We talked to former Cumulus radio host Michael Baisden about his departure and future plans.
Kevin Ross: So, tell me about your contract dispute with Cumulus.
Michael Baisden: I can’t discuss that. We are still negotiating.
KR: Oh, you are saying the show may still be on the air?
MB: I’m saying I can’t talk about the contract.
KR: OK, well, what made you announce that you were leaving on FB last night?
MB: That was not last night, that was this morning, and I saw on Radio Facts where you put said there was a contract issue, and I never said anything about that. I just said we were parting ways with the show.
KR: Well, we have also been talking to our sources but what’s next? What happens if the show is canceled?
MB: Oh, we WILL be on the air again either way, but it feels good just to relax and sit back for a minute. Michael Baisden will always own his show, and a syndication company will get affiliates, but we control the content.
KR: So are you saying you are negotiating with another syndication company
MB: (laughs) I can’t talk about contracts
KR. What do you say about people who say you are “difficult?”
MB: I can’t see why anybody would say that. I mean, we work in a vacuum Kevin and I produce the show, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t have a lot of contact with other people in that process, so whoever said that, I’m not sure what they mean.
I will say that I don’t know any creative person who is not considered “difficult” or “demanding.” They know what they want and the way it should be done.
KR: What have been your greatest challenges over the years with the show?
MB: I would say we have not had many challenges, it may have been a bit difficult at first to get programmers to understand the show’s concept, but I would not say challenges.
KR: Is there any truth to the programmers complaining about you talking too much and wanting to hear more music?
MB: Oh, we resolved that problem years ago and found a solution that everybody was comfortable with.
KR: So you’ve taken a break from writing books is that what you would do during your free time
MB: Yeah, I really got away from that, and that’s what I love doing. I have to find a way to get back into the creative aspect.
KR: Do you think your show has impacted Urban Radio?
MB: Definitely, we have talked about many issues over the years that a Black Radio DJ could not have picked up the mic and done as we did. Issues are of great concern to the black community. I’m very proud of what we’ve done.
KR: Over a year ago, there was a major shift in NY radio, and WBLS was the last Black man standing. You were certainly upset that your show was not picked up by the Radio Station, I know that you asked listeners to call the Radio Station, but is it also true that you purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times asking people to call into the Radio Station and ask that your show be added?
MB: Man, I can’t afford a full-page ad in the New York Times. Whenever I ask listeners to call a Radio Station about the show, I always ask them to be respectful and not to holler and scream at the Radio Station. Yes, I did ask listeners to call WBLS.
KR: I’m sure you have other interviews to do. We appreciate your time and good luck in your future endeavors…
MB: Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate it.