Photo of Civic Media CEO and Owner Sgae Weil and the Civic Media's CM art, with the background being a photo of the WAUK 540 AM studioSource: Civic Media

Civic Media’s Sage Weil on Democracy and Media’s Role: A Conversation with Todd Allbaugh

November 15, 2023 1:20 PM

Sage Weil Discusses Civic Media's Mission and Vision for Democracy on The Todd Allbaugh Show's Anniversary

By: Brady Coulthard

MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) — On the one-year anniversary of The Todd Allbaugh Show, Sage Weil, the CEO and owner of Civic Media, joined host Todd Allbaugh in a live studio interview to discuss the future of media and democracy. The conversation, marked by candid reflections and forward-looking statements, offered insights into Civic Media’s evolving role in a politically charged environment.

Celebrating a Year of Broadcasting and Looking Ahead

Allbaugh opened the interview by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to have a platform that reaches across the state and beyond. “It is a privilege and an honor to have this opportunity, to have a microphone, to go across the state, to build an app that goes around the world,” he said, thanking Civic Media for its support. Weil responded with equal enthusiasm, “We are thrilled to have you on the air.”

Civic Media’s Mission and Vision

Weil shared insights into Civic Media’s internal discussions, particularly as they pertain to the network’s direction leading into 2024. “The reality is there is an agenda, but that agenda is simply democracy writ large,” Weil explained. A year ago, the company underwent a mission and vision exercise, which resulted in a set of core values including democracy and transparency. “It was very helpful early on to make everyone understand the reason why we’re here and what gets us up every morning,” Weil added.

The reality is there is an agenda, but that agenda is simply democracy writ large. We have to be able to look beyond the immediate steps that need to be taken in order to preserve the system that we have and be actively educating the electorate and informing people about what reforms are possible so that we can demand those reforms of the candidates that we’re voting for.

Sage Weil, Owner and CEO of Civic Media

Beyond Partisanship: A Focus on Pro-Democracy

Allbaugh highlighted Weil’s history of supporting Democratic candidates but noted that Civic Media’s directive to its hosts and producers is not to promote a particular political side. Instead, it is to support those who advocate for democracy. “It’s whoever buys into pro-democracy. We’re here to talk about that,” Allbaugh stated. Weil concurred, “This is not about one party over another. It’s about candidates who are defending and championing democracy in the democratic process.”

The Future of Democracy and Media’s Role

Weil and Allbaugh delved into the importance of ranked-choice voting as a democratic reform, reminisced about the impactful “Contract with America” initiative led by Newt Gingrich, and discussed how Americans are increasingly frustrated with both major political parties.

Weil discussed the importance of educating the electorate about possible reforms and demanding these from candidates. “We have to be able to look beyond the immediate steps… and be actively educating the electorate and informing people about what reforms are possible,” Weil emphasized. He envisions Civic Media playing a role in creating a ‘team democracy,’ where the focus shifts from partisan issues to preserving a democratic system.

Listen to the full conversation:

A Pro-Democracy Vision for 2024 | The Todd Allbaugh Show

About Civic Media: Civic Media is dedicated to providing quality broadcast and digital hometown radio with a focus on local, regional, and state issues, covering the stories that are most relevant to the markets we serve. We believe radio plays a crucial role in the practice of democracy in our local communities, so we aim to provide programming that advances the understanding and engagement of its principles within our audience.

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