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Basics of How to Succeed in the Music Businesses

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There are certain rules that music and radio pros MUST follow if they are to have long-term success. These are the ones I find most helpful. I've made some of these mistakes but thank God I'm a person who learns lessons quickly. Hit "NEXT" above or below for the next segment.

One of The Breakfast Club’s Top 10 Interviews: Byron Allen (video)

This has got to be one of if not THE best, MOST IMPORTANT interviews I have ever heard on the radio. There is nobody better to do it than these three members of The Breakfast Club Radio Show. All can relate to the entrepreneur concepts. If you are even THINKING about running a business or being an entrepreneur watch this. I have heard so many great comments about this segment.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEsMFlh1MLk

Who Was Gene Griffin? See Comments

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Who Was Gene Griffin? Gene Griffin died May 25th 2009. He was most famous for discovering the 80s and 90s hitmaking group GUY which included Teddy Riley, Timmy Gatling and Aaron Hall

The Late Kenny Diamond Named a Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inductee

Shortly before his death, Sidney Wood had been caregiving for his mother who died Dec 18th, 2019 and he was trying to purchase a station in Americus, GA. The station deal fell through.

Saturday while taking a drive up the coast, I was talking to a longtime radio friend in Atlanta and out of the blue and completely off the subject, I asked her if she knew Sidney Wood or the name we knew him better by Kenny Diamond. She said the name sounded familiar and she looked him up and said: "Oh yeah I remember him." We then continued the conversation about something else.

Sunday morning I woke up to a message from her stating that Sidney Wood (Kenny Diamond) died this past week. We were both dumbfounded that I brought up his name out of the blue and then this morning she heard from one of her radio contacts that he had died.

I started in radio with Kenny at WIGO in Atlanta in the mid-80s. We were all kids, hungry and starving ( LITERALLY just like everybody else who worked at WIGO) WIGO was truly a test of how bad you wanted to work in radio because it was by far in my 30-year history the first and the worst radio station I have ever worked for and quite often Alum from the station joke about how horrible it was working for the late Dorothy Brunson.

Kenny came to the station from Kiss 104, a super hot station in the market in the 80s that went head to head with V103. Kenny came to WIGO from Kiss and shortly thereafter I went to work for Kiss 104. "I had to fire Kenny because he kept getting chicken grease on the vinyl. He was great on the air but he kept eating in the booth." Mitch Faulker told me as we laughed this weekend.

The late Byron Pitts hired the late Nate Quick and myself at WIGO and I'm not sure if he also hired Kenny but we all worked together and I remember being blown away by Kenny's amazing talent. Kenny not only had the voice he had the confidence and celebrity looks that could have catapulted him into superstardom.

I never wanted radio as much as many people that I know did but Kenny was absolutely MEANT to work in radio. His style and delivery were second to none and he was phenomenal on the air.

He became an even bigger radio star when he went to V103 doing afternoon drive and then he became the music director. At that time he was also working with another radio great from my hometown, the late Keith Pollard who was an AM superstar in the 70s and 80s but he was not a good fit for an FM transition. Like many other AM radio DJs, They didn't sound as good on FM.

Kenny got into an unfortunate legal situation at V that derailed the rest of his promising career. As if that wasn't enough he crossed the street into another investigation simultaneously that sealed his fate.

He disappeared for a while then did what he did best. He reinvented himself. He ran for office and then when that failed he went to work for Creflo Dollar. He was the voice of the church for many years and he also did some side jobs there.

In recent years Kenny was able to get on WAOK with something he had never done Talk radio and he did a great job with that even though he had no experience as a talk show host. He was always willing to give something a try. I never met anyone more ambitious than Kenny Diamond.

At last, he ended up doing sales for Cumulus when WAOK was over and that was his last industry gig to my knowledge. Ironically, he reached out to me within the last few months to do some writing for Radio Facts and to catch up. I never got the chance to respond.

Rest in Power Kenny. Your talent and ambition were undeniable and you were the greatest at whatever you chose to do. Say hello for the rest of the industry to Byron Pitts, Keith Pollard, Nate Quick, and yes even Dorothy Brunson.

The Most Rotten Kids on the Planet Snatch Mother’s Wig off in Grocery Store...

Radio Facts: Can you imagine being stuck at home right now with kids like this during the crisis? This woman has lost control of...

Woman from Wild Wings Contacts Radio Facts , States Black Patrons Asked to Leave...

