Groundbreaking radio station ‘providing a voice to the black and Caribbean community’

Toronto’s newest radio station hit the airwaves at 6 a.m. on Nov. 28.

G98.7 FM, though, isn’t like anything else on the dial, says Aisha Wickham Thomas, the communications director for the station, which is owned by Intercity Broadcasting Network.

“We’re serving a broader mainstream audience, but at the same time providing a voice to the black and Caribbean community,” she said.

Though less than a month old, the station has already made history as Canada’s only black-owned station and the country’s first to broadcast in an urban adult contemporary format that includes playing gospel, jazz, soul, reggae, soca and hip hop.

A radio station like this will show the other side [and tell] the stories that are not told

—Consul General Seth George Ramocan

In addition to a greater focus on black musicians and artists than listeners might find elsewhere on the dial, the station also offers weekend programs that are afro-centric, Thomas said.

When discussing sports, for example, the station tends to highlight games popular in the Caribbean community, such as cricket and soccer, she said.

Seth George Ramocan, Jamaica’s consul general to Toronto, was a recent guest on Grapevine, a two-hour show that discusses current affairs and issues specific to the black and Caribbean communities.

“A radio station like this will show the other side [and tell] the stories that are not told,” he said.

Most media, Ramocan said, tend to focus too much on the negative issues facing his community.

G98.7 FM will “provide the Caribbean community with a voice so they can have a presence,” he said.

“It’s radio that is engaging,” Ramocan said. “We’re going to have a more unified community … to raise awareness of its contribution.”