Pictured Calvin B. Reese, President/Owner, Millennium Magazine
By Joseph M. Meyers , Associate State Director for AARP South Carolina
Consistently reaching diverse audiences is not just a social goal for AARP South Carolina, it is essential to our mission. AARP South Carolina is fortunate to have the opportunity to work with several diverse vendors that help us reach a range of audiences through various media. Here is just one example.
One of the partners AARP South Carolina uses to communicate with the Palmetto State’s African American residents is a digital news site called Millennium Magazine, which is owned and operated by Calvin B. Reese, a native of Columbia, South Carolina.
Calvin calls himself a “media man.” Considering his nearly 50 years of experience in and around the media business, the shoe fits.
Calvin started his career in 1972 as a film editor at WIS-TV in Columbia. He recalls that one day at work, he saw an aide to the South Carolina governor talking to the station’s general manager about buying political ads. The GM told the aide that if the governor wanted to buy ads, he’d have to come down and do it himself. Calvin began to recognize the important role the media played in society. He also realized the power the station general manager had on the media and made it his goal to become a GM himself.
Over time, Calvin found a mentor, who taught him about the business and helped him realize that all the people who were promoted to general manager were promoted from sales. Calvin studied and worked hard, and eventually made it to sales, where he became the first African American to work in television advertising in the history of South Carolina. He went on to become the general manager and sales manager of several radio stations.
Over the years, he developed his skills and influence, eventually realizing that he wanted to work for himself. So he founded Millennium Magazine and turned it into a successful digital media platform that reaches a large audience in South Carolina. Millennium has won numerous awards, including the Image Award Top Achiever for the SC Black Male Showcase USA and the 2002 Trailblazer Award from the South Carolina Governor’s Office of Minority & Small Business Honors. He also serves as an Usher at his church, Brookland Baptist Church. Calvin, who still talks enthusiastically about how much he loves his job, says he never plans to retire.
Calvin, who has two daughters and two grandchildren, and Millennium Magazine have helped AARP South Carolina connect with our African American audience through digital ads and stories placed on the website.