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radio facts,radio djs,urban adult,Urban Radio,
urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singersThis story was orginally posted on August 26, 2013. The irony is that the company has had repeated claims of racial discrimination since. They are involed in one as you read this.A woman contacted Radio Facts who works at the Wild Wings restaurant that asked the black patrons to leave. and asked that we allow her to be anonymous. She states there are several reasons the group was asked to leave (below)  Radiofacts.comYou’re only getting one side of story here. I work at the restaurant and your representation of the events is way off base. The group was being loud and obnoxious to both customers and staffers. They kept complaining about their long wait and were talking about how “whitey” was able to get seated, but they were not. The problem was that they had a large group and insisted on sitting next to each other. We only had one area that could accommodate their large group and the patrons in that area were not done. So yes, some “whities” were able to be seated before them, but only because they were going to a different area. We also seated non-whites in other areas too…They made this a racial issue before anything. One of the guests also insulted a deaf white girl because she didn’t respond to one of them telling her to move (she was deaf and didn’t hear them) They were also all standing in the middle of the walk way, making it difficult for customers to leave. We asked them if they could move over, but they said they can stand wherever they want, and if we wanted them out of the way then we should seat them. The customer that was offended was offended by a particular individual’s constant uses of the word “n*gger” When asked to stop, he threw out a long string of racial epithets against one of my co-workers. See the original story here

Black Reporters were not ready for White Police Chief’s Response for Being on his...

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The Black reporters were not ready for police chief Edward Flynn's response when asked why he was being disprespectful by

Historic 92.3 The Beat in LA: A Great Station with a Dark History

KKBT 92.3 in Los Angeles, "The Beat" was all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s. But all that glittered...

D.L. Hughley Says America Has a Real Problem and It’s Not Colin Kaepernick

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Radio Facts:  D.L. Hughley does it again! It's getting to the point that every time something controversial happens in America, I'm looking to D.L. Hughley and a few others opinions on the matter.Of course, I have my own opinion on the matters involving Colin Kaepernick but DL gives his opinion in such an unapologetic fashion and it is quite refreshing. Listen to what DL has to say about this new ...

D.L. Hughley Destroys Gabby Douglas Hair Critics

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Radio Facts: Remember the time DL went left on Gabby Douglas hair critics?Just like the last time Gabby Douglas was proudly representing America and winning gold, there are always the haters. These haters are dealing with a severe issue of self-hate more than anything else as they continue to blast Gabby Douglas about her hair being nappy. D.L. Hughley, who we also know is very outspoken about everything, used his ...

