Michael Baisden “Best Return of the Year”
“ I produced my social media page in the same way I did the radio show, and the audience responded.”
Michael Baisden is one of the most compelling, dedicated, and entertaining people on the air. He took a break from radio for four years. I have seen many people sit back and wait for another opportunity, but I was extremely impressed with how Michael grabbed the bull by the horns and kept his social media accounts entertaining and active. I followed him and was in awe at how he continued to build his brand and fan base while he wasn't even on the air. When the category for “Return of the Year” came up, everyone agreed he was at the top of the list. We got a chance to talk to Baisden about his return.
Congratulations on your successful return to the airwaves. You sound amazing. How does it feel?
It feels great! I've been waiting to get back on the mic for almost 4 years now, and my passion for radio is greater than ever! It should be obvious to anyone listening to the show that I'm excited and ready to go for another 5 to 10 years.
During your break, you were constantly on social media and making appearances. Your determination to keep in touch with your fanbase was unparalleled. What made you decide to do this?
During my 10 years producing my show, I was accustomed to producing music, features, and topics daily, and I enjoyed that aspect of the show, so I figured, why stop? So, I produced my social media page in the same way I did the radio show, and the audience responded. I went from 200,000 fans in 2013 to over 4 million by the time I returned to radio in January 2017.
Can we expect more branding from you, like more books, movies etc.?
Yes, there will definitely be more books. I’m currently working on a book about pursuing success and a children’s book about fatherless children. And of course, relaunching my TV Show, Baisden After Dark, and other film projects are on my things-to-do list for 2018.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next couple of years?
I want to have the number one afternoon show in the country, syndicated in over 100 cities, as well as the number one social media content company. I am currently working on the re-launch of my digital platform, Video Pitch. I'm determined to change the game in the radio industry when it comes to audio and video content.
What advice would you give a younger Michael Baisden today?
Stay true to your brand and don't allow others to convince you to perform on-air in a way that doesn't reflect who you truly are. Also, understand that in order to have a great radio show that will stand the test of time, you must have great producers and an ideology of inclusiveness. I never liked the term Urban Radio or Black Radio. That may be advantageous for sales, but it limits the opportunities and reach of the talent.
Tell us about your team.
Well, of course, I have to start with comedian George Willborn, who’s been with me since 2007. It's great to have his energy and perspective back on the show. Our chemistry is second to none. Then there's Tamara G, the lady of the show, who I've known for many years from her work on Jacksonville and WEDR and Hot 105 in Miami. I also brought on Doug Davis, who was working as a PD in Savannah when I met him. He's been doing a great job of holding down the production and editing duties. Of course, we needed some young blood on the team, so I hired a talented young man from New York—we call him Juan Carlos Urena-Acosta, We call him Juan C, who’s responsible for editing and managing the production of the show to the satellite company. My daughter, Michae' Baisden, is my intern show producer and is doing an excellent job of scheduling guests and producing show topics. And finally, the two newest members of the team are Tanisha Carmichael and Miles Low, both of whom are working out great as producers.
I'm happy that my comeback has been so well received. I think it's important that radio programs have substantive content that people will talk about long after the show is over. For too long, Black Radio has relied on news and humor, instead of opening up the phone lines and talking directly to the people. When you have compelling content and add in the perspective of the on-air personality, it's an experience that's exclusive to that host and station. That's how we win long-term in radio, by engaging the audience every hour instead of having personalities operate in a bubble. And no one engages the audience more often and better than The Michael Baisden Show!