Pro-democracy Civic Media Radio Network Denounces Attacks from Republican Party of Wisconsin
June 13, 2023 at 02:09:28 PM UTC
Yesterday, Civic Media was made aware of a widely dispersed attack against our company in the form of a fundraising email from the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW). The email comes days after RPW first invited Civic Media to apply to participate in this year’s state Republican Convention and then declined our application and returned our check to secure a vendor table.
We are disappointed by this email and the RPW’s refusal to allow us to exhibit at the state Republican Convention this weekend in La Crosse. Our hope was (and remains) to attend both state party conventions to introduce ourselves to party members and elected officials so that we can engage in a conversation about issues across the state.
We invite everyone to view our Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values at civicmedia.us. In part, it reads, “Our mission 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.”
The First Amendment should be something we all cherish. Free speech is essential to maintaining a functioning democracy, and at its core, that is Civic Media’s purpose: to provide an unfettered voice for truth in the quest to maintain and preserve democracy.
Despite RPW’s assertions, none of the 18 radio stations we’ve acquired over the last year played out conservative talk radio or Fox News prior to our purchases. Civic Media now owns and operates 12 News/Talk/Sports stations, all of which were previously playing either oldies, sports, or a variety music format. To our knowledge, this is a small fraction of the number of stations in Wisconsin carrying conservative programming.
What Civic Media has done is add another voice to the public town square. Civic Media is pro-democracy, not pro-Democratic Party, and we welcome voices from across the political spectrum. While some of our shows and hosts come from a more traditional liberal background, others don’t. Todd Allbaugh, host of “The Todd Allbaugh Show,” is a 30-year former Wisconsin Republican operative who served as Chief of Staff to a GOP Senate Majority Leader, and Joel Kleefisch, host of “Raised in Wisco,” is a former Republican Wisconsin State Representative. News Director Terry Bell has a longstanding reputation among fellow journalists and elected officials for having the highest journalistic integrity and fact-based reporting. And Civic Media is proud to be the radio home of distinctly non-partisan and non-political Wisconsin favorites like “The Cripescast Podcast”, with beloved Wisconsonite Charlie Berens, and “Under the Helmet with the Gravedigger,” with Packers legend Gilbert Brown.
We are enormously proud of our entire staff. They represent the eclectic voices we’ve assembled to present diverse views while carrying out our mission–to tell the truth, support democracy, and do it with integrity. They’ve followed that, and we reject misinformed or dishonest fundraising tactics that suggest otherwise.
If the availability of competing perspectives–or our presence at the state convention–is viewed as a threat, then that says more about the RPW than about us. We would think the Republican Party of Wisconsin, with its long history of being the birthplace of the GOP, would welcome the opportunity to engage voters and discuss its platform. We at Civic Media welcome that discussion, and we encourage the RPW to reconsider their position.