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KJLH’s Pivital Role During the LA Riots Garned the Community Station a Peabody Award


KJLH's Pivotal Role During the LA Riots Garnered the Community Station a well deserved Peabody Award but would corporate Black radio be able to handle and cover an event of this magnitude today? I'm sure we all know the answer.

I had just been in LA for two years when the "Not Guilty" verdicts of the four white policeman who used excessive force during the videotaped arrest of Rodney King were read. I was working at Urban Network which was in BBlackk California miles away from Crenshaw and Florence and Normandie where the rioting began. I remember we were glued to the TV at Urban Network watching the developing coverage of the riots. It was endless, when I got in my car to go home I tuned into the various radio stations KKBT, KFWB, KACE, KFI and then kjlh.

At the time, I was working for KKBT when it was THE station to work in LA. KKBT was in the process of embracing the LA Gangsta rap culture and the station wanted to appeal to a multicultural audience with that genre of music so KKBT was not in a position to cover the riots.   None of the stations in LA did as good of a job covering the riots as KJLH. The community station came through with flying colors to give nonstop coverage and a much more in-depth account from all sides of the riots.   Here's more coverage of the Riots from J.J. Johnson and Isidra Person Lynn.   kevRoss

The 1992  L.A. Riots

 /><p>I never liked doing the all-night shift. I did it for awhile at KFRC/San Francisco and I'd hated it. Then, I did it as a form of once-a-week training at KMPC/L.A. in 1976-77. That was mostly <strong>OK</strong> in that I was on full-time at 1580 <strong>KDAY</strong> and was getting ready to take the morning shift. It was limited, so it was alright, though I never liked the

In 1992, I was working the all-night shift at the Stevie Wonder-owned kjlh (102.3). My ex-KDAY colleague, Lee Michaels, was the programming consultant/Operations Manager for the station at that time and he hired me with what he had, which was overnights. I was grateful to him as I needed a gig. But, I still didn't dig the all-night aspect.

The LAPD cops involved in the Rodney King beating had been tried and the world was awaiting the verdict. On Wednesday, April 29, it was announced: Acquittals all around. L.A. was not in the mood for this, evidently.

I received a call that afternoon requesting that I come to the station ASAP. So, I got in my car and drove in from Sherman Oaks. The full-tilt violence had not yet started, though there was activity and tension in the air. At the station, which was located at Crenshaw Boulevard near 39th Street at the time, fellow air personality George Moore and another staff member or two were standing outside the front door watching what was happening across the street: Looting.

People had torn down the protective grating on the front of the liquor store and were climbing in, grabbing whatever they could, then climbing back out and leaving. I turned to George and asked;

"How long has this been going on?"

"About a couple hours."

"Where are the cops?!"

"No cops."

It was on. Station management knew it and was preparing for the worst, which was about to happen. We received our marching orders, which boiled down to; "Open the phone lines and let people express themselves."

For the next three nights, the worst nights of the rioting in my recollection, I would mostly work the phones, then intersperse the talk with an occasional song pertinent to the moment; the music being a kind of relief. I would arrive at the station before sundown and would not leave until sunrise. I wasn't afraid of the rioters, though perhaps I should have been considering the collective state-of-mind. I didn't wish to encounter LAPD or the National Guard at night. Not by myself in the darkness.

Larry Milov, my friend and business manager, urged me not to go into the "˜hood. He was concerned for my safety. But, as I pointed out to him, the distBlackces  - which is to say the burning and looting - contrary to revisionist myth, were not limited to L.A.'s Black community. Most of those arrested were not Black. And, on the other end, I was driving through an area wherein I'd long been known from my years on L.A. Black radio. Plus, I was traveling in the daytime. Most importantly, as I pointed out to him, this was when the job became truly important.

Driving in, I saw burning buildings as far west as Robertson Boulevard. The distBlackces, apparently, were citywide, though I saw only a limited area. L.A. is vast. And, I imagine that the situation provided perfect cover for insurance scams. But, that's a cynical guess.

