Last week Milwaukee lost one of its last voice outlets in local Black Talk Radio. The abrupt cancellation of WMCS 1290’s Morning Magazine with Cassandra Cassandra and Joel McNally, along with the ‘Monday in the Round’ an all male roundtable discussion, featuring McNally, State Representative Jason Fields, Lenard Wells, and Mikel Holt of The Community Journal and the ‘Tuesday Breakfast Club’ with Cassandra Cassandra featuring Deborah Fields, State Representative Annette Polly Williams, Jestene Mc-Cord and Lauri Wynn.
Many in the community felt that this cancellation robbed them of the opportunity to say goodbye to Cassandra Cassandra and McNally, or even receive a explanation as to why the programming change was necessary. The remaining local talk show host, Earl Ingram was left to field calls last Monday afternoon. He did his best in answering what he could, and the best answer that he mustered up seemed to be one of business and fi nances. He said that the station had been losing money for years with the locally formated talk shows, and that going with nationally syndicated talk shows was a better business decision for the station.
Many callers didn’t buy that argument. Several callers even stated that the station that tags itself as ‘The Talk of the Town’ should now lose that tagline, because although the nationally syndicated talk shows are talk, they do not address Milwaukee’s local issues.
The majority of callers also stated that since the station’s owners are not local, maybe they are not in tuned to the importance of having local oriented talk show outlets.
State Representative Annette Polly Williams even wrote a letter to the station’s owner, Willie Davis. In her letter Williams states that she has received calls and emails from her constituency regarding the recent cancellation of the Morning Magazine and the dismissal of Cassandra Cassandra from WMCS 1290.
She says that she was personally disheartened to learn that one of the major mediums for news, politics and local information in the African American community had been cancelled.
“The Morning Magazine has become the daily routine for a great number of people in Milwaukee. Not only did the program keep us abreast of meetings and events affecting our community but the show provided a place for us to stay informed, dialogue and address issues. I am not aware of any other morning news or talk show that offered this type of forum. It is also my understanding that a nationally syndicated show is more financially feasible, however, I believe that WMCS’ programming should remain local, dealing with topics relating to Milwaukee.”
Well, it will take the Black community not tuning in to the nationally syndicated programming to get the message loud and clear. But, if the community goes along to get along like it often does in Milwaukee, then the radio airwaves will continue to be full of the Charlie Sykes of the world and the Mark Bellings. It is up to you!