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Chicago native writes songs for TV/Film and book author


rfocus.orgCBS Sports Radio’s popular shows, “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show,” will move to new weekday timeslots, effective Monday, April 17, as part of new multi-year agreements with their respective hosts, Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney and Damon Amendolara. Additionally, “Tiki and Tierney” will be simulcast live on CBS Sports Network, a first for the program. The addition of “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Network adds to the network’s robust lineup of programming which also includes the simulcast of “Boomer & Carton” every weekday morning.

“Tiki and Tierney” will move from weekday mornings, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, to afternoon drive, 3:00 – 6:00 PM, replacing “The Doug Gottlieb Show” which will have its final broadcast on Friday, April 14. “The DA Show” will move from its current timeslot of weekday evenings, 6:00 – 10:00 PM, to mornings, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. A new evening show and host will be named soon.

“We’re thrilled that our listeners will be able to enjoy Tiki, Brandon and DA for years to come,” said Eric Spitz, Director, Programming, CBS Sports Radio. “Airing in new dayparts, these already popular shows will be introduced to scores of new listeners while undoubtedly continuing to serve their current audiences. The addition of a live simulcast of ‘Tiki and Tierney’ solidifies their popularity and relevance in today’s competitive sports arena.

“Doug Gottlieb has been a trusted and sought-after voice on CBS Sports Radio since our 2013 launch and we wish him nothing but the very best in all his future pursuits.”

Beginning Monday, April 17, the new CBS Sports Radio weekday line-up* will be as follows:
Show Time
“Gio and Jones” with Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones 6:00 – 9:00 AM
“The DA Show” 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
“The Jim Rome Show” 12:00 – 3:00 PM
“Tiki and Tierney” 3:00 – 6:00 PM
TO BE ANNOUNCED 6:00 – 10:00 PM
“Ferrall on the Bench” with Scott Ferrall 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM
“After Hours with Amy Lawrence” 2:00 – 6:00 AM

*All times are Eastern. Schedule is subject to change.

New Report Shows Black Entrepreneurial Blocked By Three Main Barriers

New Report Shows Black Entrepreneurial Blocked By Three Main Barriers

rfocus.orgThe Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering microbusinesses, today announced the release of its new report "The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success." Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report set out to assess the economic strength and potential of Black-owned businesses, identify challenges and opportunities across a mosaic of segments, and launch a national discussion on how investors and policymakers can increase the effectiveness of programs designed to support Black entrepreneurship, keeping in mind that rich diversity.

"There is a myth that Black people aren't motivated to start their own firms, and are pushed into business ownership mostly due to unemployment," said AEO President and CEO Connie Evans. "Our findings show that in actuality, Black Americans have high entrepreneurial drive and the same motivations as other entrepreneurs, yet face three persistent barriers that operating together impede the establishment and growth of Black-owned firms. Understanding and addressing the unique interplay of these obstacles are crucial steps to unleashing the potential economic power of Black business ownership in America."

The three barriers described in the report are a Wealth Gap, fewer assets and less disposable income to invest in business; a Credit Gap, decreased access to formal credit and high denial rates; and a Trust Gap, institutional bias that Blacks have experienced, inhibiting them from actions such as applying to financial institutions for more capital, joining networks, creating valuable partnerships, and more. This environment of scarcity translates into fewer establishments reaching maturity, and for those that do survive, limited potential to grow and hire. In fact, most businesses say the current financing environment hampers their ability to hire new employees.

The report's authors calculated that if Black-owned firms were able to reach employment parity with all privately-held U.S. firms, 600,000 new jobs could be created and $55 billion would be added to the U.S. economy. Since many Black-owned businesses are small businesses that serve and hire from their communities, reaching employment parity could also have the effect of reducing unemployment in the Black community down to 5 percent. In addition, a larger portion of money spent at Main Street businesses stays circulating in the local region versus money spent at big box stores, creating economic empowerment in areas that likely need it the most.

"We know that when parents are economically stable, their children are best positioned for success in school and life," said Carla Thompson Payton, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "This study will help us better understand what's working and what's not working for Black business owners so we can create pathways to entrepreneurship to create stability for their families and strengthen their communities."

