Lashaun Turner, Innovating Black News Media in Southern California

Staff Writer
·2-min read

Roughly ten years ago, a small media storm started brewing in the Inland Empire of Southern California, her name – Lashaun Turner.

Ms. Turner is the founder and owner of the California Radio News and Media Outlet – Cali.FM. Turner, a Media Entrepreneur, has built a presence in the region over the past 10 years including 5 years as a Radio Host on the NBC/CNBC affiliate KCAA radio station in Loma Linda, and 2 years as creator and host of a public broadcast television show on channel 36 in Los Angeles.

Turner has always taken on big ideas and made them her own. Despite never having been trained in radio, media, or journalism, she was the first African American female to open a fully licensed community digital radio station in Moreno Valley, 8 years ago. She also published a print magazine-Indie Celebrity, and launched other websites dedicated to black media including OnTheBlackCarpet.com.

Building upon that framework, in 2020 Turner developed Cali.FM, a completely independent regional news publishing platform and streaming radio station.

What is unique about this platform is the variety of content and how it is delivered to its audiences. The California radio station differentiates itself from other local independent black owned media businesses by being a trusted news publishing source that publishes not only on Cali.FM, but also Google News and Flipboard News apps.

Other black owned media platforms focus on music and entertainment usually. While Cali.FM topics run the gambit of California News, Urban News, Business, Health, Travel, Food and Entertainment. There is also a section for Artists and Entrepreneur features.

The website is an engaging immersive platform and was recently upgraded for mobile users according to a recent press release in the Associated Press:

Lashaun stated “I am extremely excited to have completed the mobile experience for Cali.FM. As a black female Media Entrepreneur -Owner, Program Director and Editor of an entirely independent regional news platform, I take pride in this accomplishment. Cali.FM is viewed mostly on digital devices so it was imperative to take this next step in our growth process”.

According to its website, Cali.FM receives approximately 20,000 organic visitors per month and the radio stream 6000 listeners per month since launching in June 2020. It ranks among the highest of similarly independently owner/operated media outlets based in Southern California.

Ms. Turner says she plans to continue growing the Cali.FM brand nationally. And, while it is imperative to continue building upon the news platform side of business, Turner said it is equally important to offer the platform as a vehicle for sharing the voices, music, news, and narratives of the urban community.

Turner said she will be exploring partnerships with other black owned companies interested in disseminating information and services in the community.