Radio host Michael Crute has acquired Waukesha-based radio station AM-WRRD 1510, which previously was ESPN Milwaukee’s Spanish language station, ESPN Deportes. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Crute, who co-hosts the nationally syndicated Devil’s Advocate Radio Show with Dominic Salvia, plans to change the format of the station to 24-hour programming seven days a week.
He and the former owner, Beaver Dam-based 540 ESPN Milwaukee owner Good Karma Brands, have an operating agreement that allows them to change the format effective Feb. 1 at 6:45 a.m., while the application for licensing transfer is pending at the FCC.
Devil's Advocate previously broadcast out of FM-WXXM 92.1 in Sun Prairie, but the station ended its relationship with the show in November. Crute must operate out of Good Karma's studios while the FCC approval is completed, which could take 90 days or more. Then, he will open a new studio and invest about $40,000 building it out, Crute said.
"You need a live studio, you need a commercial production space so people can do work while there might be live shows on the air,” he said. "I’ve been investing in the electronics to make it all work since about November.”
Devil’s Advocate will anchor the afternoon drive segment, airing from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays with both Wisconsin and national political discussion.
The Bill Press Show, the Stephanie Miller Show, the Thom Hartman Show and Free Talk Live will all air live on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Milwaukee’s Earl Ingram Show will return on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. And Westwood One’s national news, daily features like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and weekend programs like Meet the Press will also air on the station.
AM-WRRD’s signal reaches the whole metro Milwaukee area and stretches to Madison.
“This is not simply a business deal,” Crute said. “My mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue. Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations, more speaking truth to power, more inclusive voices and less partisan rhetoric. Wisconsin needs a dynamic, commercial alternative to the right and far-right voices that peddle propaganda and alternative facts.”