Wynwood Radio And The Hype Of A Gentrified Community

Wynwood, Wynwood, Wynwood, oh hipster community, growing in fame, apparent fortune, and broadcasting presence, online.

Meet Wynwood Radio.

This is a story of resilience, openness and community.

Started in 2009, with very little money and a group of immigrant friends, Wynwood Radio was founded in a small studio nearby Midtown.

Some people might think: “not the best time to open anything or the best area to go into.”

With the Great Recession hitting the Miami area hard and the broadcasting world being in a world of flux, four friends let both aspects aside and were determined to provide music and entertainment to a new community that they believed in.

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“We got so in love with the growth of Wynwood as a community based in many types of arts that we decided to hone our own art to contribute to this community,” Vicente Solis, one of the developers of Wynwood Radio said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Our idea was to bring people together through music, art, history, food and other things that make Wynwood so special.”

Creating this type of station was not a first for the group of content creators.

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Before submerging in the Wynwood community, Solis had worked with one of the founders of Wynwood Radio, Adrian Olivares at another online radio station in Mexico City.

Olivares believes in the power of community involvement to create a successful product.

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The homepage of

“We witnessed all the community meetings every month and we say how security and infrastructure in the area improved as a result of the constant requests of residents and business owners,” Olivares said. “All of it brought Wynwood to its hyped stage.”

That hype is frequently associated with the gentrification of the area.

It is that gentrification process in Wynwood where some have felt discomfort.

“Maybe the process has happened a little too quick in the area,” Solis said.

While others have felt they have been given a second chance.

“All the locals that I know have gotten more job opportunities because of all the businesses that have opened there,” Olivares said.

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It is that duality what makes Wynwood Radio a prime participant in the development of community.

“We have a pathway for community members to have a voice, to promote their own events as well as choose their own music to be broadcasted in the station,” Olivares said. “We all have different ways to look at Wynwood, different ways to express our talents, and that is what we want to show in our programming: diversity.”

Besides showcasing music from the 1940’s to the latest releases, Wynwood Radio also promotes community events and issues that happen in Wynwood and neighborhoods nearby.

Both Solis and Olivares emphasized the importance of community members to maintain close connection with the station, they are open to receiving music selections and program ideas from any community member to continue the development of Wynwood Radio.

For more information on Wynwood Radio, you can visit

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Maju Rezende/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here’s The Ugly Truth About Conservative Talk Radio

This article was originally published on and is republished below with permission from the author. 

By @AG_Conservative

When I first got on Twitter, I was a big fan of conservative Talk Radio. I knew several people who became huge advocates for conservatism only after listening to Rush Limbaugh.

I doubt there were many converts from Hannity or Levin (despite L & T being one of my favorite books), but I assumed it was always a good thing to have people with large audiences promoting conservatism.

However, over time, I started to notice a theme: These hosts were often more dedicated to promoting outrage than conservatism.

Sometimes the outrage was justified and helped bring about necessary action, but it was the other times that started to bother me. Most importantly, it seemed the more victories conservatives won, the more these hosts preached despair.

The Republican Party was adopting conservatism to a greater extent than ever before, but these hosts constantly tried to make it seem like things were worse than ever.

Most importantly, they would create the impression that we were always losing by latching on to misinformation and spin.

I would see the same pattern play out constantly. Random blogger misinterprets something or reports a rumor that makes R’s look bad, radio hosts seizes on it and promotes it as proof of Republican betrayal, rumor turns our false or exaggerated, host moves on to the next cycle.

Even the liberal media, which these hosts would often attack as dishonest, would issue corrections, but these hosts seemed to have no interest in the truth.

At this point, I still believed these shows were a net positive, but I also recognized that these hosts were making millions from stoking unnecessary outrage.

This is when I personally gave up listening. These hosts were abusing the trust their audiences placed in them and treating their audience like they are dumb.

Before I go on, let me give a few examples of this phenomenon:

1) After the Boston bombing, Glenn Beck spent months accusing an innocent Saudi kid of being responsible and the Obama admin of covering it up. He based this on an early report about the kid being at the scene.

Every time Beck would provide some new bombshell piece of evidence to prove his theory, I would debunk it with some basic research.

However, every time I would post such a debunking, Beck fans would viciously attack me for questioning him. They weren’t interested in the truth.

As far as I know, Beck never apologized for this accusations. He simply moved on to the next story.

2) One example relevant to today is the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. I wanted immigration reform, but was wary about this bill given what had happened under Reagan.

I ended up being one of the few people who actually read the whole bill, which made it easy to recognize when someone was saying something false.

There was a period of several months where on almost a daily basis some blogger would misinterpret something or some rumor would come out about the bill, Drudge would promote it, talk radio would seize on it and tell their audience to get outraged, it would be debunked in the days that followed, talk radio would move on to the next controversy without correcting, and their listeners would repeat the debunked rumor for months.

