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VOL. 126 | NO. 31 | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conservative Radio Launches in Memphis

By Sarah Baker

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Two years before the next national election and with fervor for conservative activism, Memphis-based MPS Broadcasting Monday announced the launch of WMPS “The Point” simulcast on 87.7 FM and 1210 AM.

The Point – the first conservative talk radio show in the Memphis market – will have 15 hours of live radio each weekday in addition to a weekend lineup with live programming.

The station will begin live programming Feb. 21 at 4 a.m. with a news show “First Light.”

“The talk listener is sophisticated and intelligent and I wanted to program great radio seven days a week,” said Mark Skoda, president of MPS Broadcasting.

“We’re going to present content that’s not just what I call ‘Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity,’ but people will actually be able to call and talk to the hosts and get their viewpoints heard, and at the same time, really bring some very thoughtful talk to Memphis.”

Skoda grew up in Cleveland, spent 11 years overseas and has lived in Memphis for about 12 years.

Skoda became interested in radio in the beginning of the tea party movement and decided to launch his first talk show locally.

“By bringing and leveraging my technology skills, my international – I speak German, I speak Japanese – understanding those markets in a different way, recognizing the need to promote the international view of American exceptionalism, which sometimes is not done in this government today, I think it’s a lot of fun and to do it here in Memphis is pretty cool,” he said.

Skoda teamed with George Flinn, president of Flinn Broadcasting, which offered Skoda the opportunity to expand his own program while also creating a unique conservative talk radio station.

“Mark’s passion and commitment inspired me to work with him to provide the platform for his vision,” Flinn said in a statement. “I believe he has created a unique offering of content while also expanding his own on-air commentary.”

Nationally syndicated hosts like Dennis Miller and Doug Urbanski are scheduled to air throughout the week.

In addition, WMPS will offer regional platforms for activists like Rusty Humphreys from Atlanta, Matthew Hill of Chattanooga and Steve Gill of Nashville, who was in the White House for the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations and has overseen assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Steve Gill is an activist in the patriot movement, particularly in the tea party in Nashville, has good insights and instincts about grassroots movements,” Skoda said.

Skoda said that his hope is that WMPS will bring a broader listening audience to politics by appealing to a younger demographic.

“The reach of the combined FM and AM stations will be unprecedented and we look forward to collaborating with MPS Broadcasting to provide compelling radio for listeners in the tri-state area,” Gill said.

“And of course we look forward to broadcasting on location here in Memphis from time to time and to meet those listeners.”

Skoda said he intentionally chose to announce the launch on Valentine’s Day because he is, “falling in love with talk radio all over again."

In addition, he talked about the two years until the presidential election to get his message across before heading into the next cycle.

MPS Broadcasting will also program content for local television channel 6, which is broadcast via analog signal. It is expected as content is developed, the station will be moved to local cable for a broader viewing audience.

Skoda also announced that the “Mark Skoda Show” will be simulcast on WMPS TV 6 where he has also launched “Fire From The Heartland with Mark Skoda.” Additional content will be developed for the TV station in the coming weeks.

The WMPS “The Point” lineup and program schedule as well as a listen live link can be found at www.wmpsthepoint.com.

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