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The legacy of stories Nate Imig leaves at Radio Milwaukee

 A man in a white polo shirt with a subtle dot pattern smiles at the camera with his hands folded on top of a wooden surface as he stands outside in front of a building with large windows across the front.
Erin Bagatta
Nate Imig made a major impact on Radio Milwaukee and the city as a whole in his decade-plus at the station.

For more than a decade, Nate Imig graced the hallways and airwaves of Radio Milwaukee. His time here very much mirrored the organization itself, with relatively humble beginnings giving way to well-earned success. The problem with success is that, while it often opens new doors, you’re often forced to close one behind you.

Nate did that recently, bringing an end to his time at Radio Milwaukee that began as a part-timer and wrapped up as director of digital content — all the while sending his voice across the Milwaukee area on 88Nine and worldwide for those listening on our app.

For you in the audience and all of us at our Walker’s Point studios, the absence of that voice will be felt, is already being felt. But we did make it three whole weeks before inviting him back on the air, which you can hear as he sits in with Dori Zori this morning from 8 to 10 a.m.

Of course, any tribute to a director of digital content would be incomplete without … digital content. So we asked Nate to pick out some of his favorite, most entertaining, most impactful stories that he and the digital team shared over the years. From Milwaukee music history to what’s in the headlines, you’ll find a little bit of everything below.

Enjoy, and be sure to visit us on Facebook and Instagram, leave a message for Nate, and help us bid a fond (and reluctant) farewell.

Backspin: Setting the Stage

As Nate put it, “I always liked starting a series off with a big episode or two.” You’ll find that preference throughout this collection, but we start with the debut episode of our search for Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song, which explored the genre’s origins and how Milwaukee was fertile ground for its growth.

Backspin: Episode 1

Be Seen: Josie Carter

The first episode of our award-winning podcast delved into the LGBTQ uprising at the Black Nite bar. Featuring audio from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries Archives Department, we shared the story of Josie Carter, a gender nonconforming “queen” who defended her home bar when it was targeted by sailors in August 1961.

Be Seen: Episode 1

Be Seen: Bobby Rivers

The season-two kickoff of Be Seen took a different approach to telling one of Milwaukee’s many LGBTQ stories. In the episode, Nate talks to national TV host, interviewer, entertainer and actor Bobby Rivers, who started his career in Milwaukee and eventually sat down with the likes of Paul McCartney and Meryl Streep. He talks about those opportunities, as well as the racism and homophobia that caused him to leave Milwaukee.

Be Seen Season 2: Bobby Rivers
Rivers on the cover of 'Milwaukee' magazine, 1984

Urban Spelunking: The Deep Tunnel

The on-location episodes of Urban Spelunking were always a good listen, and this recent one took Nate and co-host Bobby Tanzillo beneath the surface of Lake Michigan to Milwaukee's Deep Tunnel pump room. Access to the tunnel is tightly restricted and rarely granted, but Nate and Bobby tagged along as Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) crews inspected the pumps and the rest of the operation.

Urban Spelunking: Deep Tunnel pump room

Uniquely Milwaukee: Refugee Stories

In 2016, we partnered with Know Thyself for the “We Are Here” project: stories about the refugee experience from high school students who traveled the world, in some cases putting themselves directly in danger, searching for better lives in Milwaukee. For this piece, we talked to Htet Oo Wai, who at the time was a 16-year-old junior at Milwaukee High School of the Arts about how he strived to stay connected to family back in Myanmar.

Uniquely Milwaukee: A Refugee Conversation
A young male with the sides of his head shaved looks at the camera with a serious expression on his face.

By Every Measure: Systemic Racism

Another first episode that made a big impact was this one from By Every Measure that explored systemic racism in Milwaukee, detailed how it was declared a public health crisis in the city, and explained the distinction between racism and systemic racism.

By Every Measure: S1E1

By Every Measure: Criminal Justice System & Police

The second episode of By Every Measure’s debut season focused on one of those “headline” moments, coming just days after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Hosts Tarik Moody and Reggie Jackson analyzed the events and asked a retired Milwaukee Police Department captain for her perspective on how to combat systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

By Every Measure: S1E2