Hidden Cleveland

‘Man Up, America’ works to ‘balance’ social media

By BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Posted 1/31/17

“It’s time to man up, America!”

Those are the words that introduce a thrice-weekly local program which is beginning to catch the attention of local political observers.

“Man Up, …

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Hidden Cleveland

‘Man Up, America’ works to ‘balance’ social media

Posted

“It’s time to man up, America!”

Those are the words that introduce a thrice-weekly local program which is beginning to catch the attention of local political observers.

“Man Up, America” is now simulcast Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on WTNB-TV and The Buzz 103.1 FM at 1 p.m.

It began broadcasting Oct. 4, 2016.

Adam Lowe, former vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission and former candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, said the idea started when a radio station had asked him to consider doing a morning program.

“I did a pilot show, but mornings just didn’t work being a dad and professionally,” Lowe said. “Being on the air from 7 until 9 every morning just wasn’t feasible.”

He said the concept of the original idea remains in place.

“The concept is simply in an age of social media where people are constantly consuming social media without any checks or balances, probably a good talk radio show is the only way you ever check and balance the content on social media,” Lowe said. “So, the idea is to ‘man up’ with all the nonsense that gets regurgitated on social media.”

He said the show seeks to find if there is any substance to items that are constatly being shared in the social media universe.

“We develop our content out of what is trending on social media,” Lowe said.

Lowe said he had a conversation with MIX 104.1’s Steve Hartline last year who was looking for some afternoon programming.

“I felt the 1-2 p.m. time slot was something I could do,” he said. “I had made some professional adjustments that allowed me to do that. I had built a great partnership with Mix 104.1 and my other business, Stage AVL, as well as Woodman Life, the other business I run.”

Lowe said he wanted to do something different and “then talked to my circle of confidants.”

“There is about 20 of them I ask what they thought and I trust their opinion. One of those is Robert Thompson,” he said. “We then began to see the vision.”

Lowe said it was a “rocky beginning.”

“There had never been a direct stream broadcast to the radio station from the WTNB studios,” he said. “There are some technological limitations on how we transmit, but we work around that.”

He said the new partnership between the television and radio station “has built a bridge.”

“I hope a lot of other shows and people will cross for our community over time,” Lowe said.

Videos of “Man Up, America” are now also shown on WTNB’s Facebook channel.

“Part of us housing this show here is we are a fan of local television and of what WTNB has done,” Lowe said. “National broadcasters are never going to cover our high school games, wrestling matches or mayoral forums. So, local television is important.”

He said the reaction to the show so far has been “mostly positive.”

“I’m surprised at our reach, our listenership and our viewership,” Lowe said. “I know people stop me and say they enjoy the show.”

He said one of the suggestion he hears most often is running the show five days of week, instead of just three.

“That is kind of tough right now,” he said. “Ultimately, that would be a great thing to do.”

“We’re still trying to find a comfortable place in content,” Lowe said. “It’s very difficult to address local issues without someone getting angry. I can talk about the White House all day long and people don’t get angry. But, if I so much as talk about what’s happening in a local school or something like that, people get very defensive.”

Lowe said it is not the show’s intention “to create drama.”

“We try to be pragmatic with things,” he said. “I’m proud to say on this show we dispelled a very toxic rumor that if you live in the city and your children did not play in the city basketball league, they would not have the opportunity to play in middle and high school. We got representatives of the schools to say that was absolutely absurd.”

Lowe talks about the show’s logo which combines a mustache and a beard.

“‘Man up’ is not meant to be in gender terms,” he explained. “It’s ‘man up’ in the colloquial sense — to face the issues directly and to face the facts.”

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