Civic Media Adds Former Republican Strategist to Daily Lineup

Nov 11, 2022

The Todd Allbaugh Show will offer unique perspective on politics and growing up in rural Wisconsin

MADISON – Civic Media, a network of Wisconsin hometown radio stations, is launching a new daily talk program hosted by longtime former Republican party insider and political operative Todd Allbaugh.

The Todd Allbaugh Show launches on Monday, November 14th, and will air Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. across the state on WRCE “News from the Center” 1450 AM and 107.7 FM in Richland Center, WXCO “Bull Falls Radio” 1230 AM and 98.9 FM in Wausau, and WXCE “Lake Air” 1260 AM in Amery. It will also stream live, worldwide, on the Civic Media App, TuneIn, smart speakers, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Allbaugh was born and raised in Richland Center, in Southwest Wisconsin, and got his start in radio at WRCO AM/FM in his hometown where he served as a part time announcer over 17 years.

While a student at UW-Platteville, Allbaugh majored in Broadcast Communications, where he held a number of roles, including News Director at student-run WSUP Radio, anchor on TV-5 News, color commentator and play-by-play announcer for Pioneer Sports, and host of his own weekly late night talk show, Sunday Night with Todd Allbaugh, on TV-5, airing in 13 communities across Southwest Wisconsin.

Allbaugh’s other passion is politics and government, where he spent over 30 years running political campaigns on the local, state, and federal level. He served as a Legislative Aide to both former state Senator Dale Schultz and former U.S. Congressman Scott Klug. He finished his stint with Klug as the congressman’s District Director overseeing the Wisconsin office, and he rose to serve as Schultz’ Chief of Staff during the tumultuous early 2010’s when issues such as Act 10, Voter ID, and mining legislation made Schultz a national name for his willingness to stand up to his own party. Allbaugh also served as Schultz’ Communications Director and Deputy Chief of Staff while Schultz was the Senate Majority Leader from 2004-2007.

“To have the opportunity to be back on the air, sharing my experiences, and using them to try to bring people together in the communities where we live, is beyond anything I could have imagined,” Allbaugh said. “A truly independent statewide radio network where your only directives are to tell the truth and have integrity is unheard of. It frees you up to let it fly and have fun.”

Sage Weil, CEO of Civic Media, said bringing a diversity of voices to people across the state is part of the mission of the new company. “The mission of Civic Media is to ‘inform, delight and entertain listeners with honest and engaging programming that advances the understanding of local, regional and state issues in the communities we serve,’” Weil said. “One of the reasons we were really drawn to Todd, and wanted to add him to our lineup, is he isn’t a lifelong progressive. He had a long career as a Republican, but through experiences he’ll share on the air, he’s evolved beyond tribal loyalty to a political party. I think his story represents a lot of the folks in the places where we have stations. It helps people see that we’re all on a journey, not everything is Red or Blue, and democracy requires an ongoing process of identifying candidates that will represent our interests and values. It connects.”

Civic Media began rolling out a network of Wisconsin hometown radio stations this summer. The lineup now includes stations in Madison, Waukesha, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Richland Center, Amery, and Oshkosh, and will soon include Hayward and Green Bay. Weil, along with co-owner and President of Civic Media, Mike Crute, plan further expansion as opportunities arise.

“Our democracy depends on the health of our communities and our ability to build respectful dialogue with our neighbors,” Weil said. “Over the past two decades, local newspapers have closed or cut staff, while corporate ownership of broadcast radio and television has further eroded access to quality local news. So this venture is more than a business-it’s a mission.”

Weil said that part of that mission is the belief that the path to finding common ground begins with quality, honest, fact-based coverage of local news, and respectful–if sometimes passionate–discussions of those issues affecting local communities.

“I came to a point where I realized if I really wanted to improve the discourse and see a change, I had to get involved,” Weil said.

Allbaugh said he’s excited to get listeners involved through calls-ins on the show and booking interesting and relevant guests, all while making it fun.

“I spent over 30 years having to kinda watch what I said because of who I worked for, or party loyalty, or what people might think,” Allbaugh said. “Now, I’m free to tell people what I really think and what really goes on; kinda ‘how the sausage is made,’ as they say, from first-hand experience. Could the show get a little spicy? You bet! But we’re gonna pursue the truth, wherever that may lead.”

“Oh, one more thing,” Allbaugh added. “We’re on at 8 a.m., so listeners should know coffee is required, but pants are optional.”