Philadelphia is one of nine new cities across the nation that, last month, started offering the radio broadcast of Channel Q, an LGBTQ-oriented station operated by Entercom, the second-largest radio company in the United States.
With market additions that include Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Norfolk, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre, Channel Q now reaches audiences through 28 different local stations.
“Channel Q’s already expansive reach nationwide is another step in the right direction as we aim to promote and support inclusion throughout our country,” Jeff Federman, regional president and market manager at Entercom’s Southern California home base, said in a statement. “We remain as persistent about providing the LGBTQ community and its allies with a voice as we did when we first launched, and we are proud to continue to expand our efforts into new markets.”
Born out of an innovation initiative at the company just under two years ago, Channel Q aims to expand programming for underserved communities, the station’s program director Brian Holt told PGN.
“We realized that while there were some stations out there kind of addressing the [LGBTQ] community via music, we didn’t find that there were any that were tackling or discussing the issues in a talk format,” said Holt, a gay man.
He added the station offers programming primarily through an LGBTQ lens, but newsworthy national happenings are also covered to provide well-rounded reportage.
Channel Q’s hosted programming, which runs Monday-Friday, kicks off with “The Morning Beat w/ Jai & Mikalah,” which Holt describes as a “typical FM morning show.” Hosts Jai Rodriguez, who starred in the original iteration of “Queer Eye” that premiered in 2003, and Mikalah Gordon, of “American Idol” season 4, discuss pop culture, queer-focused Supreme Court cases or other national news that impacts the LGBTQ community.
The afternoon lineup includes “Drop the Subject,” hosted by lesbian Ally Johnson and journalist Jarrett Hill, who made national waves when he broke the story that Melania Trump's 2016 speech at the Republican National Convention was a plagiarized rendition of Michelle Obama's remarks at the Democratic National Convention eight years prior. Channel Q’s “Let's Go There w/ Shira & Ryan” tackles envelope-pushing pop culture, political and lifestyle topics.
The segment “Loveline” wraps up the channel’s broadcast Mondays-Thursdays by offering listeners love, sex and relationship advice.
The broadcast’s management decided to expand to Philadelphia because not airing in the city “felt like such an obvious miss,” Holt said. He added the importance of having a designated radio station for LGBTQ folks stems fromn being able to foster a sense of community among listeners.
“What we're trying to do is create a platform that tells our stories and reflects them back and lets those in the community who are either underserved or marginalized feel like they have a voice on the radio and [that] they're being represented,” Holt told PGN.
Philadelphians can tune into Channel Q on HD at “96.5 TDY” HD3 WTDY.