Radio Reacts With 'Comfort And Community' After Charleston Shooting Deaths
June 22, 2015 at 3:57 AM (PT)
Many cities with Urban formats (NET NEWS 6/19) altered programming after the shooting deaths of nine African-Americans at the historic EMANUEL AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH in CHARLESTON, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES.
According to the TIMES, it was not a typical FRIDAY morning at NEW YORK’s premier hip-hop radio station, EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT 97) -- and not because of anything happening in the world of music.
EBRO DARDEN, the lead morning-show host and face of HOT 97, could only halfheartedly plug a WIZ KHALIFA ticket giveaway before turning to more urgent matters -- the killings of nine black congregants by a white gunman at the storied church on WEDNESDAY.
“Don’t just try to sweep what’s happening in AMERICA under a rug and not deal with the real issues,” DARDEN said before breaking down in tears. “The black church is really all we got,” he continued deliberately, pausing often to collect himself. “It’s the last place that we always know ...” -- here again he was overcome with emotion -- “that we can bring our families and be safe.”
CBS VP/Urban Programming and Urban WVEE (V-103)/ATLANTA PD REGGIE ROUSE told the TIMES, “We are basically the newspaper for the African-American community in the city of ATLANTA. When something like this happens, whether it’s CHARLESTON or FERGUSON, we have to stop the music and open up the phone lines."
EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS Urban AC WBLS (107.5)/NEW YORK OM/PD SKIP DILLARD told ALL ACCESS, "Just like our sister station HOT 97 and EBRO, we tried to be sensitive to the moment. Our News Dir. ANN TRIPP did reports throughout the last few days. The jocks led discussions and let the listeners express their thoughts and feelings about what happened in CHARLESTON at the church."
SERVICE BROADCASTING/DALLAS Dir./Programming GEORGE "GEO" COOK commented to ALL ACCESS, "My morning show on K-104, DEDE IN THE MORNING took calls and talked with listeners all morning about the CHARLESTON shootings. We were fortunate that TV personality ROLAND MARTIN was in town for a fundraiser, and as luck would have it, was in the building that day. He sat in with midday LYNNE HAZE on our Urban AC KRNB and later on Urban K-104 with PM drive BAY BAY. ROLAND took calls and talked to listeners on both stations. It turned out to also be an opportunity for a discussion on race and its impact on our culture."