Sunday, November 08, 2009
The colossal failure of black radio in Charlotte N.C.
WQNC – FM (Q 92.7) was once called “The Peoples Station.” That was until last month when they scrapped their talk show format for “up-tempo music.” So with a turn of a dial, they dumped Rev. Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine from the format. It is no surprise that they kept The Tom Joyner morning show (i.e. he is still competitive in the ratings). Apparently the switch was one that has been a long time in the making. It seems that Q 92.7, or as it is called now My92, wants to appeal to the new radio rating system. Having more of a musical format apparently tracks better on this new system. Since these are “Urban Stations” we are talking about, then the listeners must be minorities. Particularly, these minorities must be overwhelmingly African American (or whatever they are calling us this week) in percentage. Does anyone else see what I’m saying here?? Okay maybe it’s just me? Are black radio stations telling us that blacks don’t want to listen to talk radio? If that’s the case, why did they raise hell in Atlanta when Rev. Al Sharpton was taken off the air? They eventually had to put him back on because of the complaining. I just assumed blacks threatened to burn down Atlanta like General Sherman did back in the day.
Sure you have the Joyners, Harveys and Baisdens but what about the local talk shows? Why are they relegated to early (O’ Dark O’ Clock) and Sundays before and during church. And what ever happened to radio that deals with political issues? I know these shows mostly lean “Left” but I did get valuable information from them. Does black radio only think black folks can be entertained through song and dance? This whole thing smells so “Minstrel Showish”. I wonder how many radio stations have dropped Rush Limbaugh because their listeners want more music and less talk. Limbaugh has a show on in damn near every state in the union (even the ones that want succession). Apparently his stations advertisers don’t have a problem with ratings. So what’s up with black folk?
I wonder what the “non-technology” black folks are going to do now. You know who I’m talking about. It’s your family member that doesn’t know the difference between a Mac and a PC. These folks have been listening to radio forever and have never heard of Blog Talk radio or on-line streaming. I don’t agree with everything that is discussed on black talk radio but I believe we need a voice. Everyone doesn’t want to listen to “Tardy for the Party.” The right to express opinions is one of our basic rights as Americans. Now we are beholding to corporations that run radio stations. I guess that is why people are on Blog Talk radio. They don’t want to be beholding to advertisers and ratings. Back in the day, black radio provided people with information on local & state Government issues. I know that most of the urban stations aren’t owned by us anyway. So I’m not that surprised with the events of last month. I guess in some ways this radio stuff was always a business. And when a business is failing they change up their business plan. I guess it’s like my frat brother told me one time. “If it doesn’t make dollars it don’t make sense.” I guess he might be right. It’s still a failure to me.