February 15, 2009

Atlanta Listeners Set to Protest at Radio One's Atlanta Offices

Tosha Johnson, an Atlanta resident has protested Radio One Atlanta's format changes. She has started a group that is fighting to keep Warren Ballentine and Rev. Al Sharpton on the air. The group will protest outside Radio One’s offices in downtown Atlanta Monday from 8 to 4 p.m. An online petition has been started to ask Radio One to return Ballentine and Sharpton to the air despite the new PPM ratings system that suggest that Radio One needed to make changes within their Atlanta cluster of stations.

Their first move was to dump the Smooth Jazz format on 107.5 FM and replace it with Majic "A Mix of R&B Music." The next move, which will occur this evening, will end the "Grown Folks Radio" talk/music format, along with the Ballentine and Sharpton shows because of low ratings. Praise will move to 102.5 and 97.5 will simulcast the programming on 107.5.

The wording of the online petition is a bit interesting and dare I say comical at times. You might even be able to run this stuff next to The Boondocks comic strip. It suggests that "everything will be done to prevent the removal of these two moguls." Not sure if I would refer to Ballentine and Sharpton as moguls...

I also found this paragraph in the petition:

Supposedly this decision is strictly based on presumptuous advertising dollars that was forecast according to listenership during the primary and presidential-election season. Bottom line the expectation and demand for quality programming, is assumed, no longer required in this market now that President Obama is in office. It is totally incomprehensible as to why Radio One would take this stand being these two individuals have such a huge following. ...The amount of blacks that carried the PPM was not a concise enough consensus to base a decision to take Warren Ballentine and Al Sharpton off of the air. ...Now if that ain't some psuedo-intellectual, pretentious, bourgeois Atlanta BS writing there (I'm so impressed with the use of such big words, I wonder if they even know what they're saying, Caution: Perpetrating ALERT); Can someone tell me WTF this petition is saying? Please make it make some sense to me...

Here's some comments I found at the petition's site:

#657 I will stop listening to 'free' radio and get XM should my dependable 102.5FM radio station stops carrying Sharpton and Ballentine. We need their voices and much more Progressive talk on free radio. I've got a lot of friends that have voiced serious disappointment about these events should they come true!! I certainly hope not. ...Well I say good luck with that XM Satellite Radio purchase in the long run, given the fact that they're now owned by Sirius and about to file for bankruptcy...

#676 This is a travesty! These radio shows are very informative and positive. We are tired of shooking and jiving, music about sex and bootys, in favor of intelligent talk radio. ...well said except for the shooking, maybe it's shucking, or maybe it's shaking...

#13 I need Warren' s educated thinking on the radio and so doesn't Atlanta ...huh?

#45 Keep Warren Ballentina on the Air in Atlanta ...I thought it was Ballentine

#609 There has not been a show that I insist that my children listen to. Now it has become a part of their day, ages 28, 23, 20 18 and when my other three can understand they will too. Two of the four are college grads and the other two are students. Junior and Freshman. We need these shows, don't remove them They are truly a voice for all people ...And for all your kids too, Wow that's alot of kids, keep it up you're doing something right... you think that's the kid's names? Junior and Freshman...

#603 we have enough boom boom music on radio why not let us have something that we enjoy for a change. all they are doing is opening our eyes to things that would otherwise go unsaid or untold to us taking these shows off would ...huh?

#655 i thought radio one was owned by blacks if so why do they feel all we want to hear is booty shaking music is that all that black folks mean to radio station owners don't they have enough of those type of stations here in Atlanta?We as black folks do want to know what is going on in our country besides what comes from right wing radio ...don't you know we love booty shaking music, just turn on BET...

#649 please in the name of Jesus do not take these two young men off the air the one that needs to go off the air is Rush linbar ...someone say hallelujah, get Limbaugh off the air because these men are just too young to be taken off the air

#644 I love Warren. I can't pick up great reception in my office. But I listen every chance I get. Please do not take off this show. That's one of the problems with black america now. We dont have enough talk radio and too many rap, r&b and hip hop stations. Warren and Rev.Al keep the people informed and in the know. ...reception is a real problem with some Radio One stations, so I wonder exactly when does she get a chance to listen at work...

These are just some of the comments, but most are very good, so let me not misrepresent their actions. I was impressed that they have close to 700 people sign the online petition so far.

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