PHILADELPHIA, PA – September 17, 2020 – Entercom, a leading media and entertainment company and one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the U.S., will broadcast the fourth annual “I’m Listening,” a live national program that brings together artists, athletes and medical specialists to raise awareness and end the stigma of talking about mental health. The two-hour special will air nationwide and, for the first time, in primetime on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:00 p.m. local time across more than 230 Entercom stations and RADIO.COM livestream.
This year’s “I’m Listening,” program will poignantly address mental health through the lens of the global pandemic, the fight for racial equality, among other issues facing the country today. Co-hosted by BJ Shea, morning show host for 99.9 KISW (KISW-FM) in Seattle and Dr. Chris Donaghue, international lecturer, therapist, educator and CHANNEL Q on-air host, the show will highlight shared mental health stories and experiences while also acting as a resource for those simply looking to connect, heal, and share. Listeners are encouraged to call in for advice or to share a story.
Singer Jon Bon Jovi, DJ Khaled, Guns and Roses’ Duff McKagan, Cage the Elephant’s Brad Shultz, TLC’s Chilli, singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett, singer-songwriter Katy Perry, singer-songwriter Demi Lovato, rapper G-Eazy, singer-songwriter Luke Combs, producer deadmau5, rapper Waka Flocka Flame, singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, singer-songwriter Jewel, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, singer-songwriter Ava Max, Judah and the Lion’s Judah, X Ambassadors’ Sam Nelson Harris, and former Chicago Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo and Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Brooks are among those participating.
Guests will also include Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Moutier from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP); and Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU), the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and Aspen Health Institute Innovators Fellow. The program will also feature Talinda Bennington, wife of late Chester Bennington and founding partner of mental health advocacy foundation 320 Changes Direction; and Lily Cornell-Silver, daughter of late Chris Cornell and host of mental health-focused Instagram Live TV series “Mind Wide Open.”
“Conversations have the power to save lives and in this time of heightened unrest, human connection and sharing experiences have never been more powerful,” said Pat Paxton, Chief Programming Officer, Entercom. “Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effects it has on families and friends. ‘I’m Listening’ is part of our year-round mental health initiative that is integral to not only who we are as a company, but who we are as people. We’re committed to continuing to leverage our national platform to engage in these crucial and healing conversations.”
“It’s very important during these times that we look to things that inspire us to be great…to be excellent,” said DJ Khaled. “Keeping a positive mindset is the key to mental health. Always remember we have life…embrace it.”
“My story is exhausting. It’s long, but at the end of the day, I think the more that we tell our stories, the more people then can recognize signs and symptoms within themselves,” said Daniel Carcillo, former Chicago Blackhawk. “The more we talk about those two things, I think the more people will recognize signs that are affecting their quality of life, relations, job – whatever it may be – and then be able to enact change.”
“The conversations we are all having about mental health are deeper and timelier now than they ever have been. By reaching out and asking people in your life about their mental health, you can start a potentially lifesaving dialogue,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “As the largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we applaud Entercom for its ‘I’m Listening’ campaign. By encouraging their listeners to talk about mental health and suicidal struggles, they are showing that media can make a real difference in people’s lives.”
What began in 2017 as a World Suicide Prevention Day special has grown into a yearlong commitment to mental health – and one of Entercom’s largest social impact initiatives – that, in addition to the broadcast, includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos and content such as daily audio capsules and weekly live shows, social media posts, videos and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma of talking about mental health. Additionally, Entercom LGBTQ+ talk radio network CHANNEL Q, available nationwide on RADIO.COM, will extend their programming to include daily features with celebrities and interviews with mental health experts as part of the station’s regularly scheduled weekday shows.
Entercom is committed to supporting the health and success of the communities that are the heart of its business. “I’m Listening” is a part of Entercom Serves, the Company’s social impact platform that raises awareness of social issues and brings communities together for good. Entercom unites with its listeners and brands to support sound communities through several pillars of impact: mental health and anti-bullying, veterans and service members, children’s health, the environment, civic education, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
“I’m Listening” aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
About Entercom Communications Corp.
Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM) is a leading audio and entertainment company engaging over 170 million consumers each month through its iconic broadcast brands, expansive digital platform, premium podcast network and live events and experiences. With presence in every major U.S. market, and accessible on every device, Entercom delivers the industry’s most compelling live and on-demand content and experiences from voices and influencers its communities trust and love. The company’s robust portfolio of assets and integrated solutions offer advertisers today’s most engaged audiences through targeted reach, brand amplification and local activation—all at national scale. Entercom is the unrivaled leader in local radio sports and news and the #1 creator of live, original local audio content in the U.S. Learn more at www.entercom.com, Facebook and Twitter (@Entercom).