Lending a voice and innovation to the media marketplace is what drives Media Entrepreneur Lashaun Turner to succeed!
Lashaun’s initial foray into media came when she launched Urban Indie Radio L.A., the first Black owned Radio Station in Moreno Valley California in 2012. Situated in 2 office spaces on Sunnymead Blvd, the station featured live and local music artists and shows, with a radio stream dedicated to playing 100% indie music. It was the only Licensed Independent Digital Radio Station in the greater Los Angeles area, playing urban indie music 24/7 at the time.
A film studio caught wind of one of the shows airing on the station and offered an opportunity to film this show for cable television. The Blaze Indie L.A TV Show was based on music reviews and in studio guest interviews and performances. The hour-long Television show ran in several markets including Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington DC. Lashaun created, produced, and hosted the ensemble cast & crew through 2 seasons between 2012-2014.
After the end of Blaze Indie L.A, Lashaun would look to become part of one of the biggest radio stations in the Inland Empire. The NBC/CNBC Affiliate KCAA, which broadcast on three frequencies 102.3FM, 106.5FM and 1050AM, would become home to Cali’s Best Radio Show, which Lashaun created, produced, and hosted as well.
Cali’s Best aired for nearly 5 years up until the pandemic of 2020 when Lashaun decided to walk away from in person interviews at that time. Having interviewed an estimated 20,000 people in her career, through her own media outlets including a Print Magazine-Indie Celebrity, and others. Lashaun says she had reached goals she could have never imagined when she first delved off into media.
Lashaun Turner Media Entrepreneur
Lashaun would also go on to contribute to some of the biggest online media platforms, including Yahoo, YoRaps, Rude Boy Magazine, Gorilla Leak (World Star’s predecessor), Thisis50 and many more. Lashaun and her team could be found covering celebrity red carpets in the Los Angeles area, and even doing publicity and promotions for upcoming artist and entrepreneurs.
Lashaun says her business has grown and diversified over the years yet the driving force behind it is still the same. Lashaun later re-branded her company as URBAN STARZ MEDIA & P.R, with a focus on becoming a strong voice for urban culture, artists, entrepreneurs, music, and news in the emerging media realm that is the Internet.
Lashaun launched Cali.FM Radio in June 2020 to continue the radio promotion service line for artists and advertisers who pay for 60 sec or 90 sec spots on the stream, web advertising, and social graphics. Lashaun also publishes a weekly Newsletter to 13,000 subscribers and runs a large Facebook Group which also lends to the exposure her clients seek.
Media Entrepreneurship -“the creation and ownership of a small enterprise or organization whose activity adds at least one voice or innovation to the media marketplace”.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
I think my priorities have had to change with the times. Luckily what I do as far as creativity has no box, and the skillset carries over to other areas of media. I started out creating exposure for artists and mainly dealing with music. All the essential skills I needed to do that which I learned and adapted over the years can be applied to what I do now. Whether it’s radio, television, or whatever medium, I produce content. In fact, over the years, I’ve had many titles. I’ve recently embraced the Media Entrepreneur title, as it really speaks to the core of my business which is creating and monetizing media, giving exposure to others, products, services, and creative assets.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
Oh yes! A lot. I have had to rebrand a couple times. It’s like trying to find my COKE or PEPSI. That household name & products that everybody knows. I realized at some point I was promoting my shows, the people on them and the content- without even promoting my own name or the company name. Looking back, I also realize that I was ahead of some trends and should have stayed in certain lanes longer, and others I probably never should have gone down. Either way though, it’s been an experience and I continue to learn new things every day.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to become a Media Entrepreneur?
Make sure you love what you’re going to do. Sometimes it can feel more like a hobby until the good paying clients and opportunities to start coming in. You are going to live your business 24/7 in some form or fashion, so you better be extra passionate and enjoy it.
Be sure your finances/capital can support the start-up phase which I would say is the first 18 months. Consider working from home full or part-time to cut off some costs. Instead of bringing on staff you can consider contracting out small duties to save you big time.
With the pandemic we’ve gotten even more hooked on online media, and this can be a huge source of income. Outlets need content, other businesses and entrepreneurs need content developed, and that’s where you come in. It’s all about content.
How did you get involved with News media and NEWSBREAK?
When I came off-air at KCAA, I decided to Launch Cali.FM to continue the services I provide to my customers i.e., radio promotions, voice overs etc. However, I realized in 2020 that what I had been doing for the past 10 years was very narrow. I wanted to do more meaningful work in sharing the narratives and experiences of our culture.
The racial reckoning that happened last year after George Floyd made me want to have a voice in real word issues not just music. I came across the Content Creator opportunity at NEWSBREAK, a platform that allows me to write and publish not only local stories but opinion pieces. I had been writing my opinions on Cali.FM, my own platform, which is distributed to Google News and Flipboard, for nearly a year. I felt it was time to branch out and the NEWSBREAK platform allows you to write and be paid as a Freelancer. They also happen to be the #1 News app. It’s been great so far. In fact, I have several recent viral articles with them.
Any advice you can give?
Be opportunistic, if it adds to the bottom line and is within the scope of what you’re already doing, it can make sense to connect, collaborate and build your reputation using bigger brands as steppingstones.
There is no such thing as overnight success! Be patient yet persistent. Define your goal line(s) because yes, they may move on you from time to time. Pat yourself on the back and let others know and share in your success. Build a network and stay engaged. Cut your losses if you must.
Lashaun Turner Media Entrepreneur