Our Vision is to elevate the quality of life for our audience by delivering programming that resonates with their diverse needs and aspirations.


WNOV was purchased in 1967 by Phillip Chess, Polish-born co-founder of Chess Records.  The call name was changed from WFOX to WNOV by Chess who also changed the station format from country music to “soul” music to target the Black audience.  In 1972 WNOV was purchased by Courier Communications Corporation with Dr. Jerrel Jones as majority stakeholder, thus making it the first Black owned radio station in Wisconsin and one of only 30 in the United States.  In 2024, 52 years later, WNOV remains Black owned and operated.  Continuing its longstanding commitment to Wisconsin’s Black community.

WNOV Through the decades:

WNOV becomes Black owned.
Embraced Rap Music
Early years of Rap, WNOV becomes one of the few radio stations to embrace and promote Rap artists. Notable radio personalities-
Started Talk Shows
Following the National rise and growing popularity of talk shows on television and radio, WNOV begins to incorporate talk shows in their daily programming. Most notably Alderman Michal McGee who achieved national prominence in the 90’s
Added the FM Channel

Moving into the new millennium, adding the FM channel. Continues to blend talk shows with music format.

WNOV continues its longstanding commitment to Wisconsin’s Black community. Providing its unique blend of entertainment, information, resources.

Our Mission is to educate, empower and inspire the community with relative and insightful programming to enhance the quality of life for our audience.

Dr. Jerrel W. Jones

A Milwaukee native, Dr. Jones’ business accomplishments include The Milwaukee Courier (1964-present) and WNOV (1972-present). He was the first Black owner of a newspaper and radio station in the United States. Dr. Jones became interested in print media through his mother, Dr. Mary Ellen Strong, who owned the Milwaukee Defender weekly newspaper — the only newspaper “of and by” the African-American community. He credits much of his success to his mother and his mentor S.B. Fuller, a renowned African-American entrepreneur who owned a national newspaper chain.

Through his leadership of the Milwaukee Courier and WNOV, he helped develop multimedia communications industry professionals in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Many within the African-American community have long recognized that the Milwaukee Courier and WNOV give voice to their culture.

The impact of Dr. Jones’ work and influence is renowned. Given his strong presence in the Black community over the last six decades, he has played a major role in shaping politics and culture. Dr. Jones was one of the first to give airplay to Marvin Gaye’s album “What’s Going On,” as well as thousands of other Black artists (especially during the rise of Rap/Hip-Hop) who were not able to break into mainstream markets.

He was active in the civil rights movement from the onset and has been instrumental in political campaigns from local offices to the presidency for decades. He also generously shared his insight and perspective with leaders from every business sector and civic and social organization.



Community Enrichment Focus

We are dedicated to providing content and programming that goes beyond mere entertainment. Our focus lies in providing empowering, inspiring, and educational content that plays an active role in enhancing the overall well-being of the community we serve. Through diverse channels such as informative shows, engaging discussions, cultural programs, and community engagement initiatives, our aim is to make a positive impact, contributing to the collective enrichment and improvement of our community.


Fostering Community Connection

Fostering community connection is a core value that epitomizes our commitment to creating a vibrant tapestry of shared experiences within our community. Central to this endeavor is the celebration and promotion of cultural expression, artistic endeavors, and entertainment that brings people together. Through engaging entertainment initiatives, we strive to build stronger bonds and foster shared experiences, recognizing the pivotal role of arts and entertainment in enhancing the fabric of our community.


Empowerment and Insight for All

We have a firm commitment to empowering and inspiring every member of our community through insightful programming. Our goal is to elevate the quality of life for our audience by delivering content that resonates with their diverse needs and aspirations. Through a dedication to providing valuable insights, we seek to empower individuals, fostering personal growth and contributing to the collective enrichment of our community.


Connecting Minds, Empowering Lives

We intentionally link minds and uplift lives within our community. Our goal is to foster a profound sense of unity and understanding, recognizing that through the connection of minds, we have the power to positively impact and empower the lives of individuals within our community.


Nurturing Community Well-Being

Nurturing Community Well-Being, as a core value for our community radio station, involves a dedicated commitment to enhancing the overall quality of life for our audience. Through education, empowerment, and inspiration, we aim to contribute significantly to the well-being of our community. Our programming is thoughtfully designed to be both relevant and insightful, aligning with the diverse interests and needs of our community members.