A new liberal media outlet launched on Thursday in the Midwest with the backing of a major Democrat donor, Politico is reporting.
The outlet combines Heartland Signal, a new digital news site covering state and local races in the Midwest, with WCPT, a progressive talk radio station.
Fred Eychaner is backing the move. Eychaner, based in Chicago, has donated about $100 million to Democrat causes over the last 20 years, Politico said, citing federal campaign finance records.
The businessman also helped finance the movement to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, NBC Chicago reported previously. He was also a major contributor to the Clinton Foundation.
“Conservatives have been masterful for the last 40 to 50 years of amplifying and saturating markets throughout the country,” said Patti Vasquez, who hosts an hour on weekday evenings on WCPT. “A lot of one side of the story, so this is a move toward a balance.”
Politico noted that WCPT has expanded its programming. It recently interviewed Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison. The station reaches parts of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
A memo obtained by Politico says the Heartland Signal site expects to deal with a number of issues in its programming, including how President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan would impact local communities and Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Paul Gazelka’s “history of anti LGBTQ stances.”
Heartland Signal’s advisers admit the site will have a “perspective,” and “that’s not something we’re hiding,” said Tim Hogan, a Democrat consultant, who served as a senior adviser on the project.
“The newsroom is anchored to an established progressive talk radio station in the Midwest, but its shows are grounded in facts, and this is how we catch up to conservatives, who have spent decades building a network of right-leaning outlets across the country.”