues including class struggles and gentrification.

Black Radio Hosts in L.A. Offer Dialogue on BLM Protests

Date Posted: 6/18/2020

iHeartMedia’s KRRL-FM, Emmis-owned KPWR-FM, Alex Meruelo’s KDAY, and Voice Ministries of Farmington’s KJLH-FM Los Angeles responded quickly to the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. They preempted scheduled programming to cover the Black Lives Matter protests and provide a constructive platform for discussing racial issues. The Los Angeles Times detailed their efforts here.

KDVR-TV Airs ‘Racism and Reform: Seeking Solutions’

Date Posted: 6/13/2020

Nexstar’s Fox affiliate KDVR-TV Denver FOX31 hosted an exclusive live virtual Town Hall meeting, “Racism and Reform: Seeking Solutions” on June 16. The discussion addressed recent protests, the police response and potential solutions. Participants included Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D); Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen; Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock; Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod (D-8th District); Tay Anderson, Denver Board of Education At-large; Brian Sederwall, Pastor and Executive Director of Denver Dream Center; Rev. Dr. Jennifer Leath, Pastor of Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church; and Civil Rights Attorney Mari Newmann.

KOKI-TV Broadcasts Tulsa Pride Parade

Date Posted: 6/13/2020

Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate KOKI-TV Tulsa broadcast the Tulsa Pride Parade on June 13. The annual Tulsa Pride Parade, which typically draws more than 35,000 participants, was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. KOKI partnered with Oklahomans for to air a half-hour program featuring last year’s parade. The 2019 parade commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, which launched beginning of the LGBTQ+ pride movement. Cox’s KRAV-FM is also a media partner of Tulsa Pride and shared the broadcast on its social media channels.

“FOX23 is a longtime supporter of the Tulsa Pride Parade and the work of Oklahomans for Equality,” said Cathy Gunther, Market Vice President, Cox Media Group Tulsa. “Social distancing has been particularly difficult for many in the LGBTQ+ community, with quarantine restrictions cutting them off from traditional support outlets like the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. We are happy to do our part to help mitigate feelings of isolation that many are feeling during this time of uncertainty.”

Connecticut Stations Simulcast ‘A Conversation About Race & Justice’

Date Posted: 6/12/2020

Connoisseur Media and Meredith Corp. partnered on a live broadcast about race and justice on June 11. “Face The State: A Conversation About Race & Justice In Connecticut” aired live on Meredith’s CBS affiliate WFSB-TV Hartford-New Haven and Connoisseur’s six radio stations in New Haven and Bridgeport: The roadblock program will air in New Haven on classic rock WPLR-FM, WYBC-FM, WEZN-FM, WEBE-FM, WICC-AM and WFOX-FM.

Participants included Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut NAACP President Scot Esdaile, Chief of Police City of Milford, President Connecticut Police Chiefs Association Keith Mello and Assistant United States Attorney Ndidi Moses.

“This is a vital topic for our communities, and profoundly important to Connoisseur Media,” said CEO Jeff Warshaw. “We continue to commit resources to helping our society move forward to a brighter future together.”

Alpha Media Airs ‘United for Justice - A Day of Discussion’ Across 65 Stations

Date Posted: 6/12/2020

Alpha Media aired “United for Justice - A Day of Discussion” on June 12 across its 65 radio stations in 40 media markets. The broadcast addressed the racial tensions affecting American communities following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Host Nick Cannon spoke with artists Snoop Dogg and T.I., Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Carcetti, Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada, and Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Dr. Melina Abdullah. U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (NJ) spoke with host Ebro Darden about how the nation is being impacted and the steps that can be taken. Female hip-hop artist Saweetie spoke about her personal involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Along with personalities in Alpha markets, hosts included Skyview Network’s Nick Cannon and Dana Cortez, Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez, Tino Cochino, Big Boy, Jubal Fresh, and Radio Hall of Fame host Tom Joyner.

“The events of the last few weeks are reminding us that this is not a new problem but one that needs to be addressed right now. We are united in that we love the communities we live in,” said President and CEO Bob Proffitt.

KFSN-TV Airs ’Anger, Action, Answers’

Date Posted: 6/10/2020

ABC-owned KFSN-TV Fresno., aired a special “Anger, Action, Answers: A Central California Conversation" on June 10. Six panelists will join moderator Graciela Moreno for a one-hour conversation about what it means to be a black person in this country and learn how to move forward.

WFSK-FM Supports Community During Unrest

Date Posted: 6/9/2020

Fisk University’s WFSK-FM Nashville is primarily a jazz station, but has also historically been a hub for news and organization in Nashville’s black community, a role that has become even more important during the recent protests followed by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. General Manager Sharon Kay spoke about the station’s role here.

WJLA-TV Hosts Live Virtual Town Hall “The Racial Divide: Time For Change”

Date Posted: 6/8/2020

Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, D.C. announced on June 8 that it would broadcast on June 9 a live virtual town hall addressing the current affairs of race relations, police brutality and political unrest amid a national pandemic. The special, “The Racial Divide: Time For Change,” would feature a one-hour virtual panel discussion with community influencers, county and city officials, law enforcement, clergy, university leaders and legal experts from the Washington D.C. region.

