Academics February 18 2019

Xavier President Reynold Verret wants to innovate Xavier's academic programs through a partnership with an investment group vying to purchase WBOK-1230 AM.

By Wilborn P. Nobles III, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Xavier University of Louisiana wants to create a career pipeline for its mass communication students through a partnership with an investment group that includes actor Wendell Pierce as the group vies to purchase WBOK-1230 AM.

WBOK would act as “a learning platform” for Xavier’s communications and journalism majors through internships, mentoring, and career opportunities for students and graduates, according to a Thursday evening (Feb. 14) press release from the Spears Group. In a statement, Xavier President Reynold Verret said their partnership would provide students a platform to discuss the “most pertinent issues facing our communities.”

"WBOK will provide our students with a very hands-on approach and allow them to grow and advance their skills in the media industry,” Verret said.

Pierce is teaming with local marketing executive Cleveland Spears, businessman Troy Henry and Thomas Media founder Jeff Thomas to submit a bid to purchase WBOK, a New Orleans-based news-talk radio station currently owned by the Los Angeles based-Bakewell Media. WBOK caters to a predominantly black audience.

The Spears group stated WBOK would not only offer employment opportunities to local journalists, but it would also serve as a training hub for the next generation of radio broadcasters through its partnership with Xavier.