CBS Radio Launches Military Veteran Platform On 1580 WJFK

CBS Radio Connecting Vets ConnectingVets.com 1580 WJFK Washington DCCBS Radio has launched a resource portal for military veterans on ConnectingVets.com that will feature programming on 1580 WJFK Morningside MD/Washington DC.

The new service will feature nine hours of live programming on weekdays with it all being made available through the company’s Radio.com and as podcasts. Former Marine Corp. Captain Chas Henry, who previously worked as an anchor for “All News 99.1” WNEW rejoins the company as Managing Editor for ConnectingVets.com.

The Morning Briefing (from 6-9am/repeated 9am-12pm) and Afternoon Briefing (3-6pm/repeated 6-9pm) will feature news and short-form features dedicated to veterans including live reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government offices.

The midday block (12-3pm and repeated overnights and weekends) will feature a rotating block of 30 minute shows dealing with topics such as mental health, employement, and education.

WJFK had been carrying programming from CBS Sports Radio.

Today, CBS RADIO launched the new “CBS RADIO Presents ConnectingVets.com…Connecting Vets Every Day,” a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.

The content will be produced and presented by fellow vets who understand the complexity and stages of transitioning from the military ranks back into civilian life. It will cover such important topics as health and fitness, employment and entrepreneurialism, education, finance, and issues particularly impacting female veterans and veterans’ families. Programming is easily accessible online at connectingvets.com and Radio.com, with audio on-demand available at connectivingvets.com/podcasts, and programming on-air in Washington, D.C. on local station WJFK 1580(AM). Equally passionate about helping veterans, our sponsorship partners, including Freedom Mortgage and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, will be integrated seamlessly in and around content in non-traditional ways to ensure a user-friendly experience.

With a passion and a dedication to serving our nation’s veterans, the platform is designed to help this very important and growing group cut through the clutter and confusion of what’s available to them to ensure easy access to the benefits and resources they have so rightly earned.

“This new resource is a testament and a dedication to the selfless acts of U.S. veterans and all they do to ensure our freedoms and our very way of life,” said Steve Swenson, Senior Vice President & Market Manager, CBS RADIO Washington, D.C. “We have created a streamlined, solutions-based product that will provide our vets with immediate and easy access to all of their available resources, and to their fellow veterans. We’re confident that together with our partners this dedicated resource will become a go-to source for our nation’s heroes and those around them.”

Added Chas Henry (Captain, U.S. Marine Corps [Ret.]), Managing Editor, CBS RADIO Presents ConnectingVets.com…Connecting Vets Every Day, “There are lots of agencies and groups working to help vets stay healthy, gain education and get jobs. Some are official but hard to connect with; others are well-meaning but perhaps thinly-resourced. Our goal is to gather and verify the sometimes fragmented data — connecting vets to the information they need, when they need it.

“Many veterans have told us they’ve learned more about veterans’ benefits from fellow vets than from official sources. So, in addition to helping government agencies and credible private groups make veterans aware of available help, we’ll be connecting vets with each other, letting those who’ve made the most of those resources tell fellow vets how they can do the same.”

The featured programming will fall into one of five categories: News, Transition, Wellness, Get Help and Lifestyle. Within each category, a variety of long and short-form original news reports and curated pieces will air. Original reporting will be conducted and hosted by the staff of “CBS RADIO Presents ConnectingVets.com…Connecting Vets Every Day,” all of whom are veterans themselves or the spouse or child of a veteran. While most content will air across all three platforms – online, on demand and on-air – some of the programming will be tailored to fit an individual platform according to how audiences consume that content.

With reporters embedded at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Capitol Hill, live morning and afternoon briefings will be hosted from each government office. In addition, the CBS RADIO team will have direct access to and cooperation from other agencies, including the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Defense, to round out its coverage.

Weekday Programming Schedule:

6:00 – 9:00 AM The Morning Briefing (live)
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM The Morning Briefing (encore)
12:00 – 3:00 PM Mid-Day Programs (live; approx. 30-minutes per topic)

Topics Include:
Ø Morning Briefing / Afternoon Briefing – magazine-format features focused on news of interest to veterans, including updates from the VA and Capitol Hill
Ø Dealing With It – conversations with mental health professionals on dealing with the stresses of transition, disabilities and more
Ø Deployment to Employment – overcoming obstacles to getting the perfect job – a virtual veterans job fair
Ø Getting Schooled – making the most of veterans’ educational benefits
Ø It’s All Relative – issues related to family members, caregivers, and others important to veterans’ well-being
Ø Lost in Transition – focused on struggles vets face as they reintegrate to civilian life (fitting in at work, organizing finances, buying a house)
Ø Recon: Capitol Hill – daily veterans-related news from Congress and the Government Accountability Office, hosted by our reporter embedded in the Capitol complex
Ø The VA Right Now – up-to-the-minute reporting from a reporter solely covering the Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters
Ø VetStory – profiles of veterans’ experiences in uniform, and how those experiences changed their lives
Ø Women Warriors – issues specific to female veterans

3:00 – 6:00 PM The Afternoon Briefing (live)
6:00 – 9:00 PM The Afternoon Briefing (encore)
9:00 PM – 6:00 AM Mid-day Programs (encore; topics in rotation)

Included within each morning and afternoon news briefing will be short-form features covering the following areas:

Ø Book Shelf – authors reading excerpts of military or veteran-focused literature
Ø Global Security Watch – updates on current conflict flashpoints and U. S. military involvement
Ø Going Back – following veterans visiting sites of their long-ago battlefields or bases where they were once stationed
Ø Military Life Hacks – veterans share how military skills have made life easier out of uniform
Ø Podcast Roulette – best of podcasts by veterans and conversations with podcast creators
Ø Still Serving – stories about the varied ways veterans contribute to their communities
Ø Stolen Valor – following stories of people attempting to profit by pretending to have served, or by falsely claiming military heroism
Ø The Troubleshooter – finding solutions to problems vets tell us they encounter
Ø VetSports – veterans involved in athletics, including Wounded Warrior competitions
Ø What Goes Around – military history quiz, plus conversations with military historians
Ø Who Knew? – profiling Americans you may not have known served their nation in uniform

On Saturdays and Sundays, “CBS RADIO Presents Connectingvets.com…Connecting Vets Every Day” will feature an encore presentation of select programming presented throughout the previous week.

A number of high ranking government officials have praised this initiative:

“I commend CBS Radio on what they’re doing. This is going to be a tremendous asset for the veterans of the United States of America. There are so many areas where we have obstacles to continuity of information and timeliness of information. Your example is exactly what I hope everybody will do.”

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Chair, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

“I think there are so many good stories that can be told about our vets and… so many stories out there that are challenges for our vets. (CBS Radio) is going to take a global view of this and I think that can be a big benefit not only for me, but for the VA and most importantly for the veterans that are on the ground.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mo.), ranking member, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

“I think it’s fantastic what CBS Radio is doing, to shine this light on what’s happening to Veterans in the country.”

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Chair, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

“It is a noble cause. I had taken advantage of the ability to get a VA home loan, which is helpful – but there were other benefits I was not even aware of as a senior enlisted soldier, so how could my younger soldiers know – because I wasn’t getting the information. Something like what CBS Radio is doing is fabulous. I don’t want to call it ‘one-stop shopping’ – but it’s great to have a company with the resources to do so creating a repository of information useful for Veterans.”

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), ranking member, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; Command Sergeant Major (Ret.), Minnesota National Guard

*Programming and programming schedule are subject to change.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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