The report also releases a proprietary analysis of longitudinal data that reveals faster wealth creation among people who become self-employed, proof of the viability of this pathway in achieving economic livelihood. "The gap in average wealth between Black and White adults decreases from a multiplier of 13 all the way down to 3, when you compare the wealth of business owners by race," said Evans. "Business ownership is the great equalizer in American wealth disparity. Our report illustrates the rich diversity of Black-owned businesses that have often been characterized with a one size fits all model, and begins to reframe the conversation on how to devise creative solutions that propel their success."

"The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success" contains innovative data analyses from Robert Fairlie, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; William J. Darity, Jr., Professor of Public Policy at Duke University; and Khai Zaw, a statistical research associate at Duke University. It also includes information curated from organizations such as the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, input from an expert panel of advisors, and surveys of business owners across the country. The full report is available on the AEO Web site at www.aeoworks.org.

WGCI Takes a Stand Against Violence in Chicago

WGCI Takes a Stand Against Violence in Chicago

rfocus.org107.5 WGCI will host Street Talk: Stop The Bleeding, a special community town hall session, as part of its ongoing series of community conversations on gun violence in the city of Chicago. 107.5 WGCI launched the series in March 2016. This session’s featured panelists will include:

Rufus Williams—President and Chief Executive Officer, BBF Family Services (formerly Better Boys Foundation)

Commander Kevin Johnson—Commander Harrison District (11), Chicago Police Department
Dr. Kimberly Lewis—Program Director, The Primo Center for Women and Children
Aleta Clark—Activist, Founder-Hugs No Slugs
Mellanie Washington—Mother of Tavon Tanner (11-year-old survivor of gun violence)

It all goes down Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at Penn Elementary School - 1616 South Avers. Chicago, IL 60623

5:00pm to 6:00pm – 107.5 WGCI Live Commercial-Free Broadcast
6:00pm to 7:00pm - Streaming on www.wgci.com via Facebook Live

102.9 KBLX and Q102.1 Present the 2017 Music & Entertainment Conference

rfocus.org102.9 KBLX and  Q102.1 present the 2017 Music and Entertainment Conference featuring a superstar panel, including 3x platinum recording artists, Bell, Biv, Devoe; President of Music World Entertainment with over 300 million records sold and former manager of one of the top selling female R&B groups of all time, Destiny’s Child – Mathew Knowles. New Edition’s own 4x Grammy nominated singer / song writer, Johnny Gill plus founding member of Tony! Toni! Toné! Grammy Award winner, D'Wayne Wiggins.

Operations Manager, Elroy Smith said “We are excited to bring this event to the Bay Area and help aspiring music and entertainment enthusiasts. This conference is a unique event for this market and our listeners deserve the opportunity to hear firsthand from industry insiders with sustained success. As an added bonus, we will randomly select 5 people to perform live and be critiqued by our celebrity panel!”

It all goes down Saturday, April 22 2017 at 11:00 a.m. PT at the Fairmont San Jose – 170 S Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113


BET Announces Star Studded Lineup for the BET Experience

BET Announces Star Studded Lineup for the BET Experience

rfocus.orgBET NETWORKS and AEG announced the first wave of star-studded talent that will take the stage at the 5th annual BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola®. This year's lineup of concerts at STAPLES Center will feature some of today's hottest artists including Snoop Dogg ,Wiz Khalifa, Migos, A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Bryson Tiller, Kid Cudi, Gucci Mane, Jhené Aiko, Rae Sremmurd, Jidenna, Young Thug, Desiigner, Keyshia Cole, Pusha T, THEY., H.E.R., Playboi Carti and Khalid. Additional STAPLES Center performers as well as the lineup of concerts at The Novo presented by Microsoft will be announced soon.

The four-day event will showcase the best in music and entertainment. Interactive activations and ticketed shows including a celebrity basketball game will also take place at the BET Fan Fest on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


THURSDAY, June 22, 2017
Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, Desiigner, Playboi Carti

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017
Bryson Tiller, Jhené Aiko, Keyshia Cole, Jidenna, Khalid, THEY., H.E.R.

