music was the decoration.”
“That’s been the argument since the days of radio existed,” says Skip Dillard, operations manager of New York’s WBLS and WLIB. At the end of the day, you have to play the game. There is a ratings game and a revenue game. I personally have worked with jocks who felt like they weren’t given a chance to talk and do the radio they wanted. You have to find balance. You’re constantly reinventing yourself.
“We always have to find new horizons, and sometimes it may involve doing a shorter break,” Dillard continues. “We provide far more spoken word programming than any urban station in the country. We do over four hours on WBLS and more on WLIB. We’re still at community events, still fighting for equality, education and getting people information like we did during Hurricane Sandy.
“We do our best to answer everyone. And everyone may not like our answers, but it’s business. It’s about survival. It’s about being here. If we stay in the same old ways, doing the same old things, we are going to be in the same situation where we’re always behind the eight ball saying, ‘What happened? How did we lose our business?’ ”
Perhaps that’s what happened to New York City’s legendary Kiss FM…
*Additional reporting by Rhonesha Byng.
Raqiyah Mays is a writer, radio DJ, actress and advocate named by VH1 as a Future Leader of Black History, currently working as entertainment editorial director of Shadow League Digital Media. You can follow her on Twitter @RaqiyahMays.