On the air, I talked to people. One young woman was in her apartment with the power cut off. She was terrified. She could hear gunshots and sirens (I could hear them on the phone) and could see at least the glow of fires. And, she was in the dark. The only comfort I was able to provide was to point out that the darkness couldn't hurt her. She calmed down, we chatted a little longer, then I went to the next caller.

Given our position in the community and the irresponsible, and ultimately incendiary, content spewing forth on certain other broadcast outlets (There. I said it.), kjlh was the Voice of Reason. We expressed to our listeners our dismay at the verdicts and that we felt the same anger that they felt. But, wanton destruction was no solution.

I received calls from rioters:

"Yeah, I looted! I'm mad about Rodney King!"

"So, that makes it OK to loot and burn?"

"Hey, man, I'm real mad about this!"

"I got that. So am I. But, here's my question; is it ever OK to steal from somebody - anybody - and burn their place down?"

"What they did wasn't right!"

"Agreed. Now, is it OK or not to steal from a person and burn their place down?"

"Well"¦ Uh"¦" (Pause)

"Hey, man, just do what you know is right. And, thanks for calling."

I had given him relief and had vicariously spread a modicum of relief to others by our on-air exchange. That's what we did for three solid days and nights. All of us. In addition, we provided a forum for opinion leaders from State Senator Diane Watson to Jesse Jackson to the comedian, Sinbad, among numerous others.

We offered to receive any loot from anyone feeling bad or having had second thoughts, no questions. We ended up with a lobby full of loot waist-deep from people who'd gone crazy, returned to sanity and felt bad for their actions.

By Saturday morning, the worst was over. DistBlackces were not entirely concluded, but the big explosion was done. The clean-up along Crenshaw was about to begin. People in the area were out with their brooms and shovels. People shuttled in from the predominantly white San Fernando Valley, where I lived, equipped with clean-up gear and ready to help their neighbors.

I once saw a nice little movie where the alien, in a human body, observed that humans are "at your best when things are the worst." Black people had taken it upon themselves to rescue their non-Black neighbors, including the severely injured Reginald Denny, when the distBlackces began. Some had stood in the path of firebomb-armed looters intending to burn down non-Black-owned businesses whose owners were known to be good people; "Not here!" And, in the Valley, white people who lived miles from the violence thought they should throw in and help to get things back together for their fellow Angelenos. That's real.

The following year, kjlh received the prestigious Peabody Award for its "timely, exhaustive and important coverage of the Los Angeles riots."

It was well-deserved. I was part of that.

(Follow me on Twitter @jjsradioblog)
Visit J.J. Johnson's blog at https://jjsradioblog.tumblr.com/post/21931099221/the-1992-l-a-riots

Isidra Person Lynn's video account

The Huffington Post has an Excellent entire write up about the riots here...

RadioFacts Podcast pt 2: Marketing and Branding YOU 1

Radio Facts Podcast pt 2: Marketing and Branding YOU

In this episode kevRoss, Sheila Coates and Lee Michaels talk about Wendy Williams and Charlamagne, two examples of success in radio and how they did it plus we talk about management at radio and how the politics work that can prevent DJs and announcers for becoming successful. If you want to hear more of our podcasts, go here Download this episode (right click and save) Radio Facts podcast podbean

Radio Facts Podcast: Lee Michaels, Sheila Coates and kevRoss on Branding Yourself