SATURDAY, June 24, 2017
A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Gucci Mane, Rae Sremmurd, Migos, Young Thug

SUNDAY, June 25, 2017
"BET AWARDS" at Microsoft Theater

VIP Packages for the 5th year of the BET Experience weekend are better than ever and now on-sale. In addition to VIP amenities throughout the weekend and incredible seats for STAPLES Center shows, three levels of BETX VIP Packages offer guests the only opportunity to purchase tickets to the highly anticipated BET Awards, broadcast live from Microsoft Theater. Last year the in-demand VIP Packages sold out, so guests are encouraged to purchase now before the allotment is depleted. Full package amenities and pricing for the Diamond, Platinum and Gold VIP Packages can be found by visiting BETExperience.com or by calling (877) 234-8425.

General tickets for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® will go on sale March 23rd, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (PST).

Jordan Peele's "Get Out" Surpasses the $100 Million Mark

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” Surpasses the $100 Million Mark


As the saying goes, "Ask and you shall receive."  "Get Out" filmmaker Jordan Peele sent out the follow twitter repost this past Friday. 


As Jordan reposted Indie Wire's tweet he just simply added the praying hands emoji.  Well, Peele's prayers were answered as "Get Out” has the crossed the $100M mark, making Jordan Peele the first Black writer-director to do so with his feature debut.  With an initial budget of $4.5 million, Peele is winning!  If you have seen the movie, you know what I mean when I say, Jordan has done something that may release many Black filmmakers from a sunken place. 

Stranger Fruit Documentary Sheds New Light on Mike Brown Murder

Stranger Fruit Documentary Sheds New Light on Mike Brown Murder

rfocus.orgThere are three sides to every story. His story, her story, and the truth.  If you don't recall, August 9th, 2014 an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. Michael's death instantly became viral news and sparked protests for him worldwide. The sad part is Mike Brown never had the opportunity to tell his side of the story.  

So what really happened in Ferguson, Missouri? "Stranger Fruit" is the story of what happened to Mike Brown, told through the eyes of those closest to him. Michael Brown's family members bravely retell the worst event of their lives to try to help the world understand the facts around what took place. Filmmaker Jason Pollock delivers an in depth look at the facts of Mike Brown's case in an effort unravel the mystery. 

This film was the talk of SXSW film festival as  Jason Pollock acquired the new tape of Mike Brown at the infamous convenience store. This new footage challenges the police narrative that Brown committed a strong-armed robbery when he returned to the store around noon that day.  The filmmaker believes that the new video shows Mike Brown giving a small bag of marijuana to store employees and receiving cigarillos in return as part of a negotiated deal. Pollack is insulating that Mike Brown left the cigarillos behind the counter for safekeeping.  Although lawyers representing the store vehemently deny there was some sort of exchange, the video appears to show different. 

You can check out the new footage below via a cnn segment that talks about the new footage and what it means for Ferguson police and police across the country. 


NOISEY Joined Fetty Wap on Tour and Now There's a Film 2

NOISEY Joined Fetty Wap on Tour and Now There’s a Film

Radio Facts: zoo2Noisey releases Welcome to the Zoo: On The Road With Fetty Wap, a brand-new documentary that goes behind the scenes with Fetty Wap on his Welcome to the Zoo Tour earlier this year. The latest installment of Noisey Films, the documentary follows Fetty and his crew, including RGF Co-Founders and CEO NittDaGritt & 2GZ, Monty, Danny Su, and DJ Big L 4Eva, as they tour the Midwest and meet their fans.Traveling from show to show, Noisey gets a up-close glimpse at Fetty's life since becoming a breakout star. Noisey is side-stage as the GRAMMY® nominated artist performs hits like "My Way," "679" and "Trap Queen" in front of sold-out crowds in Indianaoplis, Detroit, and Madison. The film also catches Fetty and crew in their downtime, as they travel on their tour bus, soundcheck before shows, and meet fans all across the Midwest.Welcome to the Zoo also catches Fetty and his close friend Shay talking about their own Bikes Up Guns Down initiative, which seeks to discourage violence and promote unity with dirt bike and ATV riding. As Shay says, "We ain't just riding bikes, we sitting here getting the kids together letting them know, put the guns down man. Your favorite rap artist is telling you to put the guns down."Before his last performance at The Fillmore in Detroit, Noisey interviews Fetty and his crew one last time on the bus, talking with Fetty's manager Danny Su, who details how Fetty's unrelenting work ethic has been the key to his runaway success.
Robert L. Johnson Will Receive Highest Award Recognition In Media From The Library Of American Broadcasting

Bob Johnson Says Blacks Should Have No Permanent Friends or Enemies When it Comes...

