620 WTMJ, ESPN Radio and The Truth Moving Downtown
After 80 years on Capitol Dr., city's venerable radio operation moving to The Avenue.
The biggest stick in the state is moving Downtown.
“It is incredibly important to us as a local operator of world class brands to be a part of the fabric of the local community and the cities in which we live and work,” said Good Karma founder and CEO Craig Karmazin in a statement. “We couldn’t be happier with The Avenue and 3rd Street Market Hall as it is a symbol of the growth, investment and diversity present in downtown Milwaukee development, and aligns directly with our values as a locally owned company passionate about serving our local community.”
Long-time employees of the Milwaukee ESPN affiliate, which broadcasts on 540 AM and 94.5 FM, will know the neighborhood. The station spent the past decade across the street in the base of the 310W office building.
620 WTMJ has operated out of the building at 720 E. Capitol Dr. since 1941, sharing it with television station TMJ4. The similar names were derived from their prior owner, The Milwaukee Journal. But the media properties have been broken up, as has the building. A wall dividing the two companies was installed in recent years. Good Karma acquired WTMJ, and a music station on 94.5 FM, in 2018 for $16 million. The television station is now owned by E.W. Scripps & Co. and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper is owned by Gannett.
The Truth, a new station targeting Milwaukee’s Black community, launched in January.
The stations are expected to complete the move later this year. The market hall, a food hall led by Omar Shaikh, is expected to open this summer. A sign for the first floor business was installed atop the three-story atrium earlier this week.
Good Karma will also locate its headquarters in The Avenue. In addition to the Milwaukee stations, Good Karma owns ESPN affiliate stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Madison and West Palm Beach and two radio stations in Beaver Dam. It also operates an events creator that produces the Wisconsin Sports Awards, Tundra Trio hospitality houses in Green Bay and college football’s RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl. The company reports having 291 employees, including 130 in Milwaukee.
The redevelopment of the mall is being led by Josh Krsnak and Tony Janowiec. The partners secured engineering firm GRAEF as an anchor office tenant in 2018. The partners also developed the Plankinton Clover Apartments in former retail space in the mall’s Plankinton Arcade building. Design work on the projects is being led by The Kubala Washatko Architects.
The potential for the stations’ move was first reported in 2019 by BizTimes.
The Avenue Renderings
- Eyes on Milwaukee: 620 WTMJ, ESPN Radio and The Truth Moving Downtown - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 2nd, 2021
- Eyes on Milwaukee: The Quiet Plan to Save Grand Avenue - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 11th, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Committee Questions Grand Avenue Deal - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 9th, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: $9 Million for Grand Avenue Replacement - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 21st, 2019
- Dining: Umami Moto Will Return - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 21st, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Meet Grand Avenue’s New Food Hall - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Grand Avenue Mall Lands Anchor Tenant - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2018
- Friday Photos: New Grand Avenue Apartments - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 2nd, 2017
- Bublr Bikes Moving HQ, Maintenance Operation Into Shops of Grand Avenue - Bublr Bikes - Jan 5th, 2017
- What’s Next for the Grand Avenue Mall? - Urban Milwaukee - Apr 26th, 2016
Read more about Redevelopment of the Grand Avenue Mall here