"Branding Yourself" PODCAST: Self Promotion, Marketing and Branding. kevRoss, Lee Michaels and Sheila Coates

leeBranding yourself and your skills! Earlier this week, I talked about the limited opportunities for Black announcers to promote themselves outside of the stringent corporate rules in this story but it's not just Black announcers, it's PDs and DJs as well. One of the MOST important way to reach your goals in the industry and in LIFE is to surround yourself with like-minded, positive and motivated people. Whenever I talk to these two, I'm positively exhausted from the sheer knowledge, motivation and education I get from them. These are friends/experts and entrepreneurs who have consistently reinvented themselves I wanted them to be a part of this Podcast with me about the problem and possible solutions to promote yourself in an environment where you get mixed messages from the corporations and the industry as as whole. In this 9-part series we cover the most important aspects of taking advantage of your career, some of which we ignore or may not be aware of.  Lee Michaels, Sheila Coates and I (kevRoss) use over 50 years of collective music, radio and marketing experience to talk about what works and what doesn't in today's tech age. On this show we explore who is responsible for your brand when you have obstacles that prevent you from promoting yourself. I pray that you get as much out of this series as the three of us did during the conversation. Each segment will be 10 minutes long. The Next segment will discuss "Talent, Opportunities and Opposition" It will be published on Friday. Enjoy
RUNTIME: 10 minutes
WBLS's Skip Dillard (WBLS and WLIB): An Interview with RadioFacts Top 10 Programmer of All Time Winner

WBLS’s Skip Dillard (WBLS and WLIB): An Interview with Radio Facts Top 10 Programmer...

