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KBLA Talk 1580 Makes its Debut in Los Angeles

1By Shirley Hawkins


KBLA Talk 1580, a new radio station that made its debut in Los Angeles on Juneteenth, is shaking up the airwaves with round-the-clock programming that has audiences tuning in to listen to the stimulating talk.

The talk radio station, founded by media personality, author and philanthropist Tavis Smiley of Tavis Smiley Audio Media, is the first Black-owned and operated, 24-hour, 7-days-a-week talk radio station in Southern California.

“We have never had a talk radio station that is Black-owned in Los Angeles,” Smiley said.  “The line in talk radio has always been all day, all night, all white.”

Smiley, who formerly hosted his own show on PBS, said that the station carries 50,000 watts of broadcasting power with a reach of 12 million listeners in its coverage area.

Topics on the radio station will range from politics to relationships. “We are ‘unapologetically progressive,’” Smiley said, adding that listeners will be captivated by the round-the-clock discussions.

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Additionally, KBLA Talk 1580 boasts a provocative lineup of talented radio hosts, like Dominique DiPrima, that will keep listeners tuning in.

DiPrima, the award-winning radio host whose voice we heard for 16 years on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH-FM, is now the host of KBLA’s morning drive time show, “First Things First.”  DiPrima made history by becoming the only African American woman in Los Angeles to host her own commercial free talk radio show.

DiPrima will take over the airwaves from six to nine in the morning, followed by Smiley’s, “The Tavis Smiley Show,” from nine till noon.

Listeners can also call in to chat with comic and political commentator, DL Hughley. His edgy program, “The DL Hughley Afternoon Show,” heard around the country, can now be heard in Los Angeles on KBLA Talk 1580 from two to four in the afternoon.9

Comedian Alonzo Bodden is the afternoon drive time host who brings provocative commentary on the air, between four and seven, with his show, “Alonzo Bodden: Who’s Paying Attention?”

Weekends will be anchored by Black Lives Matters’ “This Is Not A Drill,” featuring BLM co-founder Melina Abdullah along with “The Best of State of the Black Union,” heard exclusively on KBLA Talk 1580. “The Best of KBLA Talk 1580” will air each night from 12 midnight to six in the morning.

Local listeners, as well as listeners across the country, can also tune into the station by downloading the KBLA Talk 1580 app.

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Smiley is optimistic about the station’s chances and said that he is in it for the long run. “What makes the venture unique is that it is not a ‘Tavis Smiley’ project because I have a great team on board carrying the load,” he said. “It’s about the community having a platform and we’re definitely off to a good start.”

And Smiley has plans to expand KBLA Talk 1580 to other cities as well. “Los Angeles is the flagship station,” said Smiley, referring to the number of black populated cities that lack a black talk show radio station.

“The plan is to buy and lease other networks across the country that will take our programming,” Smiley pointed out. “We have already talked to investors and calls to syndicate KBLA Talk 1580 are already pouring in.”

Be sure to listen for these inciting shows on KBLA Talk 1580:

“Middays With Danny Morrison”   Monday through Friday, from 12 to 2 p.m.

“Let’s Get Intimate with Dr. Jeshana Johnson” Monday through Friday, 7 to 9 p.m.

“Don Amiche vs. Everybody with Crysta and Kiara”      Monday through Friday, 9 p.m. to 12 midnight

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