Radio Facts: 010_robert_johnsonHow should Black American voters respond to the tectonic political rift and the stress of a permanently divided Nation that the election of Donald J. Trump have laid bare? This national and irrational divisiveness, if left unanswered, could render African Americans a declining voice in the increasingly zero-sum game of the electoral process that is today's American political system and I fear that of the future. In my opinion, for far too long, African Americans have failed to draw upon and exercise our historically unified voting clout and bloc to become "the balance of power" between the two parties before deciding to support or oppose either party based solely on our unique and special interests.The times demand that we take the necessary and urgent steps to address this reality. Here are my thoughts as to how African American voters should proceed:Based on the outcome of this election, if we feel a need to protest and raise our voices to draw attention to both our fears and concerns, we should do so. However, as the leaders of the Civil Rights movement did, so effectively, we should protest with peaceful confrontation and in full recognition that the greatest strength of this country is the peaceful transfer of power and governance based on free and open elections. This governance is regulated by the checks and balances and the separation of powers enshrined by the rule of law of the U.S. Constitution. Most importantly, as a minority population, we want the assurances that a peaceful transfer of power will be sustained when the President or political party that we support comes to power.We must realize, this is not the last election in America and that elections at every level of government – federal, state and local – will continue to take place. Our job now is to continue to mobilize in these elections whenever and wherever they occur. We should, as before, educate and inform our voting community about the critical social and economic issues that impact our families, our community and this Nation.We are required to challenge and to demand that all candidates or parties in pursuit of our vote, whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent, explain in comprehensive terms what they propose to do for us to make our lives better. Remember, the most precious and powerful asset we possess in this democracy is the right to vote in favor of or against those who seek to govern us. Let us not give away that right; let us make them earn our vote!Finally, and this is most critical, it is time for Black American voters to return to a political ideology and an engagement strategy with the two party system that was proposed to us almost 45 years ago at the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Why shouldn't we, as Black voters, reject the notion that we are locked into one party which undoubtedly limits and dilutes our voting power? We should, instead, use the power of our vote to support and elect whichever party that best serves our interests. I am convinced that this is what Congressman William Clay of Missouri had in mind when the CBC was formed in 1971. Congressman Clay, who I had the honor of knowing, was bold, astute and showed amazing insight when he declared, and I quote, "Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests." That was the CBC motto then and Black Americans should embrace it as our rallying cry today.To the Republican Party, we say to you, even though you have ignored us or often times actively conspired against our rights, "we have no permanent enemies." To the Democratic Party, we say to you, even though you have taken our vote for granted and often patronized us, "we have no permanent friends." What we do have are "permanent interests" and we invite both Parties to demonstrate your understanding of and willingness to respect and address our interests.Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies and the Founder of Black Entertainment Television.
WBLS Captures Maxwell in all his Glory

WBLS Captures Maxwell in all his Glory

Radio Facts: The King and Queen of Hearts tour just went down in NYC and WBLS was on hand to capture only the way they could. Check out this amazing shot of Maxwell doing his thing.
Capitol Records to Receive Hollywood Star

Capitol Records to Receive Hollywood Star

Radio Facts: capitol-records-building-1958-billboard-1548Capitol Records would like to invite everyone to join them on November 15th at 11:30AM PT as they receive a Hollywood Star of Recognition presented by Katy Perry, Sir Lucian Grainge, Steve Barnett & Tom LaBonge! #Capitol75thCome by the Tower (1750 N. Vine Street in Hollywood, California) or tune in via Facebook live.