 width= KEVIN ROSS: Congratulations on placing in the Top 10 Urban Programmers of All Time. How did you find out about it? Skip Dillard (WBLS and WLIB): I got the blast from Radio Facts and people hit me up and they were excited and told me, "Hey Man you made it!" KR: My very first question is you work for a phenomenal station known worldwide with an OUTSTANDING history... WBLS. Is it an advantage to work for a non (major) corporate station? SD: It's a huge advantage today. A privately held company offers you the advantage of being able to maneuver, doing what you need to do. You have a chance to really get your job done and the pressures at times feels more natural than a publicly traded company. There are much less distractions. KR: What do you think the possibility is of "Mom and Pop" stations returning in the next 10 years? SD: Funny you should mention that, yes, I think that's very possible. I was talking to some colleagues about that recently. The question is will there be more black ownership and there have been a lot of suggestions such as returning the tax certificate. Ultimately, minorities have to have a passion for ownership again and I don't see that too much. Are there anymore Cathy's Hughes' and (the late) Percy Sutton's out there? While it's greatly possible, you don't hear people saying 'When I make my fortune I want to buy a radio station' as much as you did when we were coming up. KR: What's missing from Black radio today? SD: Creativity. Listener's expectations are higher today because they have access to the lifestyle and music online. Also personality is missing. The Radio DJs that read constantly and do their research are able to relate that information to the audience. Whether it be the street or the boardroom. Frankie Crocker, for example, no matter WHO I mention WBLS to, white, Jewish, Black, Asian, Latinos no matter what cross section of people I mention WBLS to they say "FRANKIE CROCKER." There are very few people today who are able to come in and mesmerize a community and beyond like he did. KR: You know, I get a lot of video from young Radio DJs today who want me to hear their shows and it infuriates me that they are under so much pressure and fear. Their creativity has indeed been destroyed and I know that's coming from corporate. How are they going to be able to grow if they can't be themselves? SD: Well I have noticed that there was a common thread amongst the vets back in the day. They got on the air and they did not use their mics to bash people in order to have fun or hurt people. They were able to mesmerize and mobilize. That's something today that Radio DJs don't do, which boils down to laziness and poor show prep. When you make negative comments about, for example, the Haitian community.. like a station in New York recently did, it's (unfortunately) the only time you hear about a Radio DJ but one great example I can offer when it comes to show prep is Wendy Williams. Wendy read EVERYTHING. Show prep for her never ended. She was ALWAYS reading. I'd walk into the studio during her show and she was reading, printing, using interns to print off articles. That the first steps in being a great communicator and giving it back to the community. That's something that Steve Harvey or a big syndicated show has producers do that for them but if you're a local talent you have to do it yourself. KR: Once again, that's another thing that upsets me. The local Radio DJ doesn't have the tools that Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner has. But they are young, they are in the streets they are local and they KNOW the community and do more than get a haircut at the hood barbershop or sit in the limo while an assistant runs into Popeyes to grab a 2 piece snack. The young Radio DJs today are stifled from being creative. I'm not talking about saying something stupid, I'm talking about saying something with substance too (lol). I asked Lee Michaels the same question. Commercial radio seems to be very comfortable with what's working now and as a whole seems to ignore the internet. I predict radio is going to have a very rude awakening like the record industry did in the early 2000s. Someone is going to come up with a gadget or a form of internet radio that's going to explode. I know that WBLS is very active with its website as I check station websites all the time and that's rare. How is that? SD: It's a financial commitment. There are so many other things stations need but we hired someone. It's very tough for every GM, owner, president etc to make a commitment to something that may not pay off for a while when the stations need money now. When you are looking for a webmaster to put your station's information online you can't get someone for $25,000. They are often very high priced. These people are six-figure people in some cases and the benefits may not be seen in 2 or 3 years. KR: Out of curiosity, who are some of the programmers that you respect today? I can't say up-and-comers because we've had the same PDS for the last 10 years (both laugh) SD: I like Derrick Brown, Derrick Corbet, Reggie Rouse is a beast he never sleeps ...he eats, breathes and lives radio. I like KJ Holiday, Jamillah, Brian Wallace who is a great mentor and teacher and several others. KR: How can Black radio grow over the next couple of years. How can we prosper and gain audience. SD. Developing our digital platforms, I think, will go a long way. We know where our listeners are. We often don't want to go to them because it may cost us money and time but we gotta live where our listeners live. Anywhere these people live we have to find a way to be there. Radio has to define a new and innovative ways to sell. A lot of gospel stations don't make the kind of money they should make. You go to a megachurch and you will see more Mercedes in the parking lot than you can imagine. So we have to open up some of these project categories. We finance luxury items, we buy the best shoes the best handbags but we get so little of that money back. We have to sell the power of radio. I have decided to learn sales myself. Not only to increase my longevity in the business but to understand how it works. Finally, we have to have an incubator. I'm going to work with my staff harder, the part timers and the college grads. We have to get them excited about radio. There are very few conventions and conferences for information. We have to pass the passion off to a new generation of young Radio DJs coming up. KR: You just took me back. I really liked going to different cities and hearing different Radio DJs and different music. Why don't more stations teach various departments about their departments? SD: Funny you should mention that, we do that here. Cross training has been very important for me because I think it greatly helps each department understand each other. There are similarities in how close we work together. KR: I know the newer ratings system makes things very tight but a lot of people constantly complain about hearing the same songs over and over. Should Black radio open up the playlist more? SD: You have to ask how many new records listeners are able to handle. The new ratings system means that you are penalized for everything that you do that does not satisfy listener expectation. It's a challenge and something that we talk about constantly. Perhaps the answer is finding a way online to expose more music or imaging promos etc. There are some creative ways but it's part of the reality that we are in today and it conflicts me constantly. KR: Lee Michaels mentioned the same thing and he had a great idea for creating a channel on your website. I know that you're busy and I appreciate the time. Thanks Skip. SD: I'm honored that I was one of the chosen ones for the contest and even if I had not been in the top 10 I was very excited about it. I'm really looking forward to the new contest (The Radio Facts Top 30 Black Women in Media) a well.

