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Thursday, April 16, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Willie Davis is being mourned by many across the country as the Hall of Fame defensive end and team captain of Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, when he helped lead his team to the first two Super Bowl Championships. However, at NABOB, Willie Davis is being remembered as a pioneering radio station owner, who built a very successful radio group over a forty-year career in the industry.
After finishing his Hall of Fame football career, Willie formed All-Pro Broadcasting in 1976 to acquire KACE-FM 103.9 in Inglewood, Calif., in what was then the heart of Los Angeles’ Black community. Over the following years, All-Pro became the original licensee of Oldies WZTI (today “FONZ FM,” formerly WMCS-AM) and Alternative WLUM-FM in Milwaukee. In July 1997, those stations merged with Shamrock Communications’ WJZI (now WLDB-FM) to form the Milwaukee Radio Alliance. Willie served as Chairman of the Alliance upon its inception.
In an interview with Radio & Records at the time of the Alliance’s formation, Willie said, “We’ll be able to offer a more intriguing product selection – in terms of reaching a diverse audience – to the advertising community. An advertiser will be able to buy time on one, two, or all three Milwaukee Radio Alliance stations, each of which serves a different segment of the audience.” The Alliance continues today and helped lead Willie Davis into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 2008.
Today, All-Pro is also the licensee of KHTI(FM) 103.9 and KATY-FM 101.3, in Southern California’s Riverside-San Bernardino region, known as the Inland Empire.
Willie’s wife, Carol Davis, reported that he had been hospitalized for roughly one month in a Santa Monica hospital due to kidney failure. Willie was 85.
Jim Winston, President of NABOB said, “Willie was one of the pillars of NABOB when I first joined the organization. He was a steady and highly respected member of the broadcast industry and gave valuable advice to many prospective and new owners through the years. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues.”
NABOB is here to serve you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
James L. Winston
National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters
1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 463-8970
Fax: (202) 429-0657