iHub Radio to re-launch as online talk and news platform Radio111 – Desert Sun



iHub Radio, which launched three years ago as the Coachella Valley’s only local online talk radio platform, is relaunching as Radio111. The platform will include a range of local programming from new and longtime hosts and will kick off its fall season Sept. 25.

Radio111 co-founder and senior content director John McMullen said the new brand will better reflect the platform’s Coachella Valley focus.

“Most people don’t know what the iHub is,” McMullen said. “The new identity is something (that can resonate with) almost everyone here.”

iHub, short for Innovation Hub, is a business incubator and accelerator program run by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership with locations in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Indio. iHub Radio got its start there in May of 2018 and took its name from the program. 

Radio111 will see the return of several hosts from iHub Radio’s early days, including Jay Alvarez, who hosted a mid-day show with his late father Marvin Alvarez on iHub from 2018 until early 2020. Alvarez will host a program titled “Your Best Life” airing Monday from 8 to 10 p.m. focused on inspiring and positive-mindset-related content.*

The station will also feature new hosts and programming such as former state senate hopeful Joy Silver, who will talk “progressive issues and politics” and activism on a show titled “Outspoken!”

Other Radio111 program topics run the gamut from cannabis, cars and fantasy football to LGBTQ+ issues.

The platform will feature interviews with Coachella Valley local journalists from outlets including The Desert Sun, one of its partners, discussing issues such as crime, business and the environment.

“We go a lot deeper into the topics than TV news can do,” McMullen said.

The Radio111 co-founder said the platform’s core selling point to prospective listeners, as well as advertisers, is its local focus.

“It’s that we’re local. Period,” he said. “I know that sounds cliché, but it’s real … I didn’t want to be the babysitter of a satellite-fed syndicated radio station.”

McMullen, who has spent decades in the radio industry, said that a full slate of truly locally produced content is rare in a market of any size.

“Our opportunity is to be relatable to our neighbors and that’s what makes us different from any other talk station that gets into this market,” he said.

Radio111 is available to stream for free through its website at Radio111.com, using the TuneIn Radio app from any phone or smart device or through digital dashboard systems such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

*Clarification: “Your Best Life” is scheduled to run from 8 to 10 p.m. A previous of this article had cited a different run time.

James B. Cutchin covers business in the Coachella Valley. Reach him at james.cutchin@desertsun.com.