Radio Facts Interviews a Winner of the Top 10 Programmers, Lee Michaels

 width= Over the past few months Radio Facts has taken the initiative to honor those in Black radio who have made our industry great. The first contest was The Top 10 Urban Radio DJs of All Time which had a phenomenal response and the second one was The Top 10 Urban PDs of All Time which also has had a phenomenal response and both continue to. Our number 1 winner in the Top 10 Urban Programmers is industry vet Lee Michaels. We wanted to speak to him about his programming philosophy along with his thoughts on today's radio. Enjoy... KEVIN ROSS: How is it possible that the industry would choose a person who is presently NOT working in programming as the number one pic in The Radio Facts Top Urban Radio Programmers of All Time? LEE MICHAELS: I think it speaks volumes for the frustration that most people in the industry feel. When you become frustrated you tend to gravitate towards a time when things were prosperous, innovative, motivating and exciting and I guess when you look through the last 30 years I've been fortunate enough to have my name resonate with all of that. That's the only thing that I can think of. I talk to people all the time in the industry and there is a great frustration. They don't like what's happening. They don't like being under the gun and being told not to do anything creative or edgy. It's a pushed down cookie-cutter programming philosophy that exists in this industry right now. KR: Is that the reason that you are NOT working right now? LM: Yeah, it's just frustrating. I've lost a lot of interest in having a"job" as a PD, OM or GM because the industry, to be honest, it just sucks right now. It's not exciting.   I got into this business because it was exciting and it gave me goosebumps.   The chills and the thrills that you once got from hearing a great break or capturing that true theater of the mind is what excited me about the business and it doesn't exist anymore. Some people will take what I'm about to say as a negative. I just think that a lot of the talent on the air today is not really talent. It COULD be talent but the lack of coaching from program directors and upper management, ownership ... it doesn't help. You get a guy off the street or out of the club and he's a hip hop musicper and you throw him on the air, he speaks the language of the streets but he has no clue as to what radio is all about. He doesn't know how to take that rawness and put it into creative mode and make it entertaining. And then Urban AC is boring and dead. No real creativity. The Radio DJs are not allowed to be entertaining or to perform. It's frustrating and I think the listeners are frustrated. What radio better understand is the listener has many choices, radio, satellite, the internet, iPads, iPods, iPhones and they can create any kinds of stations they want. I constantly see people everyday with those white headphones and they are not listening to a Walkman (laughs) they are listening to their own creativity. KR: Why do you think commercial radio is not threatened by the possibilities of internet radio. LM: Internet radio is the new frontier. A lot of the internet stations are not creative but the opportunity is there. Many are just jukeboxes now but people are gravitating to that because they hear the songs they want to hear. Commercial radio has short playlists. We beat the hell out of 30 songs for 16 weeks and it's a shame (laughs). KR: So you're doing your own online talk network USTalkNetwork? LM: Yes, it's on hiatus and we started it in June of 2008. We're going to incorporate the syndication of the programs into terrestrial radio and we're seeking additional investments to expand. We're rolling out our first show very soon with Andre Eggelletion, who is the main fill in host for Al Sharpton. He's creative, intelligent, entertaining and he can talk about any subject. This is what's missing, creativity and someone willing to put in the time for a great show, which is called show prep. KR: Several programmers that I talk to on a regular basis admit there is an effort to "dumb down" programming for Black radio's audience. With that in mind, do you think Black radio is interested in an intellectually stimulating talk format for the listener? LM: Absolutely. I think people are tired of being "dumbed down." What we experienced at USTalknetwork.com when we   had a peak of 100,000 people a month come to the network, were great comments, such as: "What a fresh mindset,"   "I'm learning something" People have told me "I didn't know the Federal Reserve was not a government owned agency" It's not it's a private entity. You know when you can tell people things they don't know. They become sharper and they become more intelligent Americans. KR: How important is it for Urban radio in 2011 to be the voice of the community. LM: Well, that's part of what's missing. In the beginning of radio you were licensed to serve your local community. Deregulation that started with the Reagan administration and evolved with each administration after that... made it less and less important. News, public affairs and the things we were required to do we don't have to do anymore. The problem Kevin is the federal government did not inform the public that if you don't like what you hear on the radio that you can complain to the FCC and say "This operation is not serving our