“We believe it’s vital to bring community leaders from different backgrounds together in an honest, open forum to discuss these important and sensitive issues facing our communities and share ideas in a productive conversation,” said Vice President and General Manager Michael Miller.

WGN Explores ’The COVID-19 Divide’ With Special Report

Date Posted: 6/6/2020

Nexstar Broadcasting’s WGN-TV Chicago aired "WGN News Special Report: The COVID-19 Divide" on May 21 to explore the racial divide in the impact of COVID-19. Hosted by anchors Micah Materre and Lourdes Duarte, the special featured community leaders, medical professionals and state officials, including Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.

Guests discussed the wealth, health and death gaps that lead to higher numbers of COVID-19 in Chicago’s black and Latinx populations. Chicago community activists Father Michael Pfleger from Saint Sabina Church and Dr. Carol Adams, president of Urban Prescriptives, also provided insights into the impact of COVID-19 on minority communities. Watch the special here.

Broadcasters Tackle Tough Racial Issues

Date Posted: 6/5/2020

Stations across the country have been airing town hall specials related to protests and issues of police brutality throughout early June.

ABC owned-and-operated WPVI Philadelphia will air a virtual town hall “Race, Rage and Healing: Where Do We Go From Here?” on June 7, moderated by WPVI anchor Sharrie Williams.

Nexstar Media’s CBS affiliate KOIN-TV Portland hosted a virtual town hall to address race and justice issues on June 4.

Capitol Broadcasting Company’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C. hosted a candid conversation with local police regarding law enforcement, also on June 4.

NBC owned-and-operated KNTV San Francisco aired “Race in America: The Conversation” on June 4 to address issues related to race, especially in the local community.

Urban One Addresses Political and Racial Climate

Date Posted: 6/5/2020

Urban One hosted a virtual town hall, “We Are One: More Than A Hashtag,” on June 4 to address the political and racial climate surrounding George Floyd’s death. The town hall featured panelists include NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and National Urban League President Marc Morial among others.

“We grieve with the Floyd family over the tragic murder of George Floyd and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who demonstrate and cry out for justice, which is long overdue,” said Urban One Founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes. “Urban One has always provided a forum for these kinds of discussions, and we will continue in that 40-year old tradition.”

KFOR Hosts Town Hall Facilitate Conversations on Race

Date Posted: 6/5/2020

Nexstar Media Group’s NBC affiliate KFOR-TV Oklahoma City, Okla., hosted a one-hour town hall to facilitate an honest conversation about race as a part the station’s “United Voice” effort on June 4.

The virtual conversation included Pastor Clarence Hill, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Social Advocate CeCe Jones-Davis, and U.S. Senator James Lankford.

KGO-TV Addresses Race In San Francisco

Date Posted: 6/5/2020

ABC owned-and-operated KGO-TV San Francisco hosted on June 4 a virtual town hall to address protests and outrage over police brutality and systemic racism against Black Americans. The moderated town hall featured local experts and organizers as well as representatives from the local police force and included audience questions.

WKZL-FM and WJMH-FM Unite for Conversation on Race

Date Posted: 6/4/2020

Competing morning shows from Dick Broadcasting’s WKZL-FM and Entercom’s WJMH-FM Greensboro, N.C., united to host a discussion on June 4 about the death of George Floyd, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Both stations aired the discussion without commercials.

KTRK Hosts ’Police & Our Communities of Color’ Town Hall

Date Posted: 6/4/2020

ABC-owned KTRK Houston hosted a one-hour virtual town hall on June 4 to discuss the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. The special examined police issues that have extended from the Civil Rights Movement to the wake of George Floyd’s arrest and death. Panelists included Houston’s Mayor and Chief of Police and a variety of community activists.

KTRK hosted an additional town hall addressing racism and social justice on June 15.

KNTV Airs "Race in America: The Conversation"

Date Posted: 6/4/2020

NBC owned and operated KNTV San Francisco aired “Race in America: The Conversation” on June 4 to address the issues related to race, especially in the local community. Hosted by anchors Marcus Washington and Jessica Aguirre, the hourlong community conversation aimed to bridge background and generational divides. Viewers were invited to ask questions and provide their thoughts on the station’s social media pages.

WRAL Hosts Town Hall on Police and Protests

Date Posted: 6/4/2020

Capitol Broadcasting Company’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C., hosted a candid conversation on June 4 with local police and law enforcement leaders. The panelists discussed the relationship between law enforcement and the minority community.

WSB-TV Hosts Town Hall on Race Relations

Date Posted: 6/2/2020

Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV aired a town hall on June 2 featuring influential political, spiritual and civil rights leaders to address the question “Where do we go from here?” following unrest over George Floyd death

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms led off the town hall by saying that the most important step now is to decide what change will look like.

WRAL Hosts Town Hall on Race Relations

Date Posted: 6/2/2020

Capitol Broadcasting Company’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C. hosted a candid conversation on June 4 with local police and law enforcement leaders. The panelists discussed the relationship between law enforcement and the minority community.