Kyle Santillian’s Ready to TAKEOVER the Radio Industry

radio facts,radio djs,urban adult,Urban Radio,
urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singers  Many urban radio people, including PDs (still), feel it's better to maintain a low profile to maintain a more neutral stance with their respective corporations.[/penci_blockquote]This story originally ran June 11, 2017Several years ago I was getting constant videos and segments from a radio show at WJMH. Kyle Santillian was on a hustle to do greater things. I ran the segments because it was almost unheard of for black Radio DJs to promote themselves and as an industry news trade it made my job very difficult but I understood the resistance. Many urban radio people, including PDs (still), feel it's better to maintain a low profile to maintain a more neutral stance with their respective corporations. I also understand the corporation's need to protect its branding. Nevertheless, Santillian found a way to slip through the cracks and do what he needed to do. The industry took note including industry vet Derrick Brown who took a chance by bringing the vet to a major market to do the morning show after a previous morning show at GCI failed. Before that WGCI had been running syndicated shows. Kyle Santillian was born in Philadelphia and raised in Franklinville, New Jersey, a small rural town about 30 minutes from downtown Philly.  He started his radio career in 1999 as an intern at WJMH (102 Jamz) in Greensboro, NC. while he was a Junior at Winston-Salem State University. He was then promoted from intern to promotions assistant. Promotions assistant to part-time on air. Part-time on-air to full-time nights in 2001.  He hosted nights for two years. Then he hosted Mornings from 2003 to 2014….amazingly all at the same station. After that, his 15 year run at Jamz, ended and he was unemployed for about six months then he landed at WGCI doing mornings in Chicago.RADIO FACTS: I remember before the WGCI gig your online hustle was hard. You were obviously determined. How did you motivate yourself? KYLE SANTILLIAN: I was just motivated by not wanting to be a failure.  Not wanting to be a person who lost their job and was never working in radio again.  I was using the only outlet I had at the time, the internet.   Did/Do you have any mentors? Absolutely!  I would say my first mentor was Kendall B most recently of KS 107.5 in Denver.  He was working Nights when I was interning at Jamz. He was the 1st person to allow me to touch the board and even run his board for a portion of his show. From there, I’ll just list some names of some people that have given me great advice and have been an inspiration to me at different times in my career.
  • D’ Cherie of WNAA 90.1 Greensboro (Rest in Peace)
  • Brian Douglas of WJMH Greensboro
  • Uzi D of WPEG in Charlotte
  • Sammy Mack aka Buckwilde formerly of 95.7 Jamz in Birmingham
  • BJ Murphy of Charlotte
What has been the greatest asset to your career? I personally believe that it’s the ability to be a “real person.”  I was trained from day one to be a personality…be who you are on air, rather than just a “liner Radio DJ.”  Let your personality show & don’t overemphasize your words. What has been the greatest challenge? Sometimes the challenge is maintaining the balance between work and family.  I try to do my best to handle both accordingly. Sometimes there are conflicting things on my calendar but overall, I think I’ve done pretty well with it. It’s not easy though. Many radio people say that syndication sucks but if they are offered the chance to do it, they will jump at it. Is that fair? It’s a catch 22. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of one day having that national audience as well.   What's a typical day like in your working world? A typical day starts at 4 am.  On air from 6-10 am.  Depending on the day, after work is either meetings, recording promos or commercial/sponsor reads.  Hopefully get home with enough time to catch a power nap, before the kids get out of school.  Juggle their after school activities and helping with homework, dinner, family time. Then spend a couple of hours on prep for the next day, searching the internet for tomorrow’s news, topics or soundbites.  After all that, some nights there are evening events to attend and sometimes I can just shut it down, but it just depends on the day. Are there any industry people that you greatly admire? Absolutely.  I grew up listening to Power 99 in Philly, So I have great memories of Cater & Sandborn in the Morning.  I always admired them. (Rest in Peace to Brian Carter.)  Also, Lady B was influential to our whole generation of Hip Hop! Then, of course, Colby Colb’s “Radioactive” show.  As far as those who are currently on-air, I’ve always loved Big Boy’s show in LA.  I have a lot of respect for Charlamagne and The Breakfast Club Radio Show. I also used to listen to Angela Yee on XM before they all formed the Breakfast Club.  Because I started radio in NC, I admire all of the people before me who began or spent their early days there and went on to achieve great things. People like Skip Dillard (WBLS and WLIB), Derreck Corbett, Bushman, Mad Hatta, Tre Black (RIP), Afrika Perry, Angelique Perrin, and many more!Where do you see the industry going in the next couple of years? I see the industry continuing to evolve and further utilizing Digital. The radio industry is already utilizing all the available digital platforms as a way to extend our brands and I expect that to continue. How do you feel about technology?  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I’ve always had a love for electronics, technology, recording equipment, computers and things like that.  It's dope to have the world at your fingertips BUT always being on your phone can make you MISS what’s actually in front of your face. Social media is consuming people. We have to find a way to balance and use it productively without it dominating our lives. How important is social media to do your show? When it comes to our show, it’s very important.  It helps people get a glimpse into who we are.  It lets them know what’s coming up.  It allows people to follow up on what they may have already heard on-air.  I find that most importantly, it allows people to connect with us.  When you meet people in the street that follow you on social media, they talk to you like you’ve been best friends for years. Lol.  I love that about it.What's the greatest mistake that you find many radio people constantly make?  Trying to be too cool.  Just be you.  Be fun. Be vulnerable. Be emotional (at times.) Just be a real person. What do you think makes a Charlamagne vs a local radio Radio DJ who is stuck in a market for years? Exactly what I previously stated.  He has always been unapologetically Charlamagne.  He is who he is.  Also, people don’t network like they use too.  You may work in one market, but who do you know in other markets?  Who can you reach out to another city if you had to?  For YEARS I was in Greensboro trapped in a bubble so to speak.  Then maybe 2-3 years before my run ended there, I made every effort possible to go and meet people outside of my market.  I think that helped me when I found myself looking for a new job.  I also think that, even when you’re trying your best to be local, you have to work on having a sound that can also resonate in other markets. What would you be doing if you were not in radio? I used to make a MEAN hoagie back in the day when I worked at Wawa! Lol.  But honestly, I don’t know.  Other than Hip Hop itself, radio is the only thing that kept my attention long term. Being in the 3rd largest radio market how do you stay grounded from the "industry life?" (separating personal and professional) Two things.  #1 is my family.  All that “celebrity stuff” means absolutely NOTHING inside the walls of my home.  My wife and I are trying to raise responsible kids who will achieve their own greatness and also have an understanding of the struggles of our people, past and present. The second thing is, I was an adult before I ever got into radio.  I remember what real life can be like, and will never let me allow an “industry” life to get me jaded.  I do enjoy being in the industry and participating in industry events but at the same time, I kinda vowed to never fall into that “industry” mindset.  What's the best way to develop lasting relationships in the industry?  In my opinion, being genuine, humble and listening more than talking. Do you think it's possible to have true friends in a lifestyle industry? Yes.  And if not, just have a friend who’s NOT in the industry. Personally, I had enough family and friends before I got into this, so I’m good.  I’m the oldest of damn near 30 1st cousins…they’re my friends. Lol. What are some of the things that you are working on to build your branding?  Being consistent with my on-air features, appearances in the community and have a presence in the Chicago social/entertainment scene are my priorities.   How do you educate yourself about the future of the industry? Mostly through conversations with people like yourself and various friends and PDs around the country. Any advice for a young Radio DJ interesting in radio? Dedicate yourself to being the same person on-air that you are in real life.  Utilize the platforms that you have to develop your skills.  Create your own content. Develop your own audience.  Listen to those who’ve done it before you.  Don’t expect the station to put you in a position to do anything.  Be a self-starter!Do you come across young people who are interested in radio or has that dwindled over the years? Of course!  I JUST got a call from someone who wants to do radio and is looking for advice.  Also, I’ve recently spoken to a classroom full of media students.  The interest is strong. Where do you see yourself in 3 years? Gainfully Employed. Lol. Anything else? Yeah man, I’m happy to be in Chicago!  The city has been good to me since day one.  Shout out to Derrick Brown for returning my email and bringing me on board here at WGCI! Lol.  Seriously though, I’m just grateful to still be doing this every day.  Has it always been easy? No.  But I do believe that it’s always been worth it!   