I found this particularly frustrating because there were plenty of real issues with the bill. I ended up opposing it, even though it wasn’t nearly as bad as it is currently perceived among most conservatives. It probably was the best we could have done with a Dem Senate and a Dem President, but I figured we would be better off waiting for a Republican to be in the WH.

There are hundreds more examples of this pattern. It has become fairly common. I still see it all the time. Breitbart, for example, has several reporters that consistently and purposefully print false things about Marco Rubio. Talk radio spreads them without even attempting to confirm.

It bothers me to see fellow conservatives who rely on and trust these sources being deceived in this way.

I was silent about all this, but these last 4-6 months were the final line for me and many other informed conservatives.

Talk radio actively started defending and advocating for someone that is the antithesis of everything conservatism stands for, Donald Trump.

It was one thing for these hosts to hinder conservative wins by saying they weren’t good enough, but now they were promoting the exact opposite of conservatism.

Trump is a con man. His con is aimed at a lot of different group, but the only way he could win conservatives is with assistance from people conservatives actually trust. These hosts chose to give it.

The two biggest issues for conservatives over the last few years were healthcare and the debt.

While these hosts attacked Republicans for not being aggressive enough on fighting Obamacare, they stay silent as Trump promotes single-payer.

While these hosts attacked Republicans for not fighting hard enough to limit Obama’s deficit spending, they stay silent as Trump opposes and demagogues entitlement reform.

These hosts were willing to completely abandon conservatism, and dragged their audiences with them. For me, that was the final straw.

I was silent about their previous dishonesty, but I won’t be as they make a mockery out of the beliefs they claim to represent.

It may not matter what I think, but conservatives shouldn’t be prone to group think. They shouldn’t define conservatism by what Rush, Levin, or Hannity say. Especially when those hosts keep saying things that are dishonest.

It’s time people who care about conservatism actually took a stand against the frauds in our midst. I know I am doing my part, and I hope you will too.

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Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

In 2010 Interview With High School Student, Dan Le Batard Predicted What It Would Take To Go National. It Actually Happened.

This story was originally published in 2015. 

Dan Le Batard has swiftly become one of the best known figures in sports media- and that’s a surprise for the unabashedly provincial man who claims to have never loved a place as much as Miami, Florida.

Today Le Batard’s ESPN radio show moves to one of it’s prime time slots – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The slot was previously held by Colin Cowherd.

The time shift is just the latest peak in the fast growth of Le Batard’s empire. He also hosts a daily television show on ESPN with Bomani Jones and Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard (his father) called Highly Questionable.

His radio program is also simulcast on Fusion, the Miami-based cable television network geared towards millennials.

Only a few years ago, things were pretty different for Le Batard. Back in February of 2010, I was a junior in high school and a writer for my school’s paper.

While brainstorming in the office of the Lions’ Print- really just a computer lab on the second floor of Chaminade-Madonna College Prep in Hollywood, Florida, I pitched the idea of interviewing Le Batard.

He was one of the best known alums of the school despite being a bit of a mystery to the folks in the development office (They didn’t understand why he wasn’t more involved in the school’s culture.)

Le Batard and his artist brother David (better known as LEBO) were well remembered by some faculty at the school, but few students, outside of the hardcore sports fans had ever heard of Dan.

2010 Question: Would you ever want to have your own TV show?

Le Batard: maybe….eventually….if they let me do it the way we do radio, which is sloppy and would be anti-tv

I was a huge fan of Le Batard and his local radio program, and had been since it came on the air in 2004.

Le Batard and his cohost Jon “Stugotz” Weiner were unique, and even the 12 year-old-sports fan in me could appreciate that.

Over the next six years, I spent hundreds of hours listening to the show, and it helped push me to be a broadcaster and a journalist.

Many other young people in South Florida had a similar experience.

Miami sports talk had been stale and old and musty and angry for decades.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, one Miami homer and another recovering New York sports cliché machine entered the scene and changed the game forever.

Fast forward back to 2010.

After months of searching, I was finally able to find an email that reached him (I’m not sure how much of this had to do with my inexperience in my fledgling journalistic career.)

We started a short email correspondence – he was short but pleasant and willing to answer a few questions.

What follows is that original email chain, unedited.

I find it interesting anyway, because it highlights how quickly things can change in life.

Q) Where were you born and raised, and did your early years have an affect on why you became a journalist/radio host? 

Le Batard: Born in Jersey City, NJ…Came here at four….Growing up here made me want to become, from a very early age, South Florida’s sports voice….I had no national aspirations….I just wanted to talk about sports in our market

Q) You went to Chaminade High School, so why did you go there, and what were you involved in as a student? (Clubs, etc..)

