Monday, December 6, 2021

Dominique Di Prima Leaves Stevie Wonder’s KJLH to Join Tavis Smiley’s New KBLA Talk 1580

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Tavis Smile/ Getty

*As we previously reported, Tavis Smiley is set to launch KBLA Talk 1580 on June 19, Juneteenth, dubbed the first “Unapologetically Progressive” Black-owned and operated, talk radio station in Southern California.

We previously reported, not only is Smiley acquiring an entire broadcasting station, but a multidimensional one at that, that has room for the continued expansion on the agenda of diversity. The facility, with a total of 10 towers for day and nighttime powers respectively, is best known for being the home of Los Angeles’ pioneering hip-hop station, KDAY, in the 1980s. Its signal reaches the entire L.A. basin and much of coastal San Diego.

Starting this Saturday, June 19, to commemorate Juneteenth, it will convert from Spanish-language programming to presumably serve as a talk radio station catering to the Black community — relating to the prominent display of the historic Watts Towers in its logo. However, the word “progressive” suggests Smiley has bigger sights than just African Americans and the bill keeps rolling!

READ MORE: Tavis Smiley Ordered to Pay PBS $2.6M for ‘Multiple’ Workplace Affairs

As reported by LA Focus Newspaper, Dominique DiPrima is a longtime host at Stevie Wonder’s KJLH station, where she hosted the popular Front Page show. She is set to join Smiley’s new station, where she will make history as the first Black woman to host a morning-drive talk radio show. Her three-hour show titled First Things First will air from 6am-to-9am weekdays. 

“There’s not been a black talk radio station in la and there’s never been a black woman with her own morning drive talk radio show in Los Angeles as far as commercial radio and I’m really excited to be the first one to do it,” said DiPrima.

“We all want the opportunity to grow and expand and make history and I think what Tavis is doing with KBLA is historical,” she continues. “When you think about Los Angeles being such a catalyst for change —whether it’s the Watts Uprising or the ‘92 civil unrest or the Black Lives Matter Movement—we are an epicenter of change and black voices and we’ve never had a talk radio station, that’s significant.”

Dominique Di Prima
Dominique Di Prima

Di Prima has been at KJLH for 16 years and fans have been asking her for years about extending her show for longer than an hour. 

“For years, they’ve been asking ‘Can you be on later’ or ‘can you have a longer show?’ I would have to explain to them that KJLH is a music station,” said the New York native. “Stevie has dedicated it to the community so it feels like so much more than that, but it is a music format. So, this [opportunity] allows me to do something they’ve been asking me for years.”

She added, “I love Stevie,” declares the five-time Emmy Award-winning talk show host. “[He’s] one of the only celebrities I’ve ever met that lives up to his legend. KJLH is like a family. It’s been such a great opportunity.”

Following DiPrima, weekdays on KBLA TALK 1580, will be Tavis Smiley who, as LA Focus notes will be back on the air after a four-year absence. The station lineup will also include Comic and political commentary host DL Hughley, the the season three winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Alonzo Bodden, former radio DJ Don Amiche and Black Lives Matter LA’s Melinda Abdullah.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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