One on One With Michael Baisden

The future of black radio

be it [an event] at a high school or a crime in that area. You can even program the music according to the weather in your town, which I think is really cool. And you can be more involved on the ground with what’s happening locally, like local benefits. That’s something you can’t do nationally because you have so much responsibility.

Do you think that there are opportunities for some of the radio business models to allow more room for some of the local personalities?
I wish they would find a way to make it work because as it looks right now that they’re trying to syndicate every day part of radio. I think it’s a mistake. I have an affinity for people in local radio. I feel like I owe them something.

You’ve had a big year with Jena 6 and the presidential race. What have you learned most about your listeners in terms of being engaged in this political process?
MB: It’s like a carryover from Jena 6. Black people are more engaged. If you give them somebody or something that they can believe in, that they care about and give them an opportunity to have a voice, they will be engaged. People feel like they have a voice with Obama. They feel like they have a voice with me. My whole show is built around listeners. I don’t have a co-host except on Fridays with comedian George Wilborn. He does an incredible job. But outside of that, it’s just the listeners and me. There’s no other urban radio show where it’s just the host and the listeners in the daytime parts on the major shows. I’m not saying that to be derogatory toward the other shows. But without co-hosts, it gives my listeners an opportunity to be heard a lot more. People love to hear other people’s issues. Meanwhile, I chat live with the listeners from all across the country from the time the show comes on until it goes off and I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve become addicted.

Pages: 1 2