24/7: In 24 Years the Seven Truths I Now Know About The Music Industry

radiofacts.comYeah, I'm Pretty Sure These Things Are True...

Radio Facts has been in business for 24 years. In that time, as the CEO, I've had a LOT of ups and downs. There were times I wanted to walk away, times I've loved it, times I've been frustrated and times I wanted to give up on the industry. But something always kept luring me back. Where am I now? In a GREAT place, Radio Facts is at its peak and I'm focusing more on industry business instead of just an industry site because we NEED more black businesses in the industry.

As the industry is headed in a more entrepreneurial and online event production status, it would behoove current industry pros to educate ourselves on everything from SEO standards to affiliate marketing and blogging to increase side gig revenue for the future. I cannot say it enough, radio is a springboard NOT a reclyner. Radio is to be used to ADVANCE our careers not stagnate.

If I was a statistician and I was concentrating on the industry specifically, there are at least seven things I am confident I know for sure about our industry after 24 years from a national perspective. Ready? Here we go. Click "Next" below for the next segment.

radiofacts.comBlack People DO look out for other Black People

I can honestly say, had it not been for black people I would not have succeeded with my own business in the industry. This does not mean that ALL black people have supported me. There have been some (especially men for some reason) who don't support any of the black trades but both men and women from all races have looked out for me which is what I focus on. I can honestly tell you that, for the most part, black people DO lookout for other blacks and want to see us succeed.

radiofacts.comRacism DOES exist in our Industry

I went to a conference once and went to an event on a hotel roof in downtown LA to meet the president of a big company. I was shocked to see that I was literally the ONLY black person in the entire room of 400 people. In all fairness, there were at least 8 other blacks in the room but they were walking around with trays of hors d'oeuvres and giving me that look like 'help us get the hell out of here, you must be somebody important.' I literally felt like I was in a scene from a slave movie. It was disgusting and this company which is a HUGE company in the industry consistently gets LOW marks for diversity but they make a TON of money from Black product. A few years ago I would have revealed who it is but I won't do it here.

Another example, I called a record label and spoke to the white head of the label who told me ... and I quote "I can't believe you actually have the nerve to call me." I was shocked but not surprised. This is a label that makes a TON of money of rap product.

There are people on the radio side who play a TON of black music and have a ton of black concerts and events who want NOTHING to do with black people in the industry no matter how many pictures they take cheesing it up with black rappers. This does not apply to all of them but way too many to count.