Le Batard: Key Club….Speech Club…..High school newspaper….So long ago….Hard to remember….Was more involved in my church youth group…..

Q) You also went to the University of Miami and wrote for the “Miami Hurricane” during the time when Miami was really the swaggering, non apologetic, badasses that we all love. Why do you think that period and those teams where so important for the city? What is your fondest memory of this time?

Le Batard: They didn’t lose a home game the entire time I was in school….I just loved being that close to something so edgy….You could feel at the time that those teams were doing something different….I was very lucky to have UM get relevant and controversial in football when I started there….

Q)After UM, where did you work? 

Le Batard: Worked at The Herald and interned at the LA Times

Q) What is the worst story that you had to cover as a “grunt” at the Herald? 

Le Batard: Starting out, before The Herald, I had to cover city-council meetings about sewage for The River Cities Gazette, a community weekly….

Q) How did you get into radio? 

Le Batard: was a guest on espn radio every sunday….then they gave me the show….so i was doing national radio from my house, with my dog barking on sunday mornings, on an isdn line….funny….more than 200 radio stations….then they called locally from 790, and it made sense and sounded fun as a career transition

Q) How did the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” come about?

Le Batard: Stugotz called and asked if I wanted to do shows with Boog Sciambi….Boog couldn’t do it right away….So I did it with Stugotz….It was truly terrible….But we figured it out….Now it is slightly less terrible

Q) Why do you hate standard sports talk radio, with clichés and all?

Le Batard: Just boring to me….Outgrew it….And very little truth in most of what I hear….Too much is just uninformed, dataless gibberish

Q) Who is the most fascinating person that you have met or interviewed? 

Le Batard: Such a hard question….The most consistently introspective and interesting is Pat Riley….That’s in sports, and doesn’t include Muhammad Ali, who had lost most of his ability to speak by the time I met him…..You asking me for most consistently interesting person or most interesting journey/story?…..Because I gravitate toward the ones close to my heart (Cuban) and the different guys (Ricky Williams, John Amaechi, Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, Trace Armstrong)

Q) Your show is very funny. Is this by design or is it a by product of the fact that you just hate the norms of how radio has been done? 

Le Batard: There is very little design with our show….Nothing worse than trying to be funny and failing so we don’t try to be funny….I like to laugh, and I think a million things that happen in sports are laughable….But all I’m trying to do is entertain myself…..

Q) How did you become a personality on ESPN?

Le Batard: ESPN realized early that sportswriters make cheap programming….That we are informed, because we learned as reporters, not just as gasbags (we became gasbags later in life, with the help of TV)….We had to ask questions and be curious and inform ourselves, and we had opinions that were informed when asked difficult questions on the spot….So when that movement started, in the 1990s, I was one of the guys who was known in writing circles as having opinions, and ESPN wanted me also to write for their magazine, which was starting, so we merged the two….they gave me tv, and i gave them writing

Q) Really, the only show on ESPN that seems to be similar to you in your beliefs and outlook is “Pardon the Interruption.” Is this a coincidence? 

Le Batard: Not at all….They started it….I followed….they taught me to mock myself….and i loved what they had behind the scenes there, a bunch of friends helping each other and laughing….when i got back from washington, i said i wanted something like that for myself in miami….so we created the radio show, working with and for my friends

Q) Would you ever want to have your own TV show?

Le Batard: maybe….eventually….if they let me do it the way we do radio, which is sloppy and would be anti-tv

Q) Why do you stay in the Miami/South Florida Market? You would never do a national show?

Le Batard: family here….this is only place that matters to me….that’s why i haven’t done in national tv on my own yet….every offer wants me in la or nyc and i’m not leaving here

Q) Why do you think people pretend to be outraged by the whole steroids scandal?

Le Batard: i don’t think they are anymore….i think they are numb….the media keeps it an issue, too late, but i’ve never seen more of a disconnect between a story the media thinks is important and fans really don’t….

Q) Would you be surprised if anyone in baseball today was doing steroids? Take Derek Jeter or Cal Ripen Jr. for example.

Le Batard: never mind baseball….i wouldn’t be surprised by anyone in sports doing it… helps heal….and they all need healing

Q) Who is your favorite journalist or radio host?

Le Batard: i like so many…..gary smith of sports illustrated…..scott price……michael lewis…..scott raab of esquire….charles pierce….too many to name

Q) If you weren’t in media, what would you be doing?

Le Batard: I’d be a psychologist or therapist

Q) Who or whom do you attribute your success to? 

Le Batard: Parents….Dad gave me work ethic and Mom gave me everything else

Q) Is Bristol Connecticut really that bad?

Le Batard: yes

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