Toledo born, TPS proud (A Macomber-Whitney grad, before the vocational school closed in 1991), “André of the Savages” considers himself a mix of “corn fed” with “LA sauce.” In his early years, he grew up in the urban circles of Los Angeles before returning home to Toledo with a swagger. And he is still here, lending his panache to a variety of Toledo-area broadcast media platforms, including BCSN, NBC 24, Black and White Sports on 100.7 FM (an ESPN affiliate, providing local sports commentary) and his own Savvytelevision.
From growing up in an urban environment, to being recruited to play basketball at the YMCA, to being the first black man with a television channel in Toledo, his message to young people pursuing their creative passions is clear: “They [the kids] need to know that this hood boy who decided not to sell dope, not to stand on the corners and do all that, is the same person saying, ‘Give them a chance, take them out of these seedy situations, look who they can be: André of the Savages.’”
Love My 419: A Brief History
Part of Savage’s Savvytelevision network, Love My 419 began in October 2013. The show spun off from another project, Game Savvy. “If you can imagine Toledo having a Jimmy Kimmel show. It was Entertainment Tonight meets Sports Center via Saturday Night Live,” André says of the 2010 program. “Game Savvy meant understanding, and your game could be anything. We celebrated all the local art, all the culture. But the black community, the urban, it [Game Savvy] had a feel, and they didn’t buy it. I couldn’t get it sold. Love My 419 has the same ingredients tailored for a more mixed race audience and the community has embraced it.”
The rebranding from Game Savvy to Love My 419 was intentional and purposeful. “I’m all inclusive. My goal is community building, and I have no color. That’s what Love My 419 is.”
The show, originally created by Savage and Andrew Z, ended up on NBC 24 in 2014 for a five-year run. Airing on Sundays at 7:30am, it gained popularity. “We were cookin’,” Savage says. While the show has featured many different people, they kept the core group during that run. Eventually, like so many other productions, COVID shut down the show in 2020.
Love My 419: Same Show, News Faces in 2023
Love My 419 brings back Steve Reamey, the only other person, besides Savage, connected with its original airing, while adding several new faces including: Clint Hayslett, a model, actor and anchorman; Dani Leigh, a Danberry realtor and anchorwoman; Marisa Milián, a model and radio host on 106.1 FM WAKT; and Leah Pierson, who has a background in television (Channel 13), and was a former reality TV star. Each episode features the panel discussing local and national news, interviewing someone from the region with an interesting project, and sharing their thoughts on recent water cooler topics. Savage relates that Savvy Television Network is looking for young people who want to learn how to film, edit and produce, bringing the opportunities that he had as a young man to today’s generation. Young people interested in getting involved can reach out to email@example.com or text a message to 419-290-9333.