Racism is always ridiculous but when it's evident that the perpetrators are only here to make money off the black talent there is not much that can be done especially when the black artists don't speak up. They are the ones with the true power to change the situation.

radiofacts.com

Urban Radio Talent Do Not Promote Gigs and Good Quality Content Creation Enough

A MAJORITY of the press releases we get for Radio Facts for as long as I can remember are promoting gigs for everybody BUT black people especially black men. Black talent, especially at radio, RARELY are promoted and don't promote themselves to the trades. Promoting yourself on social media is OK when it's good quality content creation or great segments that happen in the radio studio but when it comes from a national 3rd party to THE INDUSTRY it has added benefits for the future of the talent. I've heard some people say, 'we're rarely promoted, so there is no news.'  That, unfortunately, is true. The ladder for black talent in the industry is often missing many rungs but I also know many black radio people also fear self-promotion for corporate disciplinary action.

Please tell me what radio corporation has a policy against promoting yourself and I will call them myself and ask them what the problem is. That makes NO sense to me but I've heard it time and again. For those who don't promote themselves, I URGE you to look at the last segment.

radiofacts.com

We Rely TOO Heavily on Others to Measure our Efficiency and Effectiveness

I have seen countless Black people ESPECIALLY on the radio side sit too comfortably for TOO long waiting for others to approve of or measure our efficiency and effectiveness not considering that there are radio people in management positions who are lagging when it comes to social media and music trends. When I hire people to work for me. I look for people who are smarter than me. Only a damn fool keeps hiring people they can direct, especially in today's industry.

When it comes to YOU, if there is no risk to find a way to build your brand, without interrupting your radio corporation's rules, there is no reward and when the company is done with you, it can lead to disaster depending on your age no matter WHAT your age. Be creative in your venture to build your brand and fill the current industry holes that are missing and on the radio side... there is a LOT. I have seen SO many black radio people keep getting the exact same positions after being laid off over and over for YEARS. At what point do we aim higher? If you are comfortable, it's not the time to rest, it's the time to WORK.

radiofacts.com

Black Women are More Compassionate and Participatory with Black Causes

I've heard black industry women talk about each other, mostly in positive ways. From this perspective, I see a LOT of support from black women for other black industry women and black industry business.

MOST of the complaints about nepotism often apply more to black men in power positions in the industry whereas black women tend to be more likely to give someone new a chance that she doesn't know that well but who is making a worthwhile contribution. When we do the Women of Color in Media magazine, we do run into a bit of animosity from some women who think they should be honored OVER other women but that's with ANY situation where people are being honored. Black women who are in competing positions with honorees still call and ask for copies of the magazine.

radiofacts.com

We Are Often Apprehensive About Stepping Outside the "Black Box"

Look at the greatest success stories in the Black industry and you will see that people like Cathy Hughes, Charlamagne, Tom Joyner , Wendy Williams and others stepped outside the box and created their own paths to success by daring to be different and using all of their options. Black culture is not only prominent and valuable it is OURS. The industry KNOWS how valuable black culture is but the question is do WE? I have seen SO many examples of us giving away our talent and culture to other races then complaining about them stealing it. We are without question the ONLY race that allows every other race to borrow, use and profit from our culture with little response.

radiofacts.com

Comfortability, Retirement, Misplacement, Layoffs or Ageing Out Often Means Death

This is the MOST important thing Radio Facts has taught me. Over the years I have written many death notices with headlines that say "Vet Dies" in your emails. I can honestly tell you, at one time it started to take a toll on me and sent me spiraling into a dark funk. Mostly because a LOT of it was preventable. Yes, you read that right, PREVENTABLE. A majority of the people who get sick and die almost always have the same set of circumstances, they are not working and can't get back in the industry. They really die of broken hearts that morph into ailments and diseases. They get frustrated then depressed then ill and then they die.

Out of 100% of the deaths I've written about over the years at least 90% of the cases are what I described above. No joke when I say this... KEEP WORKING, PLAN FOR LIFE AFTER THE INDUSTRY AND PURSUE YOUR  OTHER PASSIONS... NOW!!! When you get up each day without goals, drive, passion or purpose you develop the soul of an invalid and it's hard to bounce back. Quite often this comes from a lack of preparation while we are working or failing to plan for the future and the refusal to accept a consistently changing industry. It will not change back to the industry that you once knew in your lifetime, accept the changes and be willing to go with them.

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