best interest" and the FCC will pay attention to that. Nobody informed us (the community) that the power is in your hands. So the owners have had a free run to ignore the community. Every successful station that I have programmed, I was ALWAYS involved in the community. If you are programming a station today and you don't know what's going on in the streets and in the various communities that you can be heard in... shame on you. You have something there that you can massage and benefit from, help grow your radio station, feel the pulse of the community, be a part of that community and more importantly, a competitor can come into the market dump millions of dollars to try to unseat you and they can't because you are entrenched and embedded into that community. Look around the country at OMs/PDs like Bobby O'Jay in Memphis at WDIA What he is doing in Memphis with an AM station in 2011 is incredible. He's in the community and people know who he is. A competitor can't come in and stop him. KR: What do you think about syndication? LM: It has a role, it can be positive or negative. The big problem with it is the broadcast industry chases names instead of talent. They are looking for instant success. They will grab a singer, comedian, TV star and try to turn them into a radio personality and it doesn't always translate. No matter how much money they pour into it. That person is not committed, they don't understand the theater of the mind and they don't have the right coaching. Too many times they are paid a couple million dollars but the company doesn't pay a hundred or two hundred thousand for a great producer nor surround that person with a great support staff. KR: There is a general consensus amongst radio people that Bucke Wilde who was just hired then demoted at KKDA in Dallas was destined to fail because he was not allowed to bring his team with him. Many state that he was hired as a replacement for Skip Cheatham instead of replacing the entire show and the chemistry between he and the previous staff was not there. Nobody can blame him for taking the position but what are your thoughts? LM: When you take a guy out of his comfort zone he will fail. This is a bad decision from management. They want instant success. I submit to you that this is unrealistic. When opportunities like this come up, I personally, would rather take a person who has the fire and desire to do a great show and to be a great personality who has no name but they will come in 2 hours early and stay 3 hours after they are off but they are willing to do all the things necessary to become a star. KR: I am pro local talent. One of my greatest frustrations with the industry is that syndication in the mornings is on so many stations that it has interrupted the cycle of local Radio DJ progression.. LM: You are right.. when Tom Joyner launched his show and he began to spread all over the country and I saw all the people being bumped off.... the morning guy was bumped to afternoon and the afternoon guy was bumped to nights and the night guy bumped to overnights but the overnight guy lost his job. Somebody lost their job. In many cases, with high profile syndicated shows, you have to pay money and give up a lot of inventory. Some of the shows are not saving the station money. The station is hoping the person's name will bring instant success. KR: That's odd most people are under the impression a station saves money by running syndicated shows. LM: Sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. I know of one station for example where they spent $750,000 and gave up 2 to 300 units a week. You're probably looking at almost 2 million in a combination of cash, out of pocket and commercial avails. You give me that kind of budget... I will give you an ironclad local morning show that can't be beaten. KR: Is it possible to localize a syndicated show in order for stations to garner revenue from local businesses? LM: It's very difficult but not impossible. You can't truly localize it but it's not going to work for a local advertiser who wants your personality to endorse his product and do live appearances. KR: What I find incredibly ironic is that the syndicated host is given everything the local host should have, budget, the opportunity to sell and program his or her own show, creativity etc. Today's syndicated hosts are treated like Radio DJs were in the 70s... if local Radio DJs are given the same tools, I don't see why they can't be motivated and successful too. I admire your philosophy, have you been offered any opportunities recently? LM. No because I have taken myself off the market and focused in on being an entrepreneur and being on the cutting-edge I enjoy doing something new and I've always been in front of the curve or creating the curve. KR: I can fully relate. You've been a leader... LM: That's what I am. I think it's important to always think about what's next or you will be left behind. KR: You are one of the very few black PDs who has had the chance to program CHR radio. One of the greatest things that disturbs me about the industry is the discrimination. This is a rhetorical question but I'd like your take on the subject as a person with experience. What is the problem? LM: There is absolutely a problem. It's nothing more than protecting territory. Some of it is competition and some is race based. I've experienced general market radio in several different situations, in my early years in VA I worked for a Top 40 station and used to get death threats. I worked at 99x in New York and I programmed KMEL. I've seen it from different perspectives and eras. It's the same and I don't know that it's gonna change. It's nothing more than ignorance. If a person is the best in what they do they should be hired. KR: The corporations have strict rules about radio employees talking to the press. In this age of marketing, social networks etc. How do you feel about this? LM: That's a tough one. The station is trying to protect their brand. There's all kinds of pressure being placed on personalities to brand the radio station on and off the air without an opportunity to brand themselves, thats' unfortunate because if you lose your job there goes your brand. I'm one who is an advocate for protecting everybody's brand. I may be wrong Kevin but I think slavery was abolished? (both laugh) I think everyone should have the ability to brand themselves. That's a very important part of their survival in today's environment. KR: Many in the industry complain that we are hearing the same station every market. LM: Yes, that's true there are regional differences. If you are going to force feed a song to someone in the southeast or more importantly exclude something what I submit is that programmers have to find a way to inject that into their programming because that's what the audience expects. If you don't live up to their expectations the audience will find it somewhere else. KR: What is the greatest impact that corporations suffer when tying the hands of programmers who are not allowed to "program?" LM: The programmers fear losing their jobs and their lips are zipped. The greatest impact is the corporations kill the creativity. It's a shame. You shoot yourself in the foot as an owner. Let people be creative, let them express themselves and bring something to the table that YOU don't know. This is what's missing from radio today.. creativity and variety. KR: What do you think about the lack of conferences. Are they/were they important? LM: I remember when Elroy Smith was new to the industry at a conference. He didn't know anyone and he was very green. There were people that took him into their fold and showed him the ropes. KR: That's so ironic, when I was green to the industry and didn't know anyone, it was Elroy who invited me to the table to have dinner with all the industry greats at a Jack the Rapper conference. Everyone was so welcoming (except one person) and I never forgot that. The people who welcomed me and the one person who shunned me. Where do you see yourself five years from now? LM: I'd like to be the chairman for a company that is about advancing the careers of others. I'd like to develop web applications that market and help promote new product. KR: What is your advice to those who are not working who are depressed and drained.. LM: You can't let that last job be the stop to your life. In every negative there is a positive. Look at what you have learned from it. Make sure you have a Plan B. Even if you are at the top of your game. Make sure you KNOW what you will be doing... next. We've already seen the way this industry is there are no guarantees. KR: What are some of the other things programmers or Radio DJs can do when they are out of work.   What are some of the things that you have done? LM: I was the press secretary for the prosecutor outside of Chicago. We can do politics. A spokesperson for a politician, corporation etc. Anything that inspires you. Learn how to make money on the internet. You can make money with a lot of things. KR: Speaking of online. Most Black radio stations are ignoring their websites. Programmers have informed me that it's the last thing anyone wants to do besides three other jobs at the station. LM: That's unfortunate but a good point. There is some relevance to that. A large portion of radio's audience lives on the internet.   Radio should have a programmer for the internet site. I'm going to put something out there... why not add several channels to your website? There is an audience for it. If you have a hip hop music station. you're only playing new hip hop music music. What's happening to the old hip hop music music? Why not create a channel on your site or HD channel with categories of music that compliment what you already do. The response is always, why would I want to do that when I want them to listen to what we are playing? Well, if they don't get it from you they will get it from somewhere else. You can monetize it, insert commercials, get announcers to voice-track etc. Let your mind be free. KR: Great idea! Thanks Lee for the time and congratulations on your win in The Radio Facts Top 10 Urban Radio Programmer of All Time. LM: Thanks Kevin. I was very moved by the win and when Maxx Myrick called me and told me I won, I didn't believe it. I started at the top of the post and kept scrolling down and once I got to Frankie Crocker, I didn't think I was in the Top 10. When I saw that I was Number 1 it brought tears to my eyes. It has had such an impact on me. My wife was just as thrilled.
Top 10 Winner Lee Michaels Interview this Thursday in Radio Facts

Top 10 Winner Lee Michaels Interview this Thursday in Radio Facts

This Thursday we will post an interview with the The Radio Facts Top 10 Urban Radio Programmers of All Time #1 